Mike LaFleur - Owner and Co-Head Coach
Mike was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began gymnastics classes at age 3 at the “American Turners” in downtown Milwaukee. He was later coached by his father and grandfather at various places in the area. While competing in high school, Mike became “the first person ever to compete a double back flip on floor”, in Wisconsin state history! that was January 1974 with only Nissen folding mats on top of concrete! My have times changed. The youngest in the family, Mike received a full scholarship to Indiana University in 1975. At IU, he was team captain his last 2 years, set the school record in the AA., and later became the assistant men’s and women’s coach while finishing his bachelor and master’s degrees in physical education. In 1984 Mike moved to Florida to join brother Jeff and sister Toni who had started “LaFleur’s gymnastics” in Largo 4 years earlier. It was there that he met wife Melody and they married in 1987. Soon after, Mike and Melody purchased the gym from Mike’s family. Mike and Melody have a daughter, Kaley, who competes, making her one of several “4th generation” competing gymnasts in the family!
Kim Marks - Compulsory Director
Kim competed and coached part-time for LaFleurs gymnastics during high school. While on a full gymnastic scholarship to central Michigan University, she received all American honors and was team captain. Upon graduation she taught school for 1 year in Augusta, Georgia where she coached at Augusta school of gymnastics. In 1991, she received an employment opportunity to coach full time in Tallahassee, FL with the Galimore athletic training center where she was the women’s head coach up to level 10. She also organized and supervised all class operations. In 1996 she returned to LaFleurs to continue her career in coaching.
Melody LaFleur – Owner and Co-Head Coach
Melody or “Mel” is one of several full-time level 5-10 (girls) team coaches at LaFleur’s Largo. She was born near Chicago, Illinois, but moved to Florida when she was 4 years old. The youngest of 8 children, Melody first began gymnastics at age 8 at “Robinson’s” in Tampa. She later trained with Gene Stowe at “Apollo” in Clearwater where she remained throughout high school (class 1). During this time she competed in several national championships and received a full scholarship to the University of Alabama. Later, Melody began coaching in the St. Pete area and it was there that she met husband Mike and they married in 1987. Soon after, they purchased LaFleur’s Largo from Mike’s family. They have one child, a daughter named Kaley, who also competes in gymnastics.
Nic was born in Simi Valley, California but moved to New Jersey near the city of Philadelphia when he was young. He started gymnastics when he was 5 years old at Atlantic Coast Gymnastics. He competed there until he was a Class 1 (which is like level 10) and stopped his junior year of High school. He started to coach gymnastics under the guidance of his old coach Glinnie Elmore. After High school, he attended Eastern University in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in elementary education. During college he worked at Mannettes Gymnastics and it was here under the mentorship of Jackie Byer that he began coaching women’s gymnastics. After college he took over the girls program at his former gym, Atlantic Coast Gymnastics, and turned a small program into a successful competitive gym where he qualified several girls to Level 9 and Level 10 Regionals and Nationals. Before he moved to Florida to work at LaFleur’s, he spent a year helping manage a gym near Atlantic City, NJ. His family is a sports family. His mother Sandi works at a gym as a secretary and loves the sport of gymnastics. His dad Tony has coached wrestling and is a sports fan. His brother David is a wrestling coach and received a full scholarship for wrestling to Hofstra University.