GAT Life Members
2018 John Basel - John wasn’t born in Texas but he got here as fast as he could. Born in Buffalo, New York John started gymnastics at the age of nine at the local YMCA in 1966, the same year that GAT started educating coaches in Texas. In high school John was the pommel horse champion and upon graduation he began his coaching and judging careers. While competing in college at the State University of New York, John coached at the Buffalo Turners and was President of the local men’s Gymnastics Judges Association.
Since earning his MBA and moving to Houston in 1981, he has served in many capacities. Initially he coached boys’ classes and teams for Culhane’s, Niemand’s and Cypress Academy while working in the banking industry. Later, in October of 1992, he opened his own gym now in its 26th year.
In 2000 John added Trampoline and Tumbling to his gym and began a coaching and judging career in that discipline. Cheerleading was also a big part of his gym and John became involved with coaching and judging in these disciplines as well –plus served as President of the All-Star Cheerleading Association of Texas for two years. He served as a men’s judge from 1984 through 2013 including 20 years as an FIG brevet and was twice named Men’s Texas Gymnastics Judge of the Year. He judged J.O. Nationals three times, Collegiate Nationals three times, High School Nationals once, several NCAA meets, and a Junior Pan American Meet. His athletes included many National qualifiers in gymnastics and Trampoline and Tumbling. Two of his athletes were men’s Junior National Team members and one, Brian Yee, went on to become the alternate to the 1995 World Championships team. In Trampoline and Tumbling he has had 17 Junior National Champions.
John no longer coaches or judges but enjoys giving back to the community that has been so good to him. John has been the GAT Financial Advisor since 2000 as well as a frequent lecturer. He coordinated the collection and distribution of funds raised by GAT to assist Texas gyms in recovering Hurricane Harvey. He is currently active on various boards and associations in his area, is a former adjunct professor at Lone Star College, a former news reporter and talk show host at KPFT radio in Houston, and a former precinct chair.
John’s two children, Kristen and Justin were both competitive gymnasts. Justin now lives in the Chicago area and Kristen is now working full time at the gym. John and his wife, Dawn, live in Spring just north of Houston.
2017 Hideo "Mizo" Mizoguchi - “Coach Mizo”, as he is known throughout the gymnastics community, competed in the Japanese Elite Program in the early ‘70s before coming to the United States in 1974. He attended graduate school at the University of Oregon while assisting the Oregon Men’s Gymnastics Team. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Chukyo University in Japan and a master’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Oregon.
In 1977, Coach Mizo started a Junior Boys Program at the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics in Eugene, Oregon. In 1979, he joined the Junior Olympic National Team program as a member of the Junior National Coaching Staff. Of the original members of the Jr. National Coaching Staff, Mizo is one of the few still actively involved in coaching the Junior Olympic Boys Program. While in Oregon, he served as Regional 2 Chairman from 1979 – 1983.
In 1984, Coach Mizo was selected from among the members of the junior coaching staff to step into the position of USA Gymnastics Junior National Technical Director, replacing his mentor, Mr. Watanbe who had returned to Japan. He served as the USA Gymnastics Junior Technical Director under the leadership of Mr. Robert Cowan, the men’s program director, until 1994. During this 10-year period, he also served as the Chairman of the Junior National Coaching Staff, the Chairman of the Age Group Competition Committee, the assistant of Educational Project for the FIG, under Mr. Bill Roetzhiem, and served as a Delegation Leader to several countries for international competitions.
While working at the USAG Home Office in Indianapolis, Indiana as the Junior Men’s Technical Director, he married Kellie Kavanagh in 1988. They have a son, Tyler, now 27 years old.
The family moved to Houston in 1994 where Hideo directed the newly built Brown’s Gymnastics. In 1996, he and Kellie opened their own gymnastics facility – Champion Gymnastics Academy in Houston. They moved the business to Katy in 2005 and have been running a very successful gym for the last 20 years. In 2014, they built a 30,000-sq. ft. training facility in Richmond, Texas with a new business name – Fun & Fitness Gymnastics.
Mizo is a regular speaker and lecturer at many of the regional and national events including GAT, Future Stars and Regional and National Clinics throughout the country. Today he continues to impact young gymnasts’ lives with the experience and wealth of knowledge that he has in gymnastics.
2017 Mike Spiller -“As a boy, I was always tumbling around Austin with an occasional trip to Crenshaw’s gym to jump tramp. I moved to Houston as a young teen and became a member of Bartosch Bounders Gymnastics Team in Bellaire, Texas. A couple of my teammates at the time were Beau Biron, Charlie Teas and, of course, Gerald Bartosch. We did Clown Diving and local parades. Later, I moved to Austin continued to tumble and trampoline during my high school years with Gerald Bartosch.
My military duty from 68 to 72 / USMC – Marines took me on one tour in Vietnam. I was the only US serviceman to build a trampoline in a combat zone – Marble Mountain, Vietnam 1970. Soon after getting out of the service, I took a full-time job at the Laguna Beach Boys Club as the Program Director for Fitness and Sport, and started a tumbling and gymnastics program there. I got married, and went on to coach gymnastics at the Vista Parks and Recreation Department and the Vista Boys Club.
I returned to Houston and in 1976 Gerald and I opened Gym-an-I Gymnastics in North Houston. Some of the coaches there were Ann Paschal Rangle, Rick Newman, Jim and Cheryl Jarrett, Jim Culhane, and Jeff Martin.
I later went to Switzerland and began to coach the Jr. National team there in the Luzern area with Lilo and Stephan Oberli. Many of the girls I trained made the 1985 World Championship Team in Montreal. After Switzerland, I took a head-coaching position at Santa Fe Gymnastics in New Mexico with Glenn and Betty Herring. I stayed there for a while and then took a job as head-coach on the Big Island of Hawaii with the Waimea Gymnastics Club. It was here on the Big Island that my “Games of the World” business took root.
After I left the Big Island, I came back to Texas where I continued doing workshops and trainings with schools, YMCAs, Boy and Girls Clubs, Experiential Learning groups, Day Care programs and the like. My Games of the World business eventually lead into Summer Camp Counselor Trainings. I have been presenting these trainings for over 20 years now and they seem to be very well received.
My current project is what I call my Stackrobats or Gym Stackers. I still do a lot of training, but find time to make these little, wooden stacking gymnasts for all to play with. I like to think that at one time I made good gymnasts while coaching and now I’m still making fun gymnasts at the age of 67.
It has been my joy to be a part of the Texas gymnastics family for the last 57 years. I have made so many life-long friends in this sport. My life has been enhanced due to gymnastics and if I had it all to do again – yes I would change a few things, but for the most part, I would do it all over again.”
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.
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
Diane Callison - Elected 2015
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
Beth Gardner - Elected 2014
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
James Jeffers - Elected 2016
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
Lawrence "Larry" McDonough - Elected 2015
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
Hideo "Mizo" Mizoguchi - Elected 2017
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
Mike Spiller - Elected 2017
Alan Streeter – (Deceased, 2005) Elected 2007 (posthumously)
Sandy Streeter - Dallas TX - Elected 1993
Charles Teas - Corpus Christi TX - Elected 1994
Annette Robert Thomas - Elected 2015
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