IOWA CITY, Iowa – Quest Hayden has been named an assistant coach with the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics program, it was announced Friday by head coach Larissa Libby.
Hayden joins the Hawkeyes following stints at North Carolina, Michigan and Penn State.
“We are excited to welcome Quest to the Hawkeye family,” said Libby, the 2021 Big Ten Coach of the Year. “We had an incredible group to choose from and after having the same assistant for five seasons, I knew this would be a difficult decision.
“Quest comes from a strong gymnastics background and has been developing his vision of what a great coach should be from a young age. Once he came to campus and interacted with our team and staff, he was the clear choice.
“Quest is focused, disciplined and goal-oriented and while I am impressed with him from a gymnastics standpoint, it was his overall character, his genuine conversations with our team and comfort with our staff that made the difference. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with Quest and welcome him to the GymHawk family.”
Hayden spent the 2020 season at North Carolina, where he helped the Tar Heels to a No. 41 national ranking. Hayden coached Elizabeth Culton to All-America honors and to an EAGL bar and all-around title. Culton also represented the Tar Heels at the NCAA Athens Regional.
North Carolina opened the season with a school record score of 195.200 against New Hampshire and the program finished 39th nationally on the bars, moving up 11 spots from the 2020 season.
“I am excited to be back in the Big Ten and part of a prestigious and reputable program,” said Hayden. “The program has been improving each year and I have had my eyes on Iowa for a long time. I am fortunate to be able to work with such a great team and am confident that this team will continue to grow in and out of the classroom.
“I can’t wait to be in Iowa City and couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Hawkeye family.”
Prior to moving to Chapel Hill, Hayden served as a volunteer assistant at Michigan during the 2020 season. He was named the WCGA Northeast Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Wolverines to the 2020 Big Ten regular season title. The team posted the top two team scores in program history with a 197.950 at the Elevate the Stage meet in Toledo, Ohio, and a 197.900 at home against New Hampshire.
Hayden spent the 2018-19 season as a volunteer assistant coach at Penn State, helping the Nittany Lions to a 10-9 record and a fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. He also worked for Centre Elite Gymnastics in State College, Pennsylvania, from 2016-19, helping coach bars and spotting on floor, while managing the strength and conditioning program.
Hayden was a member of the United States’ 2013 Junior National Team. He competed collegiately at Penn State from 2015-18, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was a team captain as a senior and competed on four events during the team’s 2015 Big Ten Championship run.