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Celebrating the life of
Roger L. Counsil
January 11, 1935 - August 08, 2017
Former United States Olympic Gymnastics Coach
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Islands Chapel
912-898-0900
  • Funeral Services Will Be Private

My deepest sympathy to the Roger Counsil family and friends. I was one of the 12 gymnasts on the 1977 NCAA Division I Champisonship team at Indiana State University. I competed at ISU between 1975 and 1978. Roger recruited me to ISU and my life direction changed after that. I owe to him so much. I'm so thankful for his influence in my life and the many times that he infused confidence in me. Coach believed in me when I lost faith in myself. I know he had a profound impact on many of my friends. Speaking on behalf of my teammates he was a force of change in all of our lives. I'm praying for your family that you would know God's peace at this time.

Chris Dolson, Madison , Wisconsin

Roger L. Counsil (born January 11, 1935 in Wood River, Illinois to Nellie Jane (DeWitt) and Ellis F. Counsil,died August 8, 2017 at his home, Wilmington Island in Savannah, Georgia) Roger is survived by his wife Joan, son Jeffrey, daughter Catherine (Patrick Galoci) of Lakeland FL , brother Richard Wayne ( Wanda) of Sparks, NV. Granddaughter Middie and several nieces and nephews. Roger’s sons Christopher and Jon Scott preceded him in death, as well as his parents, sisters Mildred and Marceline, and brothers Myron, and Armand. Roger loved teaching and was still teaching at the age of 82 at Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas, NV. Roger had a deep influence upon all who knew him in Wood River. He was an exceptional young man who served as a beacon for many to follow who otherwise nervously knew not what lay before them, but found comfort from the tutelage gained in all Roger had done fearlessly before, both in his hometown and beyond. Roger coached 17 years at Indiana State University, his team won the 1977 NCAA Division I championship. Roger was also named Olympic coach for the U.S 1980 Summer Olympics, Counsil also held several other prestigious positions including chairman of the NCAA Gymnastics Committee, men's coach for the U. S. team in the 1978 World Games, host coach for the 1975 NCAA National Championships in Terre Haute, National "Coach of the Year" and four-time recipient of Mideast "Coach of the Year" honors, and Executive Director of the USA Gymnastics. He was a superb athlete at Southern Illinois University, where he excelled in track, swimming and gymnastics. He was the NAIA 1-meter diving champion in 1957, and was named "Most Valuable Athlete" at SIU. In addition to his bachelor's degree, he also earned his Master's from SIU and completed his doctorate in Higher Education Administration at Indiana University. In 1985, he was inducted into both the Indiana State University and Southern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame. On 8 Aug 2014, he was selected as Institutional Great by the Missouri Valley Conference and inducted into the Conference Hall of Fame. Roger was also in the Wood River High School hall of fame. RIP Roger, Love always to you brother.

Wayne(Wanda) Counsil, Sparks, NV,

Through all the years of gymnastics getting to know so many people/coaches, he is one that stood out as a outstanding coach and a tremendous person, he will be missed. Prayers to all

Terry Spencer Corcoran, Avon, IN

I cannot overstate the importance and impact this man had on my life along with the lives of so many other young men who were fortunate enough to be part of his teams at Indiana State University. I know the lessons taught to me as my coach for 4 years at ISU have served me throughout my life. As I lost my father at the age of 14, Roger Counsil became the most influential male role model in my life. RIP Coach.

Bob Mellin, Cary, NC

I am so proud to have known Roger, who assisted me in so many ways to pursue my dream with USA Gymnastics. I was honored to be one of the Directors of the 1979 World Championships in Fort Worth, where Roger made history as the first coach to bring home a world medal for the men's 3rd place finish in our history. A true gentleman, and an icon for us all. You are already sorely missed my friend.

Robert Cowan, Carmel, IN

Roger Counsil was a kind and generous man. At the same time he was an athlete that played hard to win, yet was graceful loser whenever he sometime lost. He was also a dedicated coach who again played to win, but was gracious at all times, win or lose. He and I were competitors in competition and in coaching and he earned my complete respect in both areas.

