Lions are one of six Big Ten schools in the Top 25
Lions travel to Raleigh on Saturday
Nittany Lions knock off Maryland on Senior Night
Nittany Lions face SUNY Brockport on Saturday
The Nittany Lions earned season-high team scores on vault and bars
Rachelle Thompson begins her third season as the associate head coach of the Penn State women's gymnastics program. Prior to Penn State, Thompson spent 11 years at Auburn University in Alabama. Her husband, Jeff, serves as the head coach.
During her first season as the associate head coach at Penn State, Thompson helped coach the Nittany Lions to a second place finish in the 2011 Big Ten Championship with two Nittany Lions capturing individual event titles. Penn State also earned a berth in the NCAA Regional Championships as the No. 2 seed. Sharaya Musser advanced to the NCAA National Championships representing the Nittany Lions.
Thompson joined the Auburn staff in 1999 as a choreographer and volunteer coach before being promoted to assistant coach in 2002 and associate head coach in 2006. Her responsibilities included, but were not limited to, coaching beam and floor, choreographing beam and floor routines, managing all meet contracts, scheduling community service projects, recruiting, as well as handling travel arrangements and the budget. She was a two-time Auburn University Assistant Coach of the Year and was selected the 2008 NACGC/W Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
As a coaching team at Auburn, the Thompsons produced four NCAA All-Americans, four All-SEC team members, three SEC Gymnasts of the Year winners and one SEC Freshman of the Year. They coached nine NCAA Championship individual qualifiers and four NCAA Regional Event Champions.
Their gymnasts also excelled in the classroom and in the community. They had three SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners, three CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District members, 41 NACGC/W Academic All-Americans and 53 SEC Academic Honor Roll selections.
Prior to joining the Tiger staff, Rachelle was a choreographer and volunteer coach at LSU for six years and at Illinois from 1992-93.
Thompson attended LSU and was a three-time NCAA All-American gymnast. She was a finalist for the American Award honoring the Top Five Senior Gymnasts, as well as a finalist for the Honda-Broderick Cup.
Thompson earned a Bachelor of Science and Education from Auburn.
Rachelle and Jeff have two sons, Parker (17) and Griffin (15).