Koch Funeral Home - State College
2401 S. Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801
(814) 237-2712
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Michael "Mike" Rizzuto

1955 - 2018
Michael "Mike" Rizzuto Obituary
Michael "Mike" Rizzuto

- - Michael "Mike" Rizzuto was born in Johnson City, NY on August 30, 1955.

He was an Endwell Spartan, class of 1973. During his 4 years of Varsity Football he was part of the 1972 team that went undefeated and ranked 7th in the state of New York for large schools.

Mike continued his football passion at Franklin & Marshall where he played 4 years of football and was part of yet another undefeated team in 1976. Franklin & Marshall was the Alma Mater of his late Father Dr. Michael P. Rizzuto and his late Uncle Frank Rizzuto Esq.

Mike's passion for coaching started at F & M where he began coaching at Lancaster Gymnastics School in 1973, he also became Assistant Gymnastics coach at F & M. In 1976 Mike coached his first elite gymnast and has continued to coach elite and high-level gymnasts throughout the years to include numerous scholarship athletes. He became assistant coach at Dartmouth College in 1978 and head coach in 1979 serving for three years, including hosting the Ivy League Championships in 1981. He coached at several gyms while continuing his education. In 1985 he moved to Durham, North Carolina to become the owner and head coach of Triangle Twisters Gymnastics Center.

Mike earned his Juris Doctorate at Vermont School of Law, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center and later received his teaching certificate in Secondary Social Studies at the University of North Carolina.

In the late 1970's and early 1980s, he discovered Team Handball, becoming an elite athlete in the sport. Mike was selected as player and coach for the US Olympic Committee National Olympic Festival, he attended the National Olympic Team tryouts and was a staff member on the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (Team Handball Venue.). He was a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the United States Team Handball Federation (the governing body which was a member of the US Olympic Committee) and was the national chairman of Organization & Competition. County-Leadership Training program in 1993.

Mike practiced environmental law briefly until he decided to follow his heart and coach gymnastics full time. Mike has been the owner and head coach of Nittany Gymnastics Incorporated for the past 29 years where he has touched the lives of thousands of athletes. He has been a National Safety Certification Instructor for USA Gymnastics since 1986 and has presented courses across the country. He assisted in publishing the Safety and Risk Management Text for USA Gymnastics. In 1985, Mike attended a gymnastics coaching seminar in Moscow, U.S.S.R. basing much of his coaching system on that curriculum. He coached Junior Olympic National Championship participants at Nittany as well as coaching numerous gymnasts who continued on to participate at the collegiate level.

As if Mike was not busy enough he Co-Founded and coached for the Centre Bulldogs Youth Football Association where both of his sons, Michael and Marshall played on the team. He was the Vice President for 11 years providing a positive experience for countless youths.

He had numerous passions in life to include, hunting with his dogs, cycling, skiing, sailing and watching his sons play football, and had an absolute love for the outdoors.

Mike is preceded in death by his parents Dr. Michael and Madeline Rizzuto, numerous Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, and beloved dogs, Spotem, Lady, Kip, and Kasey.

He is survived by his loving wife, Jeannette McAuliff-Rizzuto of Port Matilda, daughter and son-in-law, Miranda & Bryon Musick of Athens, sons Michael and Marshall Rizzuto, sisters Merilee Jennings of Manhattan, NY, Maxine Pagliano of Kensington, MD, Melanie Rizzuto of Warren Center, grandchildren Dominic and Ardrenna, and loving nephews, a niece and great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 1 until 3 p.m., on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 South Atherton Street, State College.

A memorial mass will be held in November at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 820 Westerly Parkway, State College, with the Reverend Neil Dadey officiating. The time and date for the mass will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at or visit us on Facebook.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Oct. 12, 2018
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