John Gerald Geddert
December 21, 1957
|Education||Alpena High School|
|Alma mater||Central Michigan University|
(Class of 1980)
|Known for||Coach of Jordyn Wieber|
|Home town||Alpena, Michigan|
|Awards||USA National Coach of the Year|
John Gerald Geddert (born December 21, 1957) is an American gymnastics coach. He was also the personal head coach to 2012 Olympic Champion Jordyn Wieber and one of two head coaches to the 2012 US Olympic Gymnastics Team. Geddert announced his retirement on January 23, 2018, one day after USA Gymnastics announced it suspended Geddert's professional membership pending investigation into allegations of physical and psychological abuse.
Many former gymnasts have described Geddert's coaching style as intense, strict, and abusive. Several former gymnasts have recounted that Geddert repeatedly told them to kill themselves. He was known to throw items in his gym when angered. On at least one account, Geddert shoved a gymnast forcefully enough for her to sustain a black eye, ruptured lymph nodes in her neck, and torn muscles in her stomach. In 2013, Geddert was under criminal investigation for his abusive treatment of gymnasts. The Eaton County Prosecutor's office stated there was enough evidence to charge Geddert, but instead allowed Geddert to seek counseling instead. In December 2013, a former employee of Geddert contacted USA Gymnastics to inform them of Geddert's abuse treatment of his athletes. USA Gymnastics stated they addressed the letter writer's concerns with Geddert, though the specific actions by USA Gymnastics were never made public.
Involvement in US sexual abuse scandal
Geddert's long-time association with Larry Nassar, who was sued for sexually assaulting 150+ women, has caused legal troubles for Geddert. Geddert and Nassar's close personal and professional relationships have led some to suspect that Geddert was aware of Nassar's abuse but did nothing about it. Many former gymnasts and parents have asserted that the intense and abusive environment Geddert created in his gym allowed for Nassar, a quiet and seemingly gentle doctor who regularly volunteered at Geddert's gym to easily groom gymnasts and gain their trust. Several gymnasts have admitted that Geddert created such a hostile environment that they were unable to approach Geddert about the abuse. At least one former gymnast testified that Geddart walked in on a supposed medical session while Nassar was digitally penetrating her. The witness stated that Geddert joked about her injury then left the room.
- Turner, Amanda (January 22, 2018). "USAG Suspends Coach Geddert After Abuse Allegations". International Gymnast Magazine Online. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- "Ex-gymnast: Geddert 'deserves to be in jail'". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
- WILX. "Survivors accuse Geddert of abuse". Retrieved 2018-01-25.
- "Owner of popular Twistars Gymnastics Club faces abuse allegations". WLNS. 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- "OTL: Michigan State among those that enabled serial sex abuser". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Leonard, Tod. "Hot reads: Gymnastics doctor faces the victims he sexually abused". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 2018-01-18.