Co-owner / Team Director
An accomplished martial artist, dancer, and weight lifter, Richard, began gymnastics during High School in Chicago, IL. While he quickly excelled in gymnastics, he was trained to instruct. The next year he developed, competed for, and coached his championship winning high school team and earned the “Athletic Excellence” award.
After a couple years of competing and coaching, he moved to South Florida to be closer to family. While there, he apprenticed under a coach / judge at a city program and later helped him organize and manage a small gym which later expanded to two larger facilities. While teaching in the Broward School system, within one year he increased gymnastics enrollment 1000%, and simultaneously ran a successful mobile gymnastics program. During this time, he became one of the youngest ever Internationally certified gymnastics judges. During that time, Richard was instrumental in developing the first modern Tumbling & Trampoline competitive program in Florida.
As a coach, Richard produced national champions in men’s and women’s gymnastics as well as trampoline & tumbling, and was one of the very few people in the country certified to judge all 3 disciplines. He coached / judged National, World, and Olympic Champions. He lectured at many clinics, workshops and camps, and was a consultant to gyms. He also worked professionally as a dancer, as well as an acrobat and stuntman in the summers (including Cypress Gardens, and Indiana Jones) and he was one of the main dancers and the acrobatic choreographer for the Superbowl XXIII halftime show. Additionally, while association chairman for AAU, he organized the first “Prep Optional” gymnastics competition program in Florida. He studied business at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and in 1991, was listed in the “Who’s Who of Gymnastics”.
After several years in South Florida, Richard moved to Central Florida where he continued teaching for several more years, helping to establish the Metro and Broadway Gymnastics gyms as national caliber programs. Then, for 5 years, while coaching in Polk County, he produced several more State champion teams and National champions. During that time, while serving as State chairman for “USAIGC” (USA Independent Gymnastics Clubs), his team earned Polk County’s “Superstar Award” and one of his athletes earned Polk County’s first ever “Female Amateur Athlete of the Year” award. Richard’s creativity and attention to technique allowed his athletes to invent several high level gymnastics maneuvers.
Richard’s wealth of knowledge, and love for gymnastics, has allowed him to create a program that is conducive to children of all shapes and sizes safely reaching their fullest athletic potential, regardless of natural ability. In 2003, Richard began FLORIDA GYMMASTERS. It is the only Polk County program to ever have a female gymnast compete at the USAG Level 10 (highest level) National Championships. In 2007, GymMasters had Florida’s largest competing T&T team. GymMasters’ athletes won over 70 State, Regional, and National Championship 1st place titles in 2007. GymMasters currently has Florida’s only AAU T&T National Team member and USTA Stars of Tomorrow National Team members.
Richard began the T&T team in 2008. Since then, every year, they have earned more State, Regional and National Championships 1st place titles than any other team in Florida (129 in 2010). He has the first two athletes from Florida to ever make the USTA Elite National Team and they were also the only two athletes in Florida to compete in International T&T competition. He also has the first Florida girl ever to qualify to the “Olympic Development Program” (ODP) National Team. This season will be the 4th year in a row hosting the Florida State Championships.
Co-Owner / Marketing Director
John began his athletic career as a middle distance runner. The 1996 Olympics inspired him to take on gymnastics as an athlete. He attended college to study Aerospace Engineering. During college he transitioned into the position of gymnastics instructor.
Working at several well known gyms while attending school, he attended numerous coaching certification/ clinics and worked with and assisted numerous top coaches. During over 11 years of coaching, John has coached Gymnastics and T&T and has worked with all levels ranging from preschool through competitive.