On Monday night, UCLA officially announced the hiring of former Cal assistant coach Janelle McDonald as the new head coach of the UCLA gymnastics team.

McDonald has twice been named the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) Regional Assistant Coach of the Year and was part of the 2021 College Gym News Coaching Staff of the Year. She joins the Bruins with more than two decades of coaching experience.

“Janelle has been exemplary at connecting with and developing young people at every level of her coaching career,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “Her enthusiasm and energy is contagious. She understands and respects the Bruin legacy and the commitment to excellence this program deserves as one of the best in the country. I am extremely confident in Janelle’s ability to lead the Bruins and am thrilled to welcome her to Westwood.”

McDonald spent four seasons in Berkeley (2019-22), helping the Golden Bears to their first-ever Pac-12 regular-season title in 2022 as well as a seventh-place NCAA finish in 2021, which matched their highest-ever finish.

Serving as the team’s uneven bars head coach, McDonald coached Maya Bordas to Cal’s first-ever NCAA individual championship in 2021, while the uneven bars squad finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the nation and tied an NCAA record with a team score of 49.825. The seven best uneven bars scores in school history have come under McDonald’s watch. During her tenure, California gymnasts earned a total of 17 All-America honors, including six on uneven bars.

“I am very grateful to Justin Howell, Liz Crandall-Howell, and Cal Athletics for providing me a place to learn and grow over the past four seasons,” McDonald said in a statement. “My experiences in Berkeley and with the student-athletes on the Cal gymnastics team have pushed me to become a better version of myself and have prepared me to take on this new opportunity. I cannot wait to get started with our team and build with them a culture that will honor and continue the great history of this program.”

McDonald’s appointment at UCLA comes less than a month after former coach Chris Waller resigned. He spent three years at the helm of the Bruins’ program. There seems to be plenty of excitement over its future.