New gymnastics coach hired

Eastern Michigan University announced Tuesday the hiring of Jay Santos as gymnastics coach, replacing Steve Wilce who retired in April.

Santos was previously the Associate Head Gymnastics Coach at the University of Illinois following stops at Iowa State University as well as The Ohio State University.

“I could not be more excited to be the next head coach at Eastern Michigan University” Santos said in a news release. “I am looking forward to the challenge of trying to improve this program and take it to new heights. I can’t wait to get the team back on campus to begin a new era for Eastern Michigan Gymnastics. I would also like to thank Director of Athletics Heather Lyke for this amazing opportunity.”

In the release, Lyke shared her excitement on the hiring.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jay and his wife, Jessica, to Eastern Michigan University,” Lyke said. “Jay’s coaching background and competitive experiences along with his passion to positively impact our gymnastics student-athletes make him an ideal person to lead our program. He has studied our program, student-athletes and is prepared to guide our team to great heights.”

According to the release, Santos has 15 years of coaching and competitive experience at the Division I level.

In 2013-14, Santos helped guide the Fighting Illini to a team-best 11th place finish in the NCAA and the team’s first consecutive-year trip to the NCAA championships.

The Bridgewater, Mass. native is married to his wife, Jessica. They do not have any children.

Santos is only the third coach in the history of EMU gymnastics.

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