Meet coach gordy
Gordy Bylin is the owner of Mt. Baker Gymnastics and is known by most as Coach Gordy. Gordy has been teaching gymnastics for over 42 years from the University of Washington to Tucson and in Skagit and Whatcom counties. He got his start in the gymnastics world at Kent Meridian High School (1975-1977) when his late older brother, Kevin Bylin, joined the gymnastics team. He and their other brother, who you may know as Coach Bert, followed in their older brother’s footsteps all the way to the University of Washington (1977-1980). This was all happening shortly after their father passed away while the boys were in high school, leaving them without a positive male role model, so they turned their grief into motivation in the gym and turned to their coaches for guidance. “Gymnastics saved my life,” says Gordy.
On the UW Men’s Gymnastics team, the “Bylin Brothers” were able to really shine, taking top spots in competitions, captivating audiences, and grabbing the attention of local newspaper headlines with their high-flying talents. After several years on the UW Men’s Collegiate team, Gordy transferred to the University of Arizona (1980-1981). His achievements include the title of NCAA All American, he competed in the USA vs. Japan meet in 1980 and won Top All Around Gymnast in 1981 at the University of Arizona.
In the sport of gymnastics, burnout is all too common, but Gordy has never slowed down. In his 42 years of teaching, he’s attended all the coaching clinics and received all the necessary certifications and then some to continue doing what he loves. After teaching at Whatcom County Gymnastics for 3 years, the Academy of Northwest Gymnastics in Bellingham for 5 years, and then Dimensions of Gymnastics in Mt. Vernon for 11 years, he decided to take the leap and start his own club, and Mt. Baker Gymnastics was born in 2004. With each decade, he sets new goals for himself. At age 40 his goal was to compete again, which he did, performing routines on floor and high bar in his old high school gym, 25 years later. When he turned 50, and this year again at 60, his goal is to summit Mt. Baker and do a handstand atop the volcano.
If you’ve done gymnastics in the last 40 years in Skagit or Whatcom counties, chances are you had Gordy as a coach, and he continues to bring the same passion into the gym with him every day. And now, the kids he taught decades ago bring their kids to be taught by him. His teaching philosophy is all about making fitness fun. Healthy bodies and minds develop out of bodies in motion, and there’s no better way to get fit than working toward a goal of being able to fly and perform incredible flips and twists that seem impossible to the average human. Helping kids learn and achieve new things is what gets him out of bed every day, knowing he’s having a positive impact on not just their time in the gym, but really impacting their entire life in a positive way.
While Coach Gordy loves teaching all types of students, of all ages and abilities (babies to adults), he has a special place in his heart for teaching kids with developmental disabilities and special needs. He resonates from personal experience with the impact things like ADHD can have on a child’s ability to learn and function in the world, so he is able to deeply connect with these children and provide the high-energy stimulation they need to really thrive. And for special needs children who need a little less stimulation, he is able to slow things down to work and connect with them on their level.
Coach Gordy’s favorite event is high bar. As a tall, lanky guy without a ton of muscle mass, high bar comes more naturally to him than strength-based events like the rings. On high bar, he is able to line up his bones perfectly and use the laws of physics to help him swing and flip with ease. He can still do a back layout off high bar, at age 60! (Just ask him, he’ll show you!)
Coach Gordy is one of the most passionate and most experienced gymnastics coaches in Skagit Valley, and he hopes to be able to provide Burlington and Skagit Valley with fun and competitive gymnastics programs for many years to come. He wants Mt. Baker Gymnastics to be the best part of his student’s lives, because that’s what gymnastics was and still is for him to this day.