ASU hires Arkansas’ Lyst to head gymnastics program

TEMPE, Ariz. — Rene Lyst, who served as the co-head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks for 13 years, was named head gymnastics coach at Arizona State.

Lyst replaces longtime ASU head coach John Spini, who announced his retirement in January after 34 seasons leading the program.

In Lyst’s 13 years at Arkansas, the Razorbacks have qualified for 11 NCAA Regionals, seven NCAA Championship appearances, five top-10 finishes and two NCAA Super Six appearances.

This past season, Lyst helped guide Arkansas senior All-American Katherine Grable to the program’s first and second individual titles at the 2014 NCAA Championships. Grable scored the highest-winning vault score in NCAA Championship history with 9.975 and took home the individual floor title with a score of 9.962.

"The opportunity to be head gymnastics coach at Arizona State presented itself as a dream job," said Lyst. "John Spini is a legend in our sport, and it is my goal to continue and build upon Arizona State’s legacy of winning tradition."

Arkansas started its gymnastics program in 2003 with Lyst helping lead the Razorbacks coaching staff from the onset. Since starting the program, Arkansas has received an NCAA bid every season from 2004 on. The Razorbacks jumped up the rankings in 2005 to 15th nationally and have since never finished outside the top-13.