Jacquie Eshleman named inaugural acrobatics & tumbling head coach-


Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com

Eshleman was also a part of the Oregon Acrobatics & tumbling program after she transferred there, where they placed third at NCA Nationals. 

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

Iona University Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski announced Jacquie Eshleman as the school’s inaugural women’s acrobatics and tumbling head coach, on Nov. 4.

Eshleman joins the Gaels after five seasons as the head coach of Gannon University, where she led the Golden Knights to a top-five program nationally and finished as the runner up last season.

The appointment comes after Iona announced the addition of a women’s acrobatic and tumbling team and men’s lacrosse team as the school’s 22nd and 23rd intercollegiate programs. Both programs will begin competition in the 2024-2025 season.  


The acrobatics and tumbling team will compete in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA).

“Iona has a beautiful campus, and I am thrilled to be a part of this next phase of growth for them. Their support for myself, family, and this sport has been overwhelming and amazing.” said Eshleman, according to the Iona University Athletics website.

“Being able to do what I am passionate about, being close to family, all while at the Division I level has been a dream for me. I am thrilled to officially call myself a Gael; I cannot wait for all the future Gaels of acrobatics and tumbling to embark on this new journey and ‘Fight the Good Fight,’” added Eshleman.  


At Gannon University, Eshleman coached a team which was the national runner up and became the first non-original NCATA program to reach the national championship event.

Before Gannon, Eshleman was the inaugural head coach of the acrobatics and tumbling team at Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, WV. Eshleman also began her coaching experience in the Northeast at Quinnipiac University for two seasons, leading the charge in recruiting and organizing camps and clinics.

Eshleman was also an All-American student-athlete cheerleader at Kennesaw State University.

Eshelman received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Oregon in 2010 and earned her master’s degree in Education from Gannon University in 2021.

Hailing from Agawam, Massachusetts, Eshleman currently resides in Erie, Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband Paul and their two daughters.  


In other coaching news, Iona softball head coach Alyssa Tiumalu announced the appointment of Rita Jagodzinski as a part-time assistant coach.

Jagodzinski will join the maroon and gold staff with a wealth of experience, coaching for over 20 years with different travel programs in the Connecticut area.  


Jagodzinski has worked at Darien High School and Trinity Catholic and had stints with CT Rams Elite Travel and Stamford Babe Ruth Softball. She is also the program director at CT Jags Softball Travel.

She has also enjoyed success with the Stamford Babe Ruth Softball 8U program, winning two Connecticut Championships and the 2019 Babe Ruth World Series.

Jagodzinski graduated from Springfield College and is certified by the Connecticut State Department of Education.