PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers gymnastics head coach Umme Salim-Beasley announced today the promotion of Anastasia Halbig to the program’s associate head coach role. Entering her fifth season on the Scarlet Knights’ coaching staff, Halbig has been at the center of the balance beam contingent’s rise to national prominence while impacting many other faces of the program’s operations.
“Anastasia has been an integral part of our success over the past four years,” Salim-Beasley said. “We have seen the most consistency in competition on balance beam under her guidance. Tasia has taken on leadership roles by overseeing conditioning as well as managing the implementation of sports psychology and mental health in our daily and weekly schedules. contributed to the success in our program in every aspect. We are lucky to have Tasia’s commitment to strengthening our program in her much-deserved new role.”
In addition to her balance beam coaching duties, which produces more 9.9 or higher scores than any other event over the past four seasons, Halbig also serves as a preseason and postseason conditioning coach, a certified spin instructor, the team’s choreographer for floor routines, and the manager of the team’s social media accounts. Her doctoral studies and research in psychology have been evident in the team’s adoption of mental health wellness initiatives.
Halbig helped Rutgers return to the national rankings for the first time since 2014 as the Scarlet Knights were ranked No. 24 during the 2022 season. Rutgers capped a successful 2022 campaign with three gymnasts – Belle Huang, Hannah Joiner and Emily Leese – qualifying for the NCAA Regionals, marking the most in a single season since 2018. The Scarlet Knights recorded their highest team score at the 2022 Big Ten Championships with a total of 195.750. It is also ranked as the ninth-highest team score in the program record books. Rutgers recorded her highest overall score in program history, a mark previously set in 2014 with a 196.400 in the regular-season finale.
The Scarlet Knights saw continued success on balance beam in 2021 under Halbig’s leadership. Rutgers pulled in beam rankings (No. 24 in 2020-21 and No. 21 in 2019-20) and earned its first-ever podium finishes in program history at the Big Ten Championships in 2021, with a pair of athletes earning bronze medals in Hannah Joiner and Belle Huang. Halbig mentored Joyner in 2021 to become the program’s third national qualifier – and first-ever on beam – while matching the school record on beam with a 9.950. Joyner eclipsed 9.9 or higher on the event six times in 2021 and 13 times in her career before advancing to NCAA Regionals, going on to become the only individual qualifier from the Big Ten that season to compete at Nationals on beam.
Rutgers posted its second-highest team beam score with a 49.275 in the road win at Nebraska, the program’s first win over the Cornhuskers since joining the Big Ten. Overall, Rutgers posted its highest finish and score at the Big Ten Championships (195.67-fifth), the highest road score (195.975), the third best team score (195.975), the fourth best home and ninth best overall score (195.525) in program history.
In Halbig’s first season as a coach at her alma mater, the Scarlet Knights reached 196 for the second time in program history and earned two Big Ten wins over ranked opponents. The beam unit totaled a 49,000, tied for fourth-best in program history, in the win over No. 25 Penn State, as Belle Huang tied the school record with a 9.925 routine on the event.
Halbig spent three seasons on Salim-Beasley’s staff at Temple after being hired as a graduate assistant coach. During that time, she specialized in balance beam technique and skill. The group tied the school record on the event in 2018 with a 49.050 and saw one gymnast earn first team all-conference and two claim spots on the second team.
As a Scarlet Knight, Halbig played a key role to numerous successes such as the program’s highest team score set in her junior season. During that record-setting meet she earned a new career high of 9.875 on balance beam. Also in 2014, she was named the most improved gymnast of the year during her junior season for showing the most growth and reaching three career bests overall. Halbig wrapped up her career at the Big Ten Championships at Michigan posting a 9,800 on the balance beam.
Originally from Pipersville, Pennsylvania, Halbig earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers as a psychology major and achieved a master’s degree from Temple in counseling psychology. She is working towards a doctorate degree in sport psychology at Temple, earning an academic grant to work with collegiate student-athletes on preventing burnout in sport.
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