“I am really excited to have Sam take on her new role as assistant head coach,” head coach Cook said. “She is an outstanding coach and person. This past season, she coached Katherine Grable to our first national title on the floor and she is has a bright future for coaching in our program. I am very excited to have Sam gain that respect and accolade.”
Cortez has spent the past three seasons in Fayetteville as an assistant and primary coach on floor and choreography. Prior to that she served as the director of gymnastics operations for two seasons and was a four year letterman for the Razorbacks from 2005-08.
“I am so honored to be named assistant head coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks gymnastics team,” Cortez said. “Mark and Rene have built an amazing program and I am so excited to continue to build on their success. I have been a part of the Razorbacks gymnastics legacy from its early stages and have seen this program flourish into a nationally ranked team. I am very eager to work with head coach Mark Cook and our new assistant coach Jaime Pisani to bring this team to new heights.”
Cortez will take over coaching duties on the beam and continue to assist on the floor as well as choreograph all of the floor routines in her new role. She will also continue to assist on the floor and take on new administrative responsibilities for the team.
Cortez has been a part of many firsts for the Razorback program. She competed for the first team that qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2006 and last season she helped lead All-American Katherine Grable to the program’s first and second individual NCAA National Championships on the vault and the floor.