Donovan Joins Staff as Volunteer Assistant Coach

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CHAMPAGNE, Illinois – Illinois Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach, Nadalie walsh announced that the former gymnast of Illini, Rachel Donovan joins her team as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2022 season.

“I couldn’t be happier to have Rachel Donovan return It’s the biggest compliment that she wants to come back and invest her time, energy and passion in the program, ”said Walsh. “I see Rachael having a bright future as an NCAA coach. I am delighted to devote myself to her, to see her grow and develop and to see her positively impact the lives of our Fighting Illini student-athletes. Rachael will be a great asset to our behind the scenes programs as she will also assist in the operations of the program. She is organized, ambitious and detail oriented. She is a great addition to my staff as she knows the program and fully believes in the vision and direction we are heading. “

Since graduating in 2019, Donovan has coached at Hills Gymnastics and Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center working with Tier 10 elites. She will be completing her Masters in Sports Management at West Virginia University in December.

“I am honored and more than delighted to be back as a coach alongside the staff at the University of Illinois,” said Donovan. “Thanks to the head coach Nadalie walsh and Illinois Athletics for this incredible opportunity! I intend to use my knowledge as a former Illinois athlete as well as my coaching knowledge to help the team and see them thrive this year! “

While in Illinois, Donovan was the 2018 Academy All-Big Ten winner and recorded a career-high 9.875 on bars during her senior season.


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