Former Eastern Michigan gymnastics coach Sarah Brown was named Penn State’s new head coach Thursday, three months after Jeff Thompson was fired in the wake of year-old allegations of mental and verbal abuse.
Brown led EMU to a No. 27 national ranking this past season, in addition to the MAC Championship and an appearance at the NCAA regionals. She was a volunteer assistant coach with Michigan for one season (2015-2016) and also worked as an assistant for three seasons with Southeast Missouri State University.
“I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of Penn State Athletics!” Brown said in a written statement. “Sandy (Barbour) and her staff have been incredible throughout this process, and I can’t thank them enough for making State College feel like home!”
Brown was also the director of operations for the Missouri women’s gymnastics program for one season before starting her coaching career. During her gymnastics career at Missouri, she was the Big 12 Gymnast of the Year in both 2009 and 2010.
She is the eighth head coach of Penn State’s women’s gymnastics program.
“We are ecstatic to have Sarah Brown joining the Penn State family as the leader of our women’s gymnastics program,” athletics director Sandy Barbour said. “Sarah is a rapidly rising star in the coaching ranks. ... We are excited about the passion, experience and leadership she will bring in engaging with recruits and our women’s gymnastics alumni and help elevate the program within the conference and nationally.”