California women’s gymnastics head coach Justin Howell has added two-time All-Big Ten honoree Jessa Hansen to his coaching staff. The four-year letterwinner from the University of Iowa will serve as assistant coach to the Golden Bears.
“I am thrilled that Jessa has joined our Cal family. Jessa was a phenomenal Big Ten athlete at Iowa and she brings with her a diverse background in journalism. She has an abundance of energy and a Midwest value system that will mesh very well with our program. I am looking forward to a very successful season with Jessa as a part of our team," Howell said.
At Iowa, Hansen was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, plus an Academic All-Big Ten selection and NACGC Scholastic All-American in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Along with her gymnastics, Hansen was a representative on the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2009-12 and Dean’s List member for each spring and fall semester from 2009-11. She received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2010 and 2011, and the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award in 2011. While at Iowa, Hansen also assisted the women’s gymnastics team from 2012-13 and worked in the athletic communications department.
Prior to her time at Iowa, Hansen trained at Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute from 1998-2008, where she was coached by 2008 Olympic head coach Liang Chow and his wife Liwen Zhuang, and trained with Beijing Olympics balance beam champion Shawn Johnson. Hansen was a three-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier, the Level 10 Regional Floor Champion in 2007 and 2008 and the 2006 Level 10 State All-Around Champion.
Hansen graduated from Iowa in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication and minors in studio art and sport studies.
Photo courtesy of Iowa Athletic Communications