Jerry Wright, Carmi, Il.

Roger made tremendous contributions to collegiate gymnastics as the head gymnastics coach of the Indiana State Univeristiy Sycamores. He was an outstanding athlete himself as the Southern Illinois University 1958 athete of the year participating in trampoline, diving and track and field. As the second Executive Director of the United States Gymnastics Federation, he directed the sport of artistic gymnastics and produced the first US World Champion Kurt Thomas in 1978 in Strasbourg, FR. As ISU's coach he won the 1977 NCAA team Championship. He coached the 1980 US men's gymnastics Olympic Team. Roger conducted the Indiana Gymnastics Institute in the late 60's. I sent several of my community college gymnasts to ISU to be coached by Roger: Sonnie Cornicelli, Ronnie Miller, and Eduardo Navarro. Roger. thank you for all you have done for many young men and for the sport of gymnastics. Roger is a World Acrobatics Society Legend, Southern Illinois University, Indiana State University, Missouri Athletic Conference, and an Indiana Gymnastics HOF inductee.Roger has a doctoral degree from Indiana University and had teaching gigs at Florida Atlantic University, Texas, Las Vegas and Georgia in English and kinesiology.

Bruce Davis, Apollo Beach, FL

Joan, I am sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for during this time. I need your phone number as the one that I have is DC. Please let me hear from you. Roger was indeed a man of his word and a joy to be around. We will all miss him.Keep in touch.

Bobbie, Guyton, GA

My deepest sympathy to the Roger Council family and friends. He was a tremendous leader and teacher. Was the second most influential male person in my life (after my father) and I was fortunate enough to tell him that this past year. We talked several times and he was always sharp and witty as usual. He will be missed and remembered by many. RIP, coach.

Paul T. Woerz, Newburgh, IN

Roger L. Counsil, 82, husband of the former Joan Cesaroni, died peacefully Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at his home on Wilmington Island in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife and daughter at his side.

Born on January 11, 1935 in Wood River, Illinois, Roger was one of the most successful gymnastics coaches in the United States. He was named Olympic coach for the U.S.-boycotted 1980 Summer Olympics and headed the United States Gymnastics Federation, now known as USA Gymnastics.

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My deepest sympathy to the Roger Counsil family and friends. I was one of the 12 gymnasts on the 1977 NCAA Division I Champisonship team at Indiana State University. I competed at ISU between 1975 and 1978. Roger recruited me to ISU and my life direction changed after that. I owe to him so much. I'm so thankful for his influence in my life and the many times that he infused confidence in me. Coach believed in me when I lost faith in myself. I know he had a profound impact on many of my friends. Speaking on behalf of my teammates he was a force of change in all of our lives. I'm praying for your family that you would know God's peace at this time.

Chris Dolson, Madison , Wisconsin

Roger L. Counsil (born January 11, 1935 in Wood River, Illinois to Nellie Jane (DeWitt) and Ellis F. Counsil,died August 8, 2017 at his home, Wilmington Island in Savannah, Georgia) Roger is survived by his wife Joan, son Jeffrey, daughter Catherine (Patrick Galoci) of Lakeland FL , brother Richard Wayne ( Wanda) of Sparks, NV. Granddaughter Middie and several nieces and nephews. Roger’s sons Christopher and Jon Scott preceded him in death, as well as his parents, sisters Mildred and Marceline, and brothers Myron, and Armand. Roger loved teaching and was still teaching at the age of 82 at Canyon Springs High School in Las Vegas, NV. Roger had a deep influence upon all who knew him in Wood River. He was an exceptional young man who served as a beacon for many to follow who otherwise nervously knew not what lay before them, but found comfort from the tutelage gained in all Roger had done fearlessly before, both in his hometown and beyond. Roger coached 17 years at Indiana State University, his team won the 1977 NCAA Division I championship. Roger was also named Olympic coach for the U.S 1980 Summer Olympics, Counsil also held several other prestigious positions including chairman of the NCAA Gymnastics Committee, men's coach for the U. S. team in the 1978 World Games, host coach for the 1975 NCAA National Championships in Terre Haute, National "Coach of the Year" and four-time recipient of Mideast "Coach of the Year" honors, and Executive Director of the USA Gymnastics. He was a superb athlete at Southern Illinois University, where he excelled in track, swimming and gymnastics. He was the NAIA 1-meter diving champion in 1957, and was named "Most Valuable Athlete" at SIU. In addition to his bachelor's degree, he also earned his Master's from SIU and completed his doctorate in Higher Education Administration at Indiana University. In 1985, he was inducted into both the Indiana State University and Southern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame. On 8 Aug 2014, he was selected as Institutional Great by the Missouri Valley Conference and inducted into the Conference Hall of Fame. Roger was also in the Wood River High School hall of fame. RIP Roger, Love always to you brother.

