Ryan Ruckdaschel is in his third season as director of operations for the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics program. Ruckdaschel has been associated with the GymHawks since 2016.
During his first season on the coaching staff, the GymHawks posted five of the top eight scores in program history during the season, won the first session and finished third at the Big Ten Championships before knocking off No. 6 LSU in NCAA Regionals to advance to the NCAA Regional Final for the first time under the current format. The Hawkeyes scored a 197.075 in the Regional Final — the second-highest score and just third 197 in program history.
Iowa finished the season ranked 15th nationally and the Hawkeyes climbed as high as No. 9 in the Road to Nationals poll during the regular season, which was the second-highest ranking in school history.
Sophomore Adeline Kenlin earned an individual spot at the NCAA Championships on the balance beam after scoring a 9.950 in the NCAA Regionals. She then shined on the grand stage, posting a second 9.950 to finish as the event runner-up to Olympic Gold Medalist Suni Lee. Kenlin’s finish was the highest by a Hawkeye all-time and was the highest beam score for the program at the NCAA meet. She earned first-team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, becoming the sixth such All-American in program history.
The Hawkeyes also earned two WCGA All-America honors during the regular season, as Lauren Guerin and JerQuavia Henderson earned the distinction on floor. Iowa also had five gymnasts — Guerin, Clair Kaji, Bridget Killian, Henderson and Kenlin — garner All-Big Ten honors, a figure that tied a school record set in 2017. Henderson was a first-team honoree for a second straight season, while Guerin and Kaji earned their fourth career honor.
During the Big Ten Championships, Guerin shared the floor title for a second straight season, becoming the 18th Big Ten champion and eighth floor champion in school history. Iowa was masterful on floor during the year as Guerin and Henderson both tied school records on the event with 9.975s and the team set a school record on floor, scoring a 49.650 in the comeback win over Penn State.
The Hawkeyes finished the year with 64 scores of 9.900 or higher during the season and nine different gymnasts won at least one event title.
Academically, the program shined with a program record 14 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. Twenty-two Hawkeyes earned Dean’s List honors over the course of the fall and spring semesters and five gymnasts were President’s List honorees.
Ruckdaschel most recently served as a non-coaching graduate assistant from 2019-21. The GymHawks made history in 2021, winning the first Big Ten title in school history.
During his time in Iowa City, Ruckdaschel has managed and monitored social media accounts for the women’s gymnastics program, reaching more than 35,000 followers. He has aided in the growth of the team’s social platforms, including an increase of 13,000 Instagram followers.
He has also planned and operated camps, alumni gatherings, in-house events, team retreats, travel, community service, meet-day themes and promotions and on-campus appearances and engagements during his tenure.
Ruckdaschel also served as social media manager for the Iowa Athletics Department in 2019-20 and he was a promotions manager for the department from 2017-19. He joined the GymHawks in 2016 as a student manager, where he assisted in year-round efforts with the program.
The Iowa City, Iowa, native graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in sport and recreation management in 2019. He also earned his master’s degree in sport and recreation management in 2021.