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Elise Ray
Elise Ray

Last College:

Assistant Coach

2nd year


Mental Training A Huge Factor In Success Of GymDawgs

Assistant coach Elise Ray has used mental cues to help her beam workers focus on every aspect of their routine.


Ray Reflects On Olympic Trials

The current UW assistant has an Olympic medal.


The Huskies Remember Another Great Season

UW says goodbye to four senior gymnasts.


NCAA Championship Field Announced

Vaccher will compete in the evening session with Oregon State.


What to Watch For: Beam, Floor & All-Around

UW hosts the Seattle Regional at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Photo Gallery

May 1, 2013 GymCastic Interview

Head gymnastics coach Joanne Bowers announced the hiring of former Olympian Elise Ray as the new assistant coach of the Gym Dawgs on Sept. 22, 2011, joining current assist David McCreary in rounding out the staff.

"We are so excited to add Elise to our gymnastics staff," said Bowers. "She knows what it takes to compete in this sport at the highest level and can also bring a passion and enthusiasm for the dance part of our sport. She will be choreographing and helping coach beam and floor. Another area we see as a plus is Elise has great communication skills and will be able to help with our recruiting efforts."

In 2012, Ray helped the Huskies on vault and beam as UW posted some of the top team vault scores in school history. UW hosted the 2012 NCAA Regionals and placed third, just missing out on the NCAA Championships.

Ray was born in Tallahassee, Fla.., but grew up in Maryland where she attended high school and last lived, coaching at Carroll Gymnastics Center in Hampstead, Md.

She is an Olympic bronze medalist with the U.S. National Gymnastics Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also competed at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, China, placing eight in the all-around, the highest by an American.

Ray trained at Hill's Angles club in Md., under Kelli Hill. She earned her fist U.S. national team berth in 1996 and competed in the 1996 Junior Pan American Championships, placing second in the all-around and winning goal on the uneven bars and floor. She earned a silver medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games.

In 2000, Ray won both the US National Championships and the Olympic Trials. She was the only American to qualify for an event final in the Olympics.

After the Olympics, Ray competed under Bowers at the University of Michigan, majoring in English. She led her team to the NCAA Super Six finals in 2005, placing second on beam. She tied for the all-around title in 2001 and won gold medals on the beam (2002) and on bars (2004). Ray graduated from U of M with the most All-American honors in program history with 14.

"I had the pleasure of coaching Elise during her college years at University of Michigan and have always thought a great deal of her as a person," Bowers added. "She has matured into a wonderful young woman whom I am so pleased to get to work with as part of my staff now."

She then performed in Las Vegas for Cirque de Soleil as a member of the Cadre team for three years and in the show, Love.

Occasionally she would work as a color commentator for the Big 10 Network during broadcasts of women's gymnastics meets.

On Aug. 19 of this year, Ray was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Washington Gymnastics
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