GAT Life Members
2016 James Jeffers - has been blessed to be married to wife Robin for 27 years. He has two adult sons, Austin and Alex, a daughter-in-law Margaret, and soon to be daughter-in-law Kristin. Along with wife Robin, James has owned and operated J&R Gymnastics for over 26 years with locations in New Braunfels, Seguin, and San Marcos. His Finance degree from Texas A&M provided business training but his gymnastics training was learned on the job as he had no involvement in gymnastics growing up. The success of their gyms has enabled James to travel, hunt, fish, whitewater kayak, ski, scuba dive, and enjoy life in Texas and many different parts of the world. He actively serves his church and community with his time and resources. James has served the GAT board and its membership for 18 of the past 19 years. Starting out as GAT treasurer in 1996, he supported the education director’s recommended move to pay speakers market rates which has enabled GAT to continually attract the best presenters in the nation. Taking over exhibit hall duties in 2002 and continuing still today, James was able to increase vendor attendance by 25% and increase overall revenue by over 30%. These increased earnings have helped to keep membership registration fees low. As Chairman of GAT since 2005 he has had the privilege of working with a great team of people who provide outstanding education and meeting opportunities to our GAT members at a cost that cannot be rivaled. A great conference at a great value equals great attendance and the great attendance means all conference costs are covered. Due to great management ,we have been able to avoid a rate increase for the past 4 years. James’ business success is due in part to some disciplined financial practices but the larger success is due to the awesome well-educated staff that makes gymnastics fun to students in the communities they serve. His company annually brings 15 to 20 staff members to GAT because the power of education and the quality of learning that occurs each year at the GAT convention pays rich dividends. Not growing up in the sport, many of James’ early coaching skills were learned at GAT, and that education continues to this day. Elected 2016.
2015 - Lawrence “Larry” McDonough was an amazing man who was loved by so many people. His true passion was coaching young athletes in gymnastics. At one point in his life Larry coached the Australian National Gymnastics Team. He has had many accomplishments from working with young children all the way through to the advanced athletes. He was not only passionate about athletics, but investing in the lives of people. Larry lived his life to glorify Christ. He was an excellent loving father, husband and friend to all. Posthumously elected 2015.
2015 - Diane Callison - has served the gymnastics community for more than 35 years. During those years she has worked as administrative assistant, competition director and Texas State and Regional Chairperson. She has poured her heart into supporting the aspirations of the athletes, coaches, judge’s and club owners in Texas and the region. Under her leadership the athlete and coaches banquet increased from 250 to more than 1000 attendees. Another significant achievement during Diane’s tenure was the defeat of the Texas Senate bill that would have required all gymnastics clubs in Texas to become licensed childcare centers. Diane lead the charge to have the legislation changed to allow competitive gymnastics programs to be exempted from the rigid requirements, which are mandated for child care operators. Over the years, Diane has directed countless compulsory, state, regional championships, international competitions, as well as JO Nationals, many of the invitational competitions welcoming up to 2500 athletes. As a nationally rated judge she has officiated numerous competitions, including JO Championships. It is impossible to share all of the ways Diane has positively and deeply impacted the sport of gymnastics in our state and region. But more importantly she has been a friend, a supporter and an encourager to innumerable coaches, judges and athletes, club owners and parents that have themselves gone on to proudly represent the great state of Texas on the world and national stage. Elected 2015.
