Coach Kinder – Founder/Executive Director
The Kindersport Foundation executive director and founder is Gary Kinder, a track and field veteran, having spent nearly four decades as a track and field athlete and coach. Kinder is the 1988 Olympic Trials Decathlon Champion and competed on the U.S. Olympic team in Seoul, Korea. Coach Kinder is a 10-time United States National Track and Field Team member and has over thirty years of coaching experience with athletes of all ages, from 8-year-olds to Olympians. His experience as a professional athlete allowed him to travel the globe and experience elite-level training while cultivating relationships with fellow athletes in every corner of world. For the past thirty years, Coach Kinder has been guiding athletes from all over the world to the highest levels of international competition. He has been responsible for coaching 14 Olympians, more than twenty NCAA All-Americans, and in the past fifteen years, Kinder has seen his youth athletes win an unprecedented one hundred thirty (plus) individual state track and field titles in the state of Tennessee.
Before founding the Kindersport Foundation in the late nineties, Coach Kinder spent four years at the University of Virginia, where he coached both the men's and women's track teams and simultaneously enrolled in post-graduate studies. While at UVA, Gary was a member of the coaching staff which earned Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year Honors on three occasions. Prior to leading the University of Virginia into the national spotlight, Kinder was on the coaching staff at his alma mater, the University of New Mexico where he guided 12 track and field athletes to All-American status.
The experience that sets Kinder apart from the rest of the coaching world, however, was garnered in the years of 1986 through 1988 when he trained with a group of athletes that stand out in any era. While training in Irvine, California, Kinder found a friend and mentor in the two-time Olympic Decathlon Champion, Daley Thompson of Great Britain. Daley, who, to this day, is regarded by many experts as the world's all-time greatest competitor (in any sport), unselfishly became Gary's mentor and helped him craft a training schedule that was efficient, smart, and effective. They worked harder and smarter than anyone in the world over the next three years. Kinder even traveled to England each summer to live and train in London with the British National Team. The result was staggering as Kinder ranked in the top three among American decathletes for the next three seasons, including two top-fifteen world rankings, and collected ten United States National Team jerseys. Owning the ultimate prize of being the 1988 United States Olympic Trials Decathlon Champion, with a score of 8293, Gary realized the reward that comes with preparation, dedication and persistence.
Outside of track and field, Kinder has had athletic and performance experiences that contribute to a truly inimitable Renaissance Man. An accomplished singer-songwriter, Kinder signed two publishing contracts in Nashville with Curb Music and Warner Chappell Music Group. His songs are in films and even found their way to the Top-40 charts in the early 2000’s. Further, for a short time, Kinder was a free agent wide receiver in the NFL with pre-season and training camp experience with the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was also a member of the United States National Bobsled team in 1989, training for a year in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Currently, Coach Kinder serves as a strength and conditioning consultant to the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders.
Moreover, Gary Kinder has been awarded by many groups for his continued lifetime achievements. He is a member of the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame, the Missouri State Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Parkway (St. Louis, Missouri) School District Hall of Fame. He is a Nashville Business Journal “Impact Award” winner as well as listed as one of Nashville Lifestyle’s “25 Most Beautiful People.”
Kinder’s unique background combined with his athletic experience allowed him to institute the Kindersport Foundation in order to share his knowledge with every athlete who is committed enough to take a chance on success. This transfer of knowledge has a proven track record with Kindersport Athletes capturing an astounding 35 national and international championships and 120 All-American honors in the past fifteen years.
Kinder resides in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife of over twenty years, Stacie and their two sons, established track and field athletes in their own right, Jett (16) and Canon (11).