Orkowski lends a hand to Cesarek, Huskie gymnasts

By Laura Higgins

His name might not be widely known around the NIU campus, but for Huskie coach Bobbie Cesarek and her gymnasts, they couldn’t do without him.

As the assistant coach for the NIU tumblers, Harry Orkowski has played a big role in the success of the team over the last three years. His experience in gymnastics includes competing throughout high school and college, and also coaching at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has also worked with pre-olympians.

“If you look at our program as a whole, it has continued to rise rapidly with Harry here,” Cesarek said. “He’s an excellent technician and that’s extremely helpful in a sport like this.”

Orkowski is at NIU finishing his graduate studies in sports biomechanics and he sees his major role as being the technical adviser to the gymnasts.

“I break things down as much as I can for the girls,” Orkowski said. “I’m specific and technical and they understand it. We communicate very well.”

Sophomore tumbler Dayna Lia sees Orkowski as a vital part of their program.

“He pushes us to work hard and without him we’d be really incomplete,” Lia said. “He holds us together and is one of the best coaches I have ever had.”