Wayne(Wanda) Counsil, Sparks, NV,

Through all the years of gymnastics getting to know so many people/coaches, he is one that stood out as a outstanding coach and a tremendous person, he will be missed. Prayers to all

Terry Spencer Corcoran, Avon, IN

I cannot overstate the importance and impact this man had on my life along with the lives of so many other young men who were fortunate enough to be part of his teams at Indiana State University. I know the lessons taught to me as my coach for 4 years at ISU have served me throughout my life. As I lost my father at the age of 14, Roger Counsil became the most influential male role model in my life. RIP Coach.

Bob Mellin, Cary, NC

I am so proud to have known Roger, who assisted me in so many ways to pursue my dream with USA Gymnastics. I was honored to be one of the Directors of the 1979 World Championships in Fort Worth, where Roger made history as the first coach to bring home a world medal for the men's 3rd place finish in our history. A true gentleman, and an icon for us all. You are already sorely missed my friend.

Robert Cowan, Carmel, IN

Roger Counsil was a kind and generous man. At the same time he was an athlete that played hard to win, yet was graceful loser whenever he sometime lost. He was also a dedicated coach who again played to win, but was gracious at all times, win or lose. He and I were competitors in competition and in coaching and he earned my complete respect in both areas.

Jerry Wright, Carmi, Il.

Roger made tremendous contributions to collegiate gymnastics as the head gymnastics coach of the Indiana State Univeristiy Sycamores. He was an outstanding athlete himself as the Southern Illinois University 1958 athete of the year participating in trampoline, diving and track and field. As the second Executive Director of the United States Gymnastics Federation, he directed the sport of artistic gymnastics and produced the first US World Champion Kurt Thomas in 1978 in Strasbourg, FR. As ISU's coach he won the 1977 NCAA team Championship. He coached the 1980 US men's gymnastics Olympic Team. Roger conducted the Indiana Gymnastics Institute in the late 60's. I sent several of my community college gymnasts to ISU to be coached by Roger: Sonnie Cornicelli, Ronnie Miller, and Eduardo Navarro. Roger. thank you for all you have done for many young men and for the sport of gymnastics. Roger is a World Acrobatics Society Legend, Southern Illinois University, Indiana State University, Missouri Athletic Conference, and an Indiana Gymnastics HOF inductee.Roger has a doctoral degree from Indiana University and had teaching gigs at Florida Atlantic University, Texas, Las Vegas and Georgia in English and kinesiology.

Bruce Davis, Apollo Beach, FL

Candle tribute lit by Kelly Kilpatrick Hunt — Georgia

Joan, I am sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for during this time. I need your phone number as the one that I have is DC. Please let me hear from you. Roger was indeed a man of his word and a joy to be around. We will all miss him.Keep in touch.

Bobbie, Guyton, GA

My deepest sympathy to the Roger Council family and friends. He was a tremendous leader and teacher. Was the second most influential male person in my life (after my father) and I was fortunate enough to tell him that this past year. We talked several times and he was always sharp and witty as usual. He will be missed and remembered by many. RIP, coach.

Paul T. Woerz, Newburgh, IN


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