DAVIS, Calif. - Jessa Hansen, formerly a coach at California and Head Over Heels Athletics Arts, has joined the UC Davis women’s gymnastics staff as an assistant to head coach John Lavallee.Hansen replaces Annie DiLuzio, who served the Aggies for the 2016 season as a balance beam coach. The Aggie staff also includes Carolyn Kampf, now entering her ninth season; and Tamara Ross, who stayed on as a volunteer assistant after her retirement in 2015.
Hansen served for three seasons as an assistant to Golden Bears head coach Justin Howell, working in all aspects of the Cal program, including recruiting and team promotions. During that time, the Golden Bears finished 16th, 18th and seventh nationally, culminating with last year’s appearance at the NCAA Championships – just the second in program history. She helped Alicia Asturias (2014) and Toni-Ann Williams (2015, 2016) to All-America honors, with Williams later becoming the first Cal gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Hansen also served as a coach for the Emeryville-based Head Over Heels club during her time at Cal. Working with athletes of Levels 3-10, she guided teams and individuals to Junior Olympic state, region and naional titles.
Originally from the Des Moines, Iowa area, Hansen attended the Univesity of Iowa, where she won two All-Big Ten Conference awards and three Academic All-Big Ten nods during her career from 2009 to 2013. She added NACGC/W Scholastic All-America honors from 2010-12, Big Ten Sportsmanship awards in 2010 and 2011, six total Dean’s List appearances, plus a nomination for the 24 Hawkeyes To Watch list in 2012. After completing her degree in journalism & mass communication, Hansen served as both a volunteer assistant and sports information contact for women’s gymnastics for the 2013 season.
Prior to her collegiate career, the Waukee Senior High School grad was a teammate with 2008 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson at Chow’s Gymnastics, the same club that later produced Team USA members Gabby Douglas and Rachel Gowey.
UC Davis finished 42nd nationally with a regional-qualifying score of 195.045 in 2016. The Aggies also qualified three individual at-large competitors to the NCAA Salt Lake Regional, set a school record for a team road score, and cracked the 196-point barrier for just the third time in program history.