Storm gymnastics coaches announced


Amelia Schafer

Men’s and women’s gymnastics will join Simpson’s lineup of athletic programs in Fall 2022.

by Morgan Flynn, Sports Editor

Simpson College has announced the new coaches of the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams. Husband and wife duo Colin Payne and Emily Barrett-Payne will head the Storm’s gymnastic teams.

On Sept. 1, Simpson College announced the addition of men’s and women’s gymnastics teams, although details about the teams and competitions are unclear. 

“I am extremely pleased that we were successful in attracting the calibre of coaching and expertise with Emily and Colin,” Director of Athletics Marty Bell said in a press release. “They both embody the values and integrity that will be well suited for the culture of our athletic department, campus and community.” 

Simpson becomes the third institution in the state to sponsor women’s gymnastics, after Iowa State and the University of Iowa. Simpson will also become the third NCAA Division III program in the nation to offer the sport at the varsity level and the 15th nationwide Division III women’s division. 

The women’s team will be lead by Barrett-Payne. The former two-time Scholastic All-American at the University of Denver previously coached at Thrive Gymnastics, a gym in Annapolis, Md. 

“Women’s gymnastics is a fantastic addition to the athletic department given Simpson College’s focus on academic and athletic excellence,” she said in a press release. “I look forward to getting started and working alongside a passionate and committed coaching staff.”

Payne, the three-time College Gymnastics Association Assistant Coach of the Year and two-time ECAC and USAG Assistant Coach of the Year will lead the men’s program, the only men’s team in Iowa and only the third Division III institution in the country.

Previously, he has coached at Harpeth School of Gymnastics, Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy and most recently, the United States Naval Academy. While at the United States Naval Academy, he helped the team to two Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships. 

“I cannot think of a more exciting and rewarding challenge than leading one of the first new men’s gymnastics programs in decades,” he said in a press release. “I will do everything in my power and lean heavily on the experience and expertise of our community to make sure this trust is not misplaced.”

Both teams will begin competition during the 2022-23 school year.