Jeff Hennessy

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Jeff Hennessy
Born (1929-10-27)October 27, 1929
Ancón, Panama
Died March 24, 2015(2015-03-24) (aged 85)
Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Occupation Associate Professor of Physical Education, University of Southwestern Louisiana (1959–86)
Known for United States trampolining team coach (1964–80)

Jefferson T. Hennessy, Sr.[1] (October 27, 1929 – March 24, 2015) was the United States trampolining team coach from 1964 to 1980. During this period, he coached more trampoline and double mini-tramp world and national champions than any other person in the United States. In total, his athletes were awarded 26 world championship medals and numerous national and regional titles and medals.


Hennessy was born in Ancón, Panama, where he lived with his family until the age of 12, before they moved to Monroe, Louisiana.[2] He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University and went on to be an associate professor of physical education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Lafayette, Louisiana (then named the University of Southwestern Louisiana) from 1959 to 1986, as well as the director of the university’s gymnastics and trampoline programs.

As a coach, he led the U.S. team to World Championships in the 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1978, and 1980. He was also the U.S. team coach for the Ennia Gold Cup Championships in the Netherlands in 1981, as well as tours of South Africa in 1969, 1974, 1979, and 1981; the Soviet Union in 1974 (first U.S. team to complete in the Soviet Union) and 1977; and Germany in 1974.

The University of Southwestern Louisiana gymnastics team was undefeated in 1960 and 1961. The trampoline team was National AAU Trampoline Team Champions from 1964 to 1975 and from 1979 to 1981, and was National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Trampoline Team Champions in 1969.

Among the most accomplished of Hennessy’s athletes were his daughter and world champion Leigh Hennessy, world champion and 1984 Olympic diving medalist Ron Merriott, world champion Stuart Ransom, national champion and 1969 Miss America Judith Ford, world champion Jim Yongue, world champion Don Waters, world champion Gary Smith (gymnast), and world champion Wayne Miller.

Hennessy died on March 24, 2015, from a lengthy undisclosed illness. He was 85.[3]

Achievements and awards[edit]


  • The Trampoline As I See It (International Publications of Lafayette, 1969)
  • Trampolining (William C Brown, 1968)
  • A Successful Guidebook of Twisting Single and Multiple Somersaults (2007)


External links[edit]