During her 20 years as the head girls gymnastics coach at Yorktown High School, Joanne Price and her Patriots compiled an impressive resume of accomplishments.
Yorktown won district, region and invitational championships under Price, and competed in the Virginia High School League’s state competitions. Her teams were always among the best in the district and region, with gymnasts who placed high in individual events.
Price stepped down in recent weeks after two decades at the helm.
“After coaching Yorktown gymnastics for 20 years it was a tough decision to leave,” Price said. “I had decided during the season last year that it would be my last. It seemed like the right time and a chapter was closing. But I didn’t want to mention it or make a big deal of it and shift any focus from my team and their successes.”
Price was so well regarded at her craft that she was chosen as the 2004 high-school Coach of the Year by the Better Sports Club of Arlington. She was the first female coach in the history of the club to receive that honor.
As coach, she helped return the girls program to its prominence as one of the area’s top teams.
“I felt, back then when I became the coach, the girls needed something stable and good,” Price said.
Price graduated from Yorktown in 1995 and was on the school’s gymnastic team that had four different head coaches in as many seasons. Some she remembers, while enthusiastic, were not particularly qualified. When Price eventually became the head coach herself in 1999, her goal was to build a stable, strong and consistent program. She believes that was accomplished.
“While the Yorktown gymnastics team has had some wonderful success over the past few years, and we have won several titles both at the district and regional level, I have learned that a successful season isn’t always determined by your record,” Price said. “Success is about connecting with athletes, helping them to reach their goals, teaching them how to support one another, and leading by example so that these young women develop a strong sense of self and a high moral compass.”
Price – whose father, Jim, was the longtime boys basketball coach and later the director of student activities at Yorktown and hired his daughter as the gymnastics coach – will be succeeded as head coach by her assistant Jessie Everett, a former Yorktown gymnast. She was coached by Price, then worked as her assistant for seven seasons.
“Jessie is an excellent coach and she is so qualified to be the head coach at Yorktown,” Price said. “She will do a fantastic job.”