Long time rhythmic coach Jody Lyn Hurlburt passes away
posted on 05/13/2009

Jody Lyn Hurlburt, age 52, passed peacefully at home on April 29th, 2009 surrounded by her family after a year long battle with cancer.

Jody attended Ayers elementary and graduated from Clayton Valley High School in Concord CA. in 1974. She then attended Diablo Valley Junior College where she competed in Artistic Gymnastics. In 1977 Jody transferred to Humboldt State University and competed on Humboldt’s short lived gymnastics team. Somewhere in the archives of the Humboldt gym there is a gymnastic trophy she won, for a long while it was in the lobby of the old basketball gym. It was at Humboldt were she first met her husband to be, Glenn, looking for girls to play on an indoor soccer team. Jody graduated from Humboldt in 1978 with a degree in physical education.

Jody’s love of gymnastics and teaching started at an early age and she brought those skills to Humboldt County where she began her gymnastics career. She started teaching gymnastic classes for the city of Arcata in 1978 at the Judo Hut and stayed for 10 yrs until she started her own program, Redwood Rhythmic Gymnastic, which she ran for the last 20 yrs. During this period she taught hundreds of children the skills and discipline it takes to participate in sports. Her competitive teams traveled all over the United States competing in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

She became very active in the USA rhythmic gymnastics program and was the Region 1 Director for 10 yrs where she played an important role in shaping the sport in the United States at the Junior Olympic level.

With her own program, Jody was committed to engaging with the local community in many ways, through workshops in elementary schools, performances at venues from parades to basketball halftimes, and engagement with the larger gymnastics and dance community in Humboldt County. She encouraged her own gymnasts to maintain their commitment to rhythmic gymnastics through not only competition, but coaching, judging, and performance as well. While she pushed people hard to do their best - whether her gymnasts, those she worked with at meets and the annual summer camp she organized, or other coaches and judges - she always emphasized teamwork and enjoyment of the sport as the most important aspects of the rhythmic experience. She was committed to making rhythmic gymnastics in the United States a success in every way possible and worked tirelessly to ensure that gymnasts' needs and interests were being met. She was an incredibly supportive, encouraging, and enthusiastic coach, judge, and member of the gymnastics community, and she will be missed.