Lance Crowley dies at age 74
posted on 12/16/2014

Lance Crowley, a respected U.S. coach and club owner of Crowley's Gymnastics Center, died on Nov. 24 in Boulder City, Nev., at the age of 74.

Crowley built Crowley's Gymnastics Center in Oakdale, Minn., in 1981 and coached many gymnasts who went on to compete in collegiate gymnastics, including Jenny Hansen who competed at the University of Kentucky where she won three National Collegiate All-Around titles. Crowley put an emphasis on making sure his athletes focused on their personal development and education, as well as their gymnastics skills.

Crowley worked very closely with the United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs (USAIGC), where he served as president for a number of years. This was a very important time for the development of the club industry in the USA, which today is the primary system that develops and supports the sport nationwide. As the representative of the USAIGC, he served on the Board of Directors of USA Gymnastics (then known as the U.S. Gymnastics Federation) through the 1980s-1990s.

In addition to coaching, Crowley worked very closely with Jackie Fie, who was the president of the Women's Technical Committee of the FIG, in publishing the first electronic Code of Points, first in English and then in Spanish. Eventually electronic codes were published in French, German and Russian as well. In the early 1990s, Crowley also helped develop software for computerized WTC Judges’ Test Scoring, which calculated the test results from women’s gymnastics judge’s courses on the intercontinental, international and national levels. He also created the software computer model for the WTC’s “Judges Objectivity Evaluation” program and implemented this evaluation in real time on the floor of the World Championships and the Olympic Games over a 14-year period. This program evaluated the judges’ scores compared to corresponding rankings, which helped guarantee objectivity and fairness in the judging process and in the placement of individuals and teams.

Crowley went to Hamline University and the University of Minnesota. For 36 years, he worked for 3M, a global business leader in innovation and technology. In the mid-1970s, AMF American was developing the first fiberglass uneven bar rail, and through his employment at 3M, he helped find an adhesive that would keep the wood veneer permanently attached to the glass surface. The fiberglass rail is a standard in the sport. He and his wife Jan received the University of Minnesota Hall of Fame Service Award.

He is survived by his wife, Jan Jurney Crowley, along with other family members. No services are scheduled.