Biography: HARDY, Jerry

HARDY, Jerry

Inducted: 1989

Having been in a number of national and international competitions where Jerry Hardy was with the team, I propose to provide testimony that he was the “go-to” man whether he was judging or acting as the team manager. He was the person that managed to have the athletes at the right place at the right time during the ’58 exhibition tour after the World Championships. He arranged activities in a meticulous and professional manner following the wishes of Mr. George Gulack, who was then AAU Chairperson. He was often asked questions by the athletes, and he was quick to find any answer that he did not immediately know, and there weren’t many questions, the answer to which he didn’t know.

Service: Jerry Hardy served in many capacities in the sport of gymnastics, mostly in the area of administration.  He was a long time member of the AAU Gymnastics Administration and a judge at several National AAU Championship meets.  He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee (circa 1955 to 1960), and was Vice Chairman of the committee in 1956.  He also served as the Gymnastics Consultant to the Encyclopedia Britannica.  As a representative of the New York Sokols he was elected chairman of the New York Metropolitan A.A.U. Association for the 1967-1968 year. He represented the Sokol organization on the AAU Board for almost 25 years. In 1949 he became the Technical Committee Secretary and served in that capacity until he became the Chairman in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1965.  He was one of several Vice-Chairman of the NAAU for about ten years. In 1969 he became the AAU Gymnastics Coordinator (for men and women) and then the AAU lost its governing authority in 1970. Coach: Hardy served as Head Coach of the U.S. Pan American Games Team, Mexico City, Mexico, (1955).  He was officially a U.S. team Manager at the World Championships, Moscow, (1958); however, most of his time was spent in the judging arena attending seminars and lectures. He then served as a judge in Moscow. He assumed the real duties of team manager after the World Championships when the U.S. team toured Finland participating in exhibitions. Honors: Hardy was inducted into the National Gymnastics Judges Association Hall of Fame (1982). Mr. Hardy was a loyal supporter of the AAU in its unfortunate battle with the USGF, and it was to his credit and his loyalty to George Gulack, NAAU Chairperson, that he felt that the AAU had served the sport well and fairly, consequently sticking with the AAU until its disqualification as the exclusive U.S. governing body for gymnastics in 1970. He was a long time friend and confidant of George Gulack, the AAU Chairperson for many years. Occupation: Mr. Hardy was a mortician by vocation and has been remembered by many for his dignified presence and dress and his subdued but confident manner.

Source: Mr. Jerry Wright, author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005, provided general information and photos. Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Dr. Larry Banner, Web Manager.