The Nittany Gymnastics Team Coaching Staff
The Founder of NGT
Mike started coaching in the fall of 1973 at the Lancaster Gymnastics School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was also the assistant coach at Franklin & Marshall College. He coached at both places until graduating from F&M in the spring of 1977, and coached his first elite gymnast in 1976. He became assistant coach at Dartmouth College in 1978 and took over the head coach position in 1979. Was head coach for three years, and hosted the Ivy League Championships in 1981. In 1982 he became the head coach at Karon's Gymnastics Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and coached his next elite gymnasts at Karon's, along with 15 scholarship athletes. In 1985 he moved to Durham, North Carolina to become the owner and head coach of Triangle Twisters Gymnastics center. In 1986 he became a National Safety Certification Instructor for USA Gymnastics and has presented courses all across the country. He coached Junior Olympic National gymnasts and 8 scholarship athletes at Triangle before moving to State College in 1989 to become the owner and head coach of Nittany Gymnastics Academy, Inc. He has coached three Junior Olympic National Championship participants at Nittany and has coached 12 gymnasts who continued on to participate at the collegiate level.
Mike attended the University of North Carolina and received his teaching certificate in Secondary Social Studies. He also received a LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from Vermont Law School and a B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College. He is an active member of USA Gymnastics and is a National Instructor for the USA Gymnastics University. He assisted in publishing the Safety and Risk Management Text for USA Gymnastics. In 1985, Mike attended a gymnastics coaching seminar in Moscow, U.S.S.R. and has based his coaching system in large part based on what he learned.
Athletics has been a passion of Mike's all his life, as a participant and a coach. As an elite level athlete in Team Handball, Mike was selected as player and coach for the the US Olympic Committee National Olympic Festivals. He also was selected to attend the National (Olympic Team) tryouts and was a staff member of the LA Olympic Organizing Committee Team Handball Venue.
Gym Manager & Head Coach
Amy Adamek Riefel
Amy began gymnastics at Olympia Gymnastics in Pittsburgh at the age of 5. She continued her competitive gymnastics career throughout the Pittsburgh area and finally ended up at Westmoreland Highlanders Gymnastics until the age of 16 when injury forced her out of competition. Although unable to compete, Amy began teaching classes and eventually started working with the team. While Amy was a student at Penn State University, she began working at Nittany. In 2001, focusing on the recreational classes and the recreational team. In 2003, after graduating from Penn State University, Amy took a full time position as the head coach of the girl’s competitive program. Amy has been the head coach now for 8 years and has helped the program grow. She started our Hot Shot program, the first level of our non-competitive groups which lead into our nationally competitive team. Amy wants to share her passion of the sport with the young ladies that come into our program, as well as the community at large. She knows that the sport of gymnastics has taught her many life skills and wants to make sure that the gymnasts she coaches gain the same skills from this wonderful sport.
Amy received her B.A. in Communications from Penn State University in 2003. She is USAG Safety Certified, CPR & First Aid Certified, and attended USAG National Congress the past 7 years for education and training in the sport of competitive gymnastics. She also attended the High Performance Clinic in 2011 for coaches who have had level 10 national competitors.
Level 4, 6 & 7 Coach
Biography to come