The power to become whatever and whomever you decide, and the realization that you actually have this power, is one of the greatest gifts a person can give to themselves.

Kirk Mango

Honors and Awards


Kirk Mango is a two-time Division I All-American and a three-time NCAA Championships qualifier. The “Lord of the Rings” won a National Championship on the still rings in 1979, defeating [Olympian] Indiana State’s Kurt Thomas on April 7. Mango placed second on the still rings as a junior in 1978 and 14th as a frosh in 1976. His national title in 1979 was the second title for NIU in Division I gymnastics. He shared the team MVP award on the team that went 11-0-1 and ranked as high as No. 7 for Hall of Fame coach Chuck Ehrlich in 1978-79.


Northern Star Newspaper


(Northern Illinois University Newspaper)

  • Selected as #8 on NIU Top 50 All Time Best Athletes (Northern Star)
  • Two-time Northern Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame Member (2000, 2010)
  • National Champion – Division I
  • Two-time Collegiate All-American
  • MVP on 11-0-1 team that was ranked as high as 7th nationally (1978-79)
  • Current Northern Illinois University Record Holder (10.0 Scoring System)
  • Certificate of Significant Athletic Contribution from Northern Illinois University
  • Mayoral Commendation of Achievement – DeKalb, Illinois
  • High School State Champion
  • High School All-American
  • Willowbrook High School Inaugural Hall of Fame Member (2010)
  • Head Coach: Three Illinois Elite 8 Gymnastics Teams
  • Selected Illinois Gymnastics “Coach of the Year” 1992
  • Father of two Division I Scholarship Athletes – Volleyball & Soccer (Both – J. Kyle Braid Leadership Award Winners,
  • Assistant Coach: National All-American Team Award 1983-84
  • Head Coach: 1992 Illinois Gymnastics Team Champions at the National High School Girls Gymnastics Championships
  • Head Coach: High School – State Champion, All-American, Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Two-time Physical Education Teacher of the Year
Wide World of Sports
1978 NCAA DI Still Rings National Championships

1979 NCAA DI Still Rings National Championships
Olympian Jim Hartung  /  Olympian Kurt Thomas  /  Kirk Mango

Hartung – 3rd 19.10                Thomas – 2nd 19.175
Mango – 1st 19.425


Greatness, whether athletic or otherwise, doesn’t come from those content on just being, but from those who seek being the difference.

Kirk Mango