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Former Sun Devil standout added to gymnastics coaching

July 07, 2009

The Arizona State women's gymnastics program pleased to announce the hiring of former ASU gymnast Kari (Muth) Ward as the new assistant coach. Ward will join Jean-Luc Cairon as head coach John Spini's coaching staff. Ward was a member of the Sun Devil gymnastics team from 2002-2005.

"I am very excited about Kari Ward joining our staff. I think Kari will bring a lot of class to this program with the dynamics of being very passionate and young and a go-getter," said Spini who is going into his 30th year as ASU's head gymnastics coach.

One of ASU's top student-athletes in history, Ward was a three-time Pac-10 First-Team All-Academic selection while at ASU. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in finance in 2005. Ward tallied two perfect 10.0's while competing for the Sun Devils, once on beam and once on floor with both occurring in 2004. She also served as team captain in 2005. Upon graduating from ASU, Ward has served as a substitute coach at Desert Lights for the past two years and was also a graduate assistant for compliance at ASU. Additionally, she was acted in the gymnastics movie "Stick It" in 2005.

"It's been a really hard decision, but when the dust cleared, I thought Kari was someone who could come in here and help us with the technology we need to use with recruiting, knowing the program and the school itself," continued Spini on the newest member of his coaching staff. "She was one of our most talented former gymnasts and one of our greatest academic athletes. It gives us a great push in recruiting because she actually knows how things work in this system."

Ward resides in Gilbert, Ariz., with her husband Emerson Ward, who is a former member of the ASU men's swimming team.