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Yoshi Hayasaki

Yoshi Hayasaki

USA Gymnastics HOF | Won ’89 NCAA title

An ode to Kenney Gym, by the coach who enjoyed more success there than anyone in history — six-time Big Ten champ, four-time conference coach of the year, 1989 NCAA title winner and 2014 USA Gymnastics Hall of Famer Yoshi Hayasaki ...

“Ever since I came to Illinois as a graduate student from Seattle in 1971, Kenney Gym has been my second home. It was once called ‘Men’s Old Gym’ and it used to be a ROTC cadets training gym in the ’40s and ’50s. Today, men’s and women’s gymnastics teams still train there.  

“Besides my hard-working gymnasts, this multi-purpose facility was used by many U of I professors, employees and Uni High students, as well as local people who just stopped by for a good run on the track. It was there that I met many great people, like Professor Nick Holonyak, an avid runner, and Ed Rawles, a local attorney. 

“A lot of sweat, joy, and memories were built in the Kenney Gym. I am so glad the building is still standing.”