2015 - Annette RobertThomas, founder of Gym Kidsport in Georgetown, Texas began her gymnastics career at age 14 when she was inspired by Olga Corbit. She was coached by Rudy Magdaleno at the Tyler School of Gymnastics and she began coaching in 1981. She taught gymnastics at the Christian Athletic Camp Kanakuk in Branson, Missouri and she coached in Tyler, Texas. She went on to teach preschool through elite level athletes in Cheshire Connecticut at CATS Gymnastics before moving to Austin in 1987. She was employed at Capital Gymnastics, serving as Manager of five Capital facilities until 2003. Annette was the founding Director for the original Gymnastics Association of Texas Instructor Training Program covering preschool and recreational gymnastics topics in 1997. Her efforts led to the establishment of multiple Gymnastics Association of Texas’ Instructor Training Programs, two of which she co-authored: Instructor Training Program Preschool and Instructor Training Program Recreational. She has presented at the Gymnastics Association of Texas Conventions for over 20 years. Additionally,Sheistheco-authorfortheUSAGymnasticsHands-on Training Program (R103) for recreational gymnastics (HOTSA). Annette has served as a National Instructor for USA Gymnastics, presenting at state, regional and national congresses covering preschool, recreational and business topics. She served as one of the National Instructors for USA Gymnastics Kinder Accreditation for Teachers (KA T,) USA Gymnastics Movement Development and Lesson Plan Development (MELPD,) and currently serves as a National Instructor for the USA Gymnastics Preschool Fundamentals, Hands-on Training and the USA Gymnastics Hands-on Training for School-Aged (HOTSA) courses for preschool and recreational gymnastics. Annette was among the first group of coaches certified under the USA Gymnastics Kinder Accreditation for Teachers (KAT) program in 1996. She also holds certification in the Movement Education and Lesson Plan Development (MELPD) program and she has published multiple articles in Technique Magazine. She is a previous recipient of the Gymnastics Association of Texas Distinguished Service Award, and she was honored by USA Gymnastics as the 2015 National Instructor of the year. She attended the University of Texas and Texas Women’s University with emphasis in Physical Therapy. Annette has 3 children, Westin, Abbi, and Colin and two grandchildren.
2014 - Beth Gardner - Beth Gardner fell in love with gymnastics as a recreational gymnast at the age of 3. She is a 1983 graduate of Texas A&M, and has been owner of Heart of Texas Gymnastics in Temple since 1999. She has an extensive background specializing in preschool, recreational and special needs gymnastics. In addition to experience as a Preschool Director, coach and gym owner, Beth has been Director of the GAT Instructor Training Program (ITP) from its inception in 1999. She is the co-author for the USA Gymnastics Hands-on Training Program for recreational gymnastics; a co-author of the Preschool, Recreational and Brain & Body ITP programs. The Brain and Body program was adopted by USA Gymnastics as a national course in 2013. She has served as a presenter and board member for Gymnastics Association since 1998. Beth has been a national, international and private clinician since 1997. She has served as a National Instructor for USA Gymnastics, presenting at state, regional and national congresses and served as one of the National Instructors for USA Gymnastics Kinder Accreditation for Teachers (KAT,) USA Gymnastics Movement Development and Lesson Plan Development (MELPD,) and currently serves as a National Instructor for the USA Gymnastics Preschool Fundamentals, Hands-on Training and the USA Gymnastics Hands-on Training for School-Aged courses for preschool and recreational gymnastics, and the USA Gymnastics Brain and Body course. Her articles have appeared nationally and internationally in Technique magazine, The Gym Press, GymSmarts online and Gym Momentum online. She has compiled her lesson plans and coaching philosophies in numerous books and DVD’s. Beth has served on the USA Gymnastics Preschool Advisory Board as well as the USA Gymnastics Safety Review Board. She is also a founding Board Member for Movement Matters International, a consortium dedicated to research and development of the effects of movement in improving the lives of those who live with disabilities and helping to establish special needs gymnastics programs throughout North America. She also served as a state congressional witness for the gymnastics community in 2009. Her child-first philosophy and a skill-based curriculum, emphasizing education through creative techniques in a safety-oriented, fun and loving environment have proven effective in building dynamic and highly successful preschool gymnastics and mobile gym-bus programs. Her background also includes volunteering and coaching children and adults with special needs within her program as well as through Special Olympics, Discover Fitness Foundation and other private organizations. Her newest passion is for researching ways to address special needs in the gymnastics environment and utilizing gymnastics to affect positive changes for those with disabilities. Beth’s awards include the GAT Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and 2007 and she is listed as one of the 2005 Remarkable Woman Awards from ABC Television “The View” for her dedication and contributions to the development of the sport of gymnastics and helping others to overcome personal difficulties. She most recently received the 2014 All Star Recognition from Temple Education Foundation for outstanding service. Beth is the mother of three children, Robert, Daniel and Melissa.
