Lou Burkel Receives CGA Honorary Lifetime Membership Award
Jan. 29, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Former Air Force men's gymnastics head coach Lou Burkel was recently received an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from the College Gymnastics Association. Burkel, who spent 25 years as the head coach of the Air Force men's team (1980-84, 1987-2005), also spent seven years as the head coach of the Falcons' women's program.
Honorary Lifetime Membership in the CGA is awarded to select retired collegiate coaches with 10 or more years of active service in the association. Recipients are "entitled to the privilege of voice and vote in all CGA matters". He is one of just 68 former coaches to have been honored with a lifetime membership during the association's 58-year history. He joins Karl Schier (formerly Karl Schwenzfeier) as one of two Air Force coaches to claim that distinction.
Burkel accounted for tremendous success during his tenure at the Academy. He coaches two NCAA All-Americans, two Nissen-Emery finalists, seven USAG national champions and four WAC champions, while guiding the Falcons to 78 USAG All-America certificates.
During his time with the Falcons, Burkel was awarded three regional coach of the year awards, as well as two Western Athletic Conference coach of the year accolades. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the CGA Honor Coach distinction in 2006.
Burkel was active in collegiate gymnastics for over 30 years. He served two terms as vice president and president of the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (College Gymnastics Association). For 22 years he acted as chairman of the CGA All-America Awards Committee. He was also chairman of the NCAA Gymnastics Committee, where he served for eight years as a member and three years as chairman. In addition, Burkel served a member of the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors and as a member of the USAG Grievance Committee.
Burkel will be officially presented with the honor at the CGA Annual Awards Banquet, which will be held prior to the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.