INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 10, 2017 – Roger Counsil, who served as executive director for USA Gymnastics (previously the United States Gymnastics Federation) from 1980 to 1983, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 8. Born on Jan. 11, 1935, Counsil was 82.
In addition to his role as executive director, Counsil was an accomplished gymnastics coach. He was the U.S. men’s coach at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships. In 1978, Kurt Thomas won the USA’s first men’s World gold medal (floor exercise). In 1979, the U.S. men took the men’s World team bronze, along with three gold, three silver and one bronze. Thomas collected the floor and horizontal bar golds, along with silver medals for the all-around, pommel horse and parallel bars. Bart Conner took the parallel bars title and the vault bronze. It represented the USA’s best showing at a World Championships with eight medals until 2005.
Counsil served as the ISU men’s head coach from 1963-80, producing 46 All-Americans and capturing the 1977 NCAA team title. Thomas was one of Counsil’s gymnasts at ISU.
An athlete himself, Counsil attended Southern Illinois University and competed in gymnastics, swimming and track and field. In 1957, he was the NAIA one-meter diving champion and ISU’s “Most Valuable Athlete.” He is a member of the Indiana State, Southern Illinois University Athletic Halls of Fame, as well as the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame.
Information regarding funeral arrangements is not currently available.