2013 - Cori Rizo - Cori arrived in Texas in 1983 and was immediately active as a judge and clinician. Cori became the USAG Women’s State Chair in 1992, and served in that office until 1998. As state chair, she invented the “blue book” and also started the athlete banquet. Another major accomplishment was getting permission to split the level 5, 8-11 age group into 3 age groups, thus eliminating 3 sessions of one age group and allowing many more gold and silver medalists. Cori took the office of USAG Women’s Regional Chair in 1998, and in 2012 she moved up to the USAG National Administrative Committee Chair. She has organized numerous regional meets, training camps, and clinics over the past 15 years – many of them in Texas. In all USAG positions, Cori was a pioneer in online communication via websites and email. Cori still judges numerous competitions and continues to share her expertise as a clinician at GAT and other judges’ clinics. Recently she has been volunteering as a reporter for IG Magazine, giving Facebook updates during competitions – including the 2009 World Championships in London and several Championships of the USA.
2012 - Mark Sherman - Mark Sherman, Dallas TX: Mark left New York and came to Texas where he graduated from The University of Texas-Austin with a BS in Education in 1979 and later earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling from North Texas in 1994. He coached gymnastics at Austin Reagan High School from 1979 to 1981 and has been varsity gymnastics coach at Highland Park High School since 1981. Mark teaches technology, has chaired the Technology Department for 10 years, and is the director of the Highland Park age group gymnastics program. He has hosted fourteen Regional and one State Gymnastics Championships, and had been USAG Men’s National Apparatus Leader for four years. He has served Governing Boards for Texas High School Gymnastics Association (25+ years) Texas Gymnastics Judges Association (16 years) and the National Judges Association (12 years) and created the first Texas Gymnastics Judges Association Assignment Website. When it comes to judging, in addition to judging high school and age group competition in Texas, Mark has judged National and International championships: five U.S. Olympic Trials, seventeen USA Championships, three American Cups and has judged international competitions in Russia, Japan, Canada, Puerto Rico. And if this doesn’t keep him busy, he has been a speaker at GAT over 12 years and has been a lecturer at the USAG National Coaching Congress. Mark tells us that his main interests are his two daughters, Macy and Bailey, and a little golf, a little golf, and a little golf.
2011 - Kevin Mazeika - Mazeika, a native of Houston, began coaching men’s gymnastics in 1984 and has served on the National Team Coaching Staff since 1988. He has coached at more than 35 international competitions and has been head or assistant coach at 15 international team events. While he was serving as head coach, the U.S. Men’s Team recorded some of the USA’s most successful performances in recent history. For the first time, the U.S. men won team medals in back-to-back Olympic Games – silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008, representing the U.S. men’s best Olympic team finishes since they won the team gold medal in 1984. 2004 was the men’s first team medal in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1932. Mazeika also was the head coach for the 2007, 2003 and 2001 World Championships Team. The U.S. men earned the team silver medal at both the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. Prior to 2001, the men had not won a world team medal since 1979. Mazeika, who was named the U.S. men’s national team coordinator in December 2009, was the men’s program manager at the Houston Gymnastics Academy and owner of Mazeika's Elite Gymnastics. He was the personal coach of two Olympians, seven World Championship team members, a world champion, nine World Cup medalists, 52 national team members and 33 national champions. Mazeika is married and has two daughters.
2011 - Frank Kudlac - Frank, a native of Binghamton, New York, was born into a family with a rich history and appreciation for the sport of gymnastics … grandfather, father, mother, sister … all excelled in gymnastics. As a youngster he started his gymnastics through SOKOL. He attended West Chester University (PA) where he competed as an all-arounder and was team captain his senior year. The West Chester Rams were conference champions the first three years of Kudlac’s career and finished as conference runner-up his senior year. He graduated in 1978 with a B.S degree in P.E. He moved to Denton in 1978, entered graduate school at TWU and earned his Master’s Degree in 1981. During those graduate years he started a club gymnastics team with seven women recruited from his classes and on campus. He quickly nurtured this group into a varsity squad in 1980, and has successfully built it into a nine-time USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Champion and two-time Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) champion. He has coached numerous USAG Individual National Champions, All-Americans, Academic All-American, and NCAA Post Graduate Scholars. He is a nine-time NCAA Division II Coach of the Year. In addition to teaching in the department of Kinesiology at TWU Frank also owns and manages Achievers Gymnastics Center, a private gym in Denton. In 1994 he added international experience to his resume when he served as an assistant coach at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. Frank was inducted into the West Chester University Athletic Hall of Fame on February 16, 2008. After coaching 33 years at Texas Woman’s University, Frank retired in May of 2011. Elected 2011.
