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Joanna Saleem
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 1 Year
Joanna Saleem Bio
Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: 08/22/2013


Joanna Saleem enters her second year as Ball State’s head women’s gymnastics coach in 2014-15, building on a vast coaching experience with high level NCAA teams.

“We have a vision of high performance standards with the intent to turn this Cardinals’ team into a championship program,” Saleem said.  “We are very excited to be a part of the Cardinals and there is a lot of forward progress being made here at Ball State.  We are proud to be a part of the growth and excitement.”

In her first season, Saleem led the Cardinals to a fifth place showing at the 2014 Mid-American Conference Championships -- the highest finish for Ball State since the 2011 season.  Under her guidance, then sophomore Denasiha Christian tallied a 9.925 on the floor exercise to win the MAC Floor Championship.  Christian was named to the 2014 All-MAC Second Team and the MAC All-Tournament Team.

“Throughout the 2013-14 season, we believe it was important to teach each of our student-athletes how to be consistent in performance, both in the practice gym and on the competition floor not only as individuals but more importantly as a team,” Saleem said.  “It is about laying out expectations for the program and helping these young ladies understand they need to be competitive in the classroom, in the gym and in their personal lives as they strive for excellence and never giving up.”

The 2014 season saw the Cardinals earn one MAC Gymnast of the Week, two MAC Specialists of the Week and defeat Big 10 Conference opponent Iowa.  The Cardinals posted the highest team beam score since 2004, while 24 career high scores were recorded by the student-athletes.

Entering the 2015 season, Saleem signed a freshmen recruiting class that includes two 2014 USA Junior Olympic national competitors -- Jordyn Penny (placed seventh) and Clare Collins (placed 18th).   Also joining the Cardinals are Baylee Bell, a Junior Olympic Nationals alternate, and NIT qualifier Jillian Hacker, along with Kelli Tereshko and Jackie Duffy.

Saleem, a 2004 graduate of Indiana who earned a master's degree at West Virginia in 2007, served as the Mountaineers' assistant gymnastics coach from 2002-08. She also served a stint as Iowa's assistant coach from 1999-2001 and was the head women's gymnastics coach at IU Pennsylvania for the 1996-97 season.

At West Virginia, Saleem coached a pair co-vault conference champions and two league beam champions, as well as helping the team to two team league championships.  She assisted Janae Cox to two NCAA national appearances in the all-around and served as the recruiting coordinator for the Mountaineers.

While at Iowa, Saleem helped produce the 2001 Big Ten Conference Champions on the vault and floor, and assisted the team to its first NCAA Regional team appearance in nine years. 

Saleem was also a volunteer assistant gymnastics coach at North Carolina State in 1997-98, the first and only year the Wolfpack team qualified for NCAA Nationals. She also was an assistant coach at Bloomington North High School from 1993-95.

Saleem resides in Muncie with her husband, Dr. Mark Saleem, and their son Brayden.

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