Japanese-born Mas Watanabe has been a guiding force for men’s gymnastics since he arrived in the United States in 1969.
In 1973, he wrote the compulsories for the U.S. Gymnastics Federation’s first Junior Olympic program. In 1977, he became USGF’s men’s program director and helped provide insight and education to the coaches and athletes in the USA.
After a brief return to Japan, he became USGF’s Men’s National Team Coordinator in 1988. He was on the Japanese Men’s National Team for five years and was the alternate for the 1966 World Championships, where Japan won the gold medal.
Watanabe also coached at Byers Gymnastics Center in Sacramento, Calif.