2010 - Jodie Trncak - We are very pleased to honor Mrs. Jodie Trncak as an Honorary Life Member for her accomplishments in gymnastics. For 38 years Jodie has created and led gymnastic programs, including internationally recognized performance teams. Her contributions are wide-ranging, but they all emanate from a true passion for mentoring young gymnasts; a passion which Jodie attributes to her mother, who was a Hall of Fame legend in Fast Pitch Softball. Jodie applied her Bachelor of Arts in Teaching (with a minor in Art) in building a gymnastics program for the Ft. Bend School district in 1972, where she taught for 5 years. It was there that she recognized her calling to gymnastics and became a coach to Katy Kips and Gizi‟s, then finally at Biron‟s Gymnastics where she has been for more than 25 years. She dedicated herself to developing the athletic and character potential of every young athlete that came through her door, and was rewarded with the gratitude of generations of women, some of whom became professional athletes, performers, or coaches. Jodie is a competitor, coached elite level athletes, and accumulated many artistic gymnastics competition titles, particularly in Floor Exercise. Her passion for excellence was evident in her enthusiastic coaching style, which led USGF judge Pat Etheridge to remark that Jodie‟s sideline coaching was as remarkable as her routines. Jodie became a USGF judge also, and credits her mentors Jennifer Host, Carol Hillenburg, and Pat Etheridge in that role. Jodie has also been a GAT clinician for 14 years and has served on the GAT board. For the past fifteen years, Jodie has served as the Head Coach and Choreographer for the Show Team of Houston at Biron Gymnastics. Jodie has led the Show Team to numerous National TeamGym titles and is recognized as an international level choreographer. Under her direction the Show Team has represented the USA Gymnastics in the past three World Gymnaestradas. In 2003, the Show Team was selected to perform in the most prestigious performance of the Gymnaestradas, the “FIG GALA”. In 2007, the team performed for standing room only crowds and received the highest accolades from the spectators as well as the international gymnastics officials. The Show Team has again been selected to perform in the “FIG GALA” at the 2011 World Gymnaestrada in Lausanne, Switzerland. Jodie Trncak has influenced countless coaches and gymnasts with her expertise and deep passion for the sport. Her greatest pride is watching girls transform into disciplined, artistic, athletic, community-minded young women of strong character. Ms. Jodie, we are pleased to recognize you with our 2010 Honorary Life Member Award! She dedicated herself to developing the athletic and character potential of every young athlete that came through her door, and was rewarded with the gratitude of generations of women, some of whom became professional athletes, performers, or coaches.Jodie is a competitor, coached elite level athletes, and accumulated many artistic gymnastics competition titles, particularly in Floor Exercise. Her passion for excellence was evident in her enthusiastic coaching style, which led USGF judge Pat Etheridge to remark that Jodie‟s sideline coaching was as remarkable as her routines. Jodie became a USGF judge also, and credits her mentors Jennifer Host, Carol Hillenburg, and Pat Etheridge in that role. Jodie has also been a GAT clinician for 14 years and has served on the GAT board.For the past fifteen years, Jodie has served as the Head Coach and Choreographer for the Show Team of Houston at Biron Gymnastics. Jodie has led the Show Team to numerous National TeamGym titles and is recognized as an international level choreographer. Under her direction the Show Team has represented the USA Gymnastics in the past three World Gymnaestradas. In 2003, the Show Team was selected to perform in the most prestigious performance of the Gymnaestradas, the “FIG GALA”. In 2007, the team performed for standing room only crowds and received the highest accolades from the spectators as well as the international gymnastics officials. The Show Team has again been selected to perform in the “FIG GALA” at the 2011 World Gymnaestrada in Lausanne, Switzerland. Jodie Trncak has influenced countless coaches and gymnasts with her expertise and deep passion for the sport. Her greatest pride is watching girls transform into disciplined, artistic, athletic, community-minded young women of strong character. Ms. Jodie, we are pleased to recognize you with our 2010 Honorary Life Member Award!
