Jay Clark vs. Georgia: A timeline of beer-holding — Thoughts from LSU’s Natty-winning squad via WBRZ Baton Rouge

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, April 27, 2024

It’s been a wild week in gymnastics as rumors swirled about coaching veteran Jay Clark. To really get the full effect of just how wild it was, some historical information is necessary, so I have constructed a timeline. 

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Jay Clark is announced as new head coach at Georgia. A decorated Gymdog grad named Courtney Kupets becomes his student assistant coach. Somewhere, very quietly, someone at LSU whispers, “Hold my beer.” 


Jay Clark is fired as Georgia head coach and becomes assistant coach at LSU under D-D Breaux. 


Courtney Kupets Carter becomes head coach at Georgia. That same year, LSU has its best gymnastics season to date, with the SEC title and a second-place finish at the national championships. Georgia finishes the season ranked 12th. 


Jay Clark becomes co-head coach at LSU with Breaux.


Jay Clark becomes the sole head coach at LSU following Breaux’s retirement. 


Kupets Carter is granted a three-year contract extension at Georgia, puzzling gym fans everywhere. 


After an injury-plagued season, LSU makes it to the NCAA finals, finishing fourth at Four on the Floor and for the season. Clark’s contract at LSU is extended for two years in September. 


LSU wins the national championship. They heartily (and likely metaphorically, but who knows?) chug the beer they’ve been holding since 2009. 

Georgia fires Kupets Carter the night before the national championship. The day before, Kupets Carter coached Georgia gymnast Lily Smith, who qualified to nationals as an individual, to a 6th-place tie in the all-around. 

Georgia now invites LSU to hold its beer, as rumors swirl that they will hire Clark as top Gymdog once again. 

LSU slams the beer down, announcing that it will retain Clark and his assistant coaches (Garrett Griffeth, Courtney McCool Griffeth and Ashleigh Gnat) with new contracts and raises for all. 

Georgia repeatedly insists that a beer be held as the gymternet entertains coaching rumors. 

LSU holds a parade for its championship team, and the beer is back in Georgia’s stein. Ball sports who? 

Georgia forces the holding of the beer as it announces that it has promoted assistant coach Ryan Roberts to head coach alongside…Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, French Olympian, World Champions Centre program director, and otherwise known as one-half of Simone Biles’ coaching team with her husband Laurent. The announcement breaks the gymternet. 

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Must-click gym news

There’s MORE? 

College Gym News has a roundtable of its editors discussing the Georgia news. Full disclosure, I’m in it, but I think we made some solid points all around! CGN also has a newsier piece about the Georgia coaches

CGN also this week ran a story about all the coaches either due for a job glow-up or whose jobs are in danger. Spoiler alert: Ryan Roberts was one, Cecile Canqueteau-Landi was NOT. 

And we get the breakdown of NCAA nationals — the 2025 transfer tracker (now that the portal’s wide open); a piece on one notable transfer, Nya Kraus of Lindenwood; a feature championing Jay Clark as LSU’s leader; and, yes, finally, the nationals leotards.  

Watch the American Classic today! Streaming on FlipNow, and yes, you’ll have to pay for that. Juniors compete at 10:45 a.m. EDT and seniors at 2:45 p.m. EDT. 

Ondine Achampong has withdrawn from Great Britain’s European Championships team with what is reportedly a knee injury. She has been replaced by Abigail Martin. 

Five at The IX: Jay Clark, Haleigh Bryant, Aleah Finnegan and Kiya Johnson of LSU

This was the press conference after LSU’s first national title. Emotions were high and praise ran deep all around. 

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Written by Lela Moore