Biography: TODD, Jerry

TODD, Jerry
Inducted: 1978 Born: L.A. California


Respectfully dubbed “The King of Invitational Gymnastics”, Jerry hosted, judged, or was chief commentator for over 100 invitational men’s and women’s competitions.

Jerry’s “Pasadena Invitational” (P.N.I.) attracted world-class competitors from Japan, Switzerland, Germany, China, Spain, Russia, & Australia plus numerous college gymnasts who considered an invitation a special privilege.  His annual P.N.I. for 35 years was second only to the N.C.A.A. Championships in longevity. Education: A product of the L.A. City Schools System, Jerry continued his education by earning a B.A., (1951) & M.A. (1955). Athlete: Jerry was a early competitor starting on his elementary school playground with “Gold” in a tether ball competition.  He expanded his athletic prowess by lettering sixteen times in five sports at Hamilton High School in L. A., CA.; PAC 8 Championships: Gold-Rings, (1948,’49, & ‘50); NCAA: Gold-Rings, (1949); Coaching: Secondary educator coaching football & gymnastics (Pasadena HS).  His teams were C.I.F. Champions 4 of 5 years and sported a winning streak of 44 games (1954-1959).  Gymnastic coach at Pasadena City College (1960-1990) with an astounding 126 consecutive winning duel meets which included winning against NCAA college & AAU teams.  This accomplishment is believed to be one of the if not the longest NCAA record for consecutive wins.  His teams won 9 consecutive AAU titles and produced 112 national event champions.  Coach Todd contributed to enhanced performances by many U.S. Olympians: Beckner, Banner, Barak, Greenfield, Shurlock, Sakamoto, and Vega.  Without benefit of today’s safety devices, gymnastics needed a good “spotter”, one who had the courage, strength, knowledge, and skill to risk grasping a gymnast learning a dangerous routine element thus saving the athlete from potential serious injury.  Judging: Jerry judged for 45 years from “age group” to world championship levels. Judged international competitions such as China vs. Japan, Japan vs. USA, Switzerland vs. USA, Pacific Rim Championships, and he was Chief De Mission at the Junichi Cup, serving also as judge in addition to coaching the USA Team. Special Honors:  Jerry Todd was a candidate to coach the 1964 Men’s Olympic Team, Tokyo, Japan, and he was honored with a statue of him in the Court of Champions, Pasadena City College, (2002).  Family: m. Pat Stetson, born-Hollywood, CA, 1940. Two children. Four grandchildren. Special Honors:  Jerry Todd was a candidate to coach the 1964 Men’s Olympic Team, Tokyo, Japan, and he was honored with a statue of him in the Court of Champions, Pasadena City College (2002).  Family: m. Pat Stetson, born-Hollywood, CA, 1940. Two children. Four grandchildren.

Sources: Personal resume and personal interviews with Jerry. Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Larry Banner, Web Manager.