Sunday, December 23, 2007

U of Iowa Gymnastics team 1977

Getting an email from my college gymnastics coach the other day inspired me to dig out old photos of my team.That's Neil Schmitt, in black, on the right.I'm kneeling in the second row on the right.It says he was the assistant coach but he was really the Head Coach and what a great coach, and gymnast, he was.He could always demonstrate everything he wanted us to do, better than we could, and without a doubt is the greatest spotter I have ever known or seen.I have no doubt if Neil had been my High School coach I never would have crashed on the trick that blew out my knee.

Here's the photo from the day I got my cast off my knee in 1974 and we were shooting the All City awards picture.I was not ready at all for what my knee and leg were going to look like and I was not a happy camper at all. Thats Kurt Thomas to my right.

4 comments:

Joe Sarti said...

Wow! That is awesome and what a great reflection. How special to have a coach like that and I see where you get it from. Thanks Neil.

Mark Reifkind said...

Joe,

Neil rocked.I just wish we would have had the sports medicine then that we do now.

leah said...

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pommels said...

I live in Colorado and judge with Neil, first met him in the early 80's when he would drop into our gym in Loveland. He is as high quality, gracious and kind as anyone you can meet. His influence is immeasurable! Loved the article, i had seen some stories about the 69 championship team, and heard of the way Neil is thought of in Iowa, but this brings it home!