March 26, 2023

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Remembering UNM legend and teacher Rusty Mitchell : UNM Newsroom

Remembering UNM legend and teacher Rusty Mitchell : UNM Newsroom

A memorial has been announced for beloved, previous College of New Mexico gymnastics coach and professor Rusty Mitchell. He handed away at age 80 at the finish of February.

Mitchell will be honored at Johnson Fitness center, a room he termed house for many years, on March 18 at 3 p.m.

Mitchell was instrumental in main UNM’s adult males gymnastics group to No. 1 rankings and a number of NCAA Championship, as well as 11 Western Athletic Convention titles. He also helped practice 16 NCAA champions and 53 All-American gymnasts. It’s a star-studded athletic legacy for the Lobos, from 1966 to 1999.

Professor and Coordinator of Workout Science Len Kravitz knew Miitchell for 50 decades. He was also just one of the numerous lives he touched, on the Lobo men gymnastics group.

“Rusty valued all his gymnasts. He wanted to make an impact on our lives in gymnastics, physical exercise, power and psychological toughness. He encouraged us to attempt to be the most effective that we could be,” he stated.

Though the software was ultimately cut from UNM, Mitchell managed his commitment to athletics and overall health at the college.

Rusty experienced a more substantial-than-daily life identity, and his gymnastic and coaching abilities have been legendary. In addition to what Rusty has carried out for each individual of us as our coach, we have listened to about the years of quite a few tales indicating how he also supported his crew associates in approaches that many others have been not mindful of at the time.  He has had a favourable influence on all that have experienced the honor of figuring out him,” previous UNM gymnast Tom Galiito claimed. 

He built a sturdy rapport amongst faculty, personnel and college students in the Office of Well being, Workout and Sporting activities Sciences.

Mitchell experienced a flawless resume when it arrived to mentoring the future era of learners and gymnasts. 

This was a male who performed the very first ever productive double back somersault, impressing thousands and thousands at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. His time at the Olympics continued as an Assistant Coach for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastic Team two times, whilst also foremost other male gymnast groups to victory at other earth competitions. His decorated document also consists of his have 10-time streak as an All-American and Southern Illinois University’s Most Exceptional Gymnast even though enrolled there.

“In this article is an example of Rusty’s really like for the sport and want to assist anyone intrigued in gymnastics. I was Rusty’s very first stroll-on gymnast when he very first arrived to UNM,” UNM alumnus Ray Mondragon mentioned. “Even while I had no gymnastic experience (only a PE class) he gave me a probability to try out for the group.  Due to the fact of Rusty, when I came to follow I in no way felt like I was not intended to be there. He gave me the same notice that he did all of his formal workforce customers. As a final result, I produced the crew and competed for 3 a long time.”

However, his time in the classroom was just as impactful as his time on the beam. It’s no exaggeration to say Mitchell was an icon.

“As a physical instruction instructor at UNM for 50 several years. Rusty appeared forward to likely to operate every working day recognizing that he could make a variance in a student’s personal existence as a result of gymnastics,” Kravitz said.

The Rusty Mitchell Memorial will be Saturday, March 18 at 3 p.m. Johnson Gym doors open at 2 p.m. A reception will also observe. If you just cannot make it, you can also enjoy his daily life and legacy at the
Albuquerque Sports Corridor of Fame, the UNM Alumni Lettermen’s Corridor of Honor and the Countrywide Gymnastics Corridor of Fame.

Rather of flowers, Mitchell’s loved ones wishes that donations be created to the Mentor Rusty Mitchell Endowed P.E. Trainer Scholarship.