Dr. René Lyst was named head coach of the women’s gymnastics team at Arizona State in May of 2014 following the retirement announcement of longtime head coach John Spini in January.
In her first season at Arizona State, Dr. Lyst started to build the program with Taylor Allex and Natasha Sundby advancing to the NCAA Regional competition. Throughout the season, Dr. Lyst led Arizona State gymnasts to score 9.800 or better 67 times.
Prior to Arizona State, Dr. Lyst served as the co-head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks for 13 years (2003-14). In her 13 years at Arkansas, the Razorbacks have qualified for 11 NCAA Regionals as a team, seven NCAA Championship appearances, five top-19 finishes, and two NCAA Super Six appearances. At Arkansas, Dr. Lyst worked as the primary beam coach but assisted on all four events. She has guided the Razorbacks to top-25 national beam rankings in the last eight-straight seasons.
Dr. Lyst, who earned her doctor of education (Ed.D.) from Arkansas in 2011, also holds a tangible track record of her commitment to academic excellence with her teams posting a 3.30 GPA or better in each season. In 2010 the Razorbacks led the SEC with a 3.4369 GPA, which was 16th-best nationally.
During the 2014 season, Dr. Lyst guided 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 a 9.975 and took home the individual floor title with a score of 9.962.
Before going to Arkansas, Dr. Lyst served as an assistant coach at Stanford from 1998-2001, where the Cardinal saw three NCAA Championship appearances and won two Pac-10 titles, including its first conference championship in 1998. She also served as an assistant coach at her alma mater Penn State (1997) and at UMass (1994-96).