2010 - Lorna Spellman - Interest in gymnastics started when Lorna was quite young. Her fa-ther, who is her inspiration in life, was a gymnast … he always taught her fun tricks. He coached at Bemidji State College with, among oth-ers, Larry Griswald who worked with George Nissan to invent the trampoline. The seed for teaching and coaching was planted during college, but after a short stint there, she left school to travel with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus. There she performed a 35 foot high dive, did aerial work, and rode the elephants. She opened her first gymnastics school in Morgan City, Louisiana be-fore retiring to Boerne to raise her family. It wasn‟t long before she found herself coaching again. Those few classes soon developed in Fan-tastic Gymnastics and in 1991, a new permanent facility was built and the name was changed to Boerne Gymnastics Center. Her greatest joy is to have former students come in to sign up their children for classes, desiring for them the benefits they gained from the sport.
Full List Of Life Members:
Ginger Arons - San Angelo, TX - Elected 1988
Jamille "Jay" Ashmore - Plano TX - Elected 1979
Nadeane Barber (Deceased, 1982) - Refugio, TX - Elected 1974
Gerald Bartosh - Houston, TX - Elected 1991
Tammy Biggs – Elected 2006
Beau Biron Houston, TX - firstname.lastname@example.org - Elected 1987
Billy Booth - Dallas TX - Elected 1998
Dr. Edsel Buchanan - Omaha NB - Elected 1981
Nard Cazzell (Deceased, 1999) - Amarillo TX - Elected 1971
Dr. William Cornelius - Denton TX - Elected 1995
Robert Cowan - Carmel IN - Elected 1984
Bee Crenshaw - Elgin TX - Elected 1987
Dr. W.A. "Bill" Crenshaw (Deceased, 1996) - Elgin TX - Elected 1968
Scott Crouse – Elected 2008
Ralph Dykeman (Deceased, 1986) - Amarillo TX - Elected 1969
Gil Elsass - Austin TX - Elected 1999
Tim Erwin – Elected 2005
Pat Ethredge – Elected 2005
Bob Finch - Spring TX - Elected 1989
Bill Foster – Elected 2006
Lester "Griff" Griffin (Deceased, 1977) - Dallas TX - Elected 1970
Brandy Haney - Round Rock TX 2002
Jeanette Hawkins - Mc Allen TX - Elected 1977
Fillmore "Fill" Hendrix - Austin TX - Elected 1980
Walter Hosek (Deceased, 2004) - Dallas TX - Elected 1972
Avis Tieber Jamieson - Carrollton TX - Elected 1989
Cheryl Jarrett - Round Rock TX - Elected 1996
Jim “Jimbo” Jarrett - Round Rock TX 2001
Frank Kudlac – Elected 2011
Gregg Larimer – Elected 2007
Rudy Magdaleno (Deceased, 2001) - Alvin TX - Elected 1997
Bettye Martin - Parker TX - Elected 1986
Kevin Mazeika – Elected 2011
Jim McKinney - Abilene, TX - Elected 1992
Emil J Milan - Hurst TX - Elected 1976
Jerry Milan - Fort Worth TX - Elected 1976
Rome Milan - Elected 2009
Martha Mitchell - Odessa TX - Elected 1990
Kevin Muenz – Elected 2008
Dr. Garland O'Quinn - El Paso TX - Elected 1983
Michael "Mike" Osborn - Abilene, TX - Elected 1995
Ralph Reeves Richardson TX - Elected 1981
Cori Rizo – Elected 2013
Bob Sanderson - Abilene, TX - Elected 1998
Brian Schenk - Austin TX - Elected 1978
Dr. Darlene Schmidt - San Marcos TX - Elected 1982
Mark Sherman – Elected 2012
E. A. "Pop" Snapp (Deceased, 1981) - Houston, TX - Elected 1973
Lorna Spellman – Elected 2010
Alan Streeter – (Deceased, 2005) Elected 2007 (posthumously)
Sandy Streeter - Dallas TX - Elected 1993
Charles Teas - Corpus Christi TX - Elected 1994
Jack Tillinghast Kanab UT - Elected 1990
Jodie Trncak – Elected 2010
William "Bill" Valentine - Terlingua TX - Elected 1985
Todd Vesely – Elected 2009
James White (Deceased, 1997) - Bedford TX - Elected 1985
Debbie Williams - Bedford TX 2003
Mark Williams - Bedford TX 2004
Bill Willis - Dallas TX - Elected 1980
Marcus Yancey - Pflugerville TX 2000
Nikki Yeager LaBelle - FL - Elected 1991
Patrick "Pat" Yeager (Deceased, 1994) - Naples FL - Elected 1975
Ben Zickefoose - Abilene, TX - Elected 1988