INDIANAPOLIS (May 26, 2022) – 2008 Olympic silver medalists Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone Quinn and longtime USA Gymnastics Developmental coach Dan Baker have been selected to fill three high performance leadership roles within USA Gymnastics’ Women’s Program, USAG announced Thursday.
In March, USA Gymnastics announced a change in its Women’s Program’s high performance model, which will shift from a single director to three positions with specific focuses. In these new roles, Baker will serve as the program’s Developmental Lead, Memmel as the Technical Lead and Quinn as the Strategic Lead.
The trio begins work in their roles on June 1 and will report to Vice President of Women’s Gymnastics Annie Heffernon.
"We are extremely pleased to have this well-rounded team of leaders to drive our program, from development to the Olympic stage," Heffernon said. "They bring decades of experience in coaching, talent development, judging and elite competition. To have Olympians return to our National Team in coaching and strategic capacities will have an even bigger impact on the next generation of women’s elite athletes."
Bios and job duties are listed alphabetically below.
The Developmental Lead oversees USA Gymnastics’ Developmental Program and camps, facilitating an athlete’s initial introduction to and progression through the elite program. Baker’s broad focus will be on the Hopes, TOPS, and junior developmental program as well as talent identification.
The Elite Women’s Development Coordinator since 2018, Baker’s position transitions to Developmental Lead as part of the larger high performance leadership reorganization. Baker is a longstanding coach of top developmental and elite talent. His athletes have been part of the TOPS and Developmental Team since 1998, won Hopes titles, earned berths on four National Teams and collected more than 40 international medals. He has been a club coach since 1998, coaching in Florida, California and Texas. Since 2006, he has been head coach at Stars Gymnastics Training Center in Houston.
"I look forward to continuing in the role of leading the Elite Development Program," Baker said. "We have enjoyed tremendous success and will continue to develop athletes to represent USA Gymnastics at the highest levels."
"Dan’s work as our Development Coordinator the last four years has served the National Team talent pipeline very well," Heffernon said. "By continuing in the role, we ensure a consistent level of excellence and stability as athletes begin their elite journeys."
The Technical Lead provides the technical and coaching oversight of the High Performance Program and serves as the resident expert for training, competition and performance. Memmel will direct training and skill development at National Team camps and clinics and will travel to clubs around the country to help facilitate streamlined implementation of the program’s high performance strategy, serving as a resource to the elite gymnastics community.
A 2008 Olympic silver medalist as part of the U.S. team in Beijing and a six-time World Championships medalist, Memmel has more than 20 years of experience on the elite level. As an athlete, she was a top performer at U.S. Championships, but she shone brightest on the international stage. She won the 2005 all-around world title after finishing second at the Visa Championships, was a 2003 World Championships team gold medalist and won 2003 World gold on the uneven bars. She also is a three-time World Championships silver medalist, six-time Pan American Games gold medalist and is a 2022 inductee into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. In the final championship competition of her career, she returned from retirement at age 32 to contest vault, bars and beam at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
Memmel has been a FIG Brevet judge since 2013 with assignments at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, 2013-2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships and at international competitions in Mexico, Italy, Canada and Japan. Since 2013 she also has been a coach at M&M Gymnastics in New Berlin, Wisconsin, where she coaches athletes from Levels 2-10.
"I am excited to be part of the team of coaches and athletes moving our program forward," Memmel said. "Having the chance to give back and help create the best environment possible for success is a great opportunity. I look forward to helping to develop and execute a plan that will enable athletes to feel and perform at their best."
"In her gymnastics career, Chellsie showed that she has an understanding of how to elevate her performance to succeed in international competition," Heffernon said. "With her experience as an athlete, coach and Brevet judge, and with her knowledge of the FIG Code of Points, her expertise will be invaluable to the National Team as we hone the technical elements that will deliver top scores internationally."
The Strategic Lead oversees strategic planning and guides the overall direction of the high performance program. Quinn will focus on the program as a whole and the overarching strategy for the National Team while also making the holistic development of individual athletes, physically and mentally, a top priority.
Quinn was captain of the 2008 Olympic team that won the silver medal and won 10 World Championships medals during her career, including team gold in 2007 and 2011, floor exercise gold in 2005 and vault gold in 2010. Winning six national titles on vault, one title on beam and two on floor, she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2016 and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2017.
After retiring from competition, Quinn served on USA Gymnastics’ TOPS development staff from 2013-2014 and was head coach of TAG USA Gymnastics & Trampoline from 2014-2018. She has been co-owner of Like a Champ since 2019, developing strategic career paths for gymnastics professionals, club owners and coaches. She works nationally as a clinician and choreographer and has been a gymnastics analyst for ESPN since 2015.
"It is an honor and a privilege to be joining the high performance team," Quinn said. "I look forward to building personal relationships with all of our National Team athletes and coaches and continuing to cultivate a culture of excellence, where we build up our athletes physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m very excited about this opportunity and am eager to get to work."
"Alicia’s success as an athlete is a reflection not just of her competitive ability but also of her overall strategic approach to competition," Heffernon said. "Her professional involvement in athlete development as well as her work with coaches and club owners gives her the broad range of insight that is critical for the strategic role."
The next National Team competition on the calendar is the Pan American Championships July 11-17 in Rio de Janiero. Pan Ams are followed by domestic competition at the U.S. Classic July 28-31 in Salt Lake Valley, Utah, and the U.S. Gymnastics Championships August 18-21 in Tampa. The FIG World Championships are slated for Oct. 28-Nov. 6 in Liverpool, England.