Sept. 30, 2005
IOWA CITY, IA – Talya Vexler and Jeff Richards have been named assistant coaches with the Iowa women’s gymnastics program.
Talya Vexler joins the Hawkeye staff after serving as interim assistant coach for the University of Maryland since November, 2004. She also served as a gymnastics coach and counselor at the University of Georgia Gymnastics Camp each summer from 1999-2003 and was an assistant service manager and production floor supervisor for Cintas Corporation in Lawrenceville, Georgia from 2003-2004.
Vexler competed for the University of Georgia (1999-2002), earning NCAA all-American honors in 2000 and 2002. Vexler earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Vexler is a breast cancer survivor and helped raise $100,000 for the Athens Regional Breast Health Center.
Jeff Richards joins the Hawkeye staff after serving as the head women’s gymnastics coach at Winona State University the past year. He was also the head women’s gymnastics coach at University of Wisconsin-Stout from 1998-2004. Richards led the Blue Devils to their first Nationals appearance in 15 years and earned WIAC coach of the year honors for the 1999-2000, and 2000-2001 seasons, and NCGA Coach of the Year honors for the 1999-2000 season.
Richards attended Southern Utah University from 1991-1995 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. In addition, Richards was an assistant women’s gymnastics coach at Southern Utah from 1991-1998.
“I have enjoyed every minute of working with Jeff. He brings a light-heartedness to this team that we missed last year. He is 100 percent focused on taking this team to the next level but makes sure that he never loses the element of fun that has been so important to what we have established here. He works extremely well with the team and challenges them everyday to be better,” says Iowa Head Coach Larissa Libby.
“Talya Vexler has to be one of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege to meet or work with. Her strength of character, determination, focus, total conviction and pure love for our sport have been a huge asset to the team and to the program. She is a winner in every sense of the word and her desire to be the best spills over to the team.
Quite simply, both of my assistant coaches are amazing. It isn’t just that they are both excellent coaches, it’s that their attitude and determination to be the best raise the bar everyday for all of us who work with them. In short, they make me a better head coach.”