Born: October 27, 1929
Inducted 1992, US Gymnastics Hall of Fame
Most parents take walks and go on picnics with their children. Jeff Hennessy did these things with his children, also, but in addition, he went bouncing with them on a steady basis. He produced and coached more World and National trampoline, tumbling and mini-tramp champions than anyone in America during that period of time. The champions included his daughter, Leigh.
Jeff received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana and matriculated to the U. Of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1959 where he taught, instructed, and coached the Swimming and Gymnastics teams for 27 years. During this period of time, his athletes amassed a total of 14 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze World Trampoline Championship medals. He was nine-time USA Trampoline Team Coach in World Championships and took USA teams to South Africa, Russia, Germany, and Holland. He also coached AAU teams, intercollegiate athletes, and even Miss America Judi Ford.
Jeff has served as Director of World Trampoline Championships International Judges and Coaches courses, AAU and Federation Championships six National Jr. Olympic Championships and the community service trampoline program for children. He has officiated from London to Japan.
Honors: A Trampoline/Tumbling Scholarship is awarded in his name by U.S.A. Gymnastics the national gymnastics governing body (NGB); Accepted as an honorary member of the Federation International Gymnastics (FIG), (1999), Honored to be a recipient of the Safety Award from the American Trampoline and Tumbling Association, (1992); Inducted into the International Gymnastic Hall of Fame (IGHOF) formerly the Helms Hall of Fame, (1992); Received International Trampoline & Tumbling Federation’s Lifetime Membership Award Osaka, Japan, (1984); American Trampoline and Tumbling Association Outstanding Coach of the Year; (1982); Distinguished Professor, (University of Southwester Louisiana, (1992); Master of Trampoline, American Trampoline and Tumbling Association(,1978); Who’s Who in the Southwest, (1977); Gift of Honor, presented by the International Trampoline Federation, (1976); Elected Chairman of the International Trampoline Federation Technical Committee, (1976); Featured in “Fliffises and Gazip-Gazaps”, Sports Illustrated, 8th Day, (1970); Received the C.H. McCoy Research Award for Gymnastics(1966); Member of U. S. Gymnastics Olympic Committee (,1965-’69); First Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Trampoline Chairman, (1965).
General: Appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records and reportedly has been featured in more magazines, publications and newspapers than Donald Trump. Twice, he was elected Outstanding AAU Coach of the year and was honored by the German Gymnastic Association for his extraordinary talent and contributions.
Personal: Jeff is married to Ruth Hennessy and they have three off springs. Jeff Jr., Leigh and Kay. They make their home in Broussard, Louisiana. Jeff served as the United States Sports delegate for the AAU to Winston Churchill’s funeral. He was an advisor and consultant to USA Gymnastics the United States Diving Organization, the International Trampoline Federation, ABC, CBS, the United States Department of Justice, and law Firms throughout the country. Jeff Hennessy has authored more books and journals about trampoline and springboard diving than John Grisham has courtroom scenes. His daughter, Leigh, won two World Championships in Double Mini-Tramp and may be the leading U. S. titleholder for women in the twisting, turning, and bouncing sport of trampoline.
Sources: World Acrobatic Society “Legends of Honor” Newsletter, personal resume, Jeff and interviews with his daughter, Leigh. Introduction, commentary, Larry Banner.