The Mercer Island Islanders gymnastics team is striving to advance to the district competition as a team this February. Photo courtesy of Debra Gibbs

The Mercer Island Islanders gymnastics team is striving to advance to the district competition as a team this February. Photo courtesy of Debra Gibbs

Legendary coach Lewis is enjoying his final season leading the Islanders

Mercer Island gymnastics coach is confident in his team’s abilities.

Longtime Mercer Island resident Lenny Lewis is the epitome of a gymnastics guru.

Lewis, who has been the head coach of the Mercer Island Islanders girls gymnastics team since 1989, is in his final season of coaching this season with the Islanders. Lewis sold his Mercer Island home in November of 2018 and plans on relocating to New Mexico at some point in 2019. Lewis retired from Boeing after 26 years in 2018.

Lewis is confident his squad has the talent to make its presence felt in postseason action this February.

“We are hoping to make it to districts as a team. There is another three teams in our league that have just a good of a chance as we have. It all depends on how healthy we are going into (KingCo) competition,” Lewis said. “We’re all equally talented. It will be really close.”

The competition the Islanders have faced in the 2A/3A league during the 2018-19 season has been intense thus far. The Islanders have an overall record of 2-2 in regular season action thus far.

“We’ve had a really good season. I’ve felt we’ve improved almost 15 to 20 points (per meet) but so have the other teams. All of our meets have been really close. We’re looking forward to KingCo (tournament),” Lewis said.

Lewis, who will turn 62 this March, said he has the fondest of memories coaching on Mercer Island.

“It is really sad and it is tough to leave. I have been coaching gymnastics on the island for more than half of my life. It is tough to go but it is time,” Lewis said. “We are going to be moving down to New Mexico. That is where I was born and raised until my family moved up here (Mercer Island).”

Lewis began his coaching career on Mercer Island as a volunteer coach in 1980. It didn’t take long for his coaching skills to get noticed by the Mercer Island community.

“In 1983 it was the first year they actually hired me as an assistant coach. That was just one of many years I was on the payroll,” Lewis said with a chuckle. “I never left and was part of the gymnastics scene on the island ever since.”

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.


More in Sports

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

Islanders possess young talent on soccer pitch

The Mercer Island boys soccer team awaits the new season.

Mercer Island wrestlers place at state folkstyle wrestling championships

Four Mercer Island elementary and middle school students placed at the state… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Mercer Island Football Club teams net championships

Boys and girls soccer teams from Mercer Island Football Club dominated at… Continue reading

Preparing for the first pitch

The Mercer Island baseball team is going into the new season with a deep pitching staff.

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Reporter file photo
No changes to state basketball tournament schedules after coronavirus outbreak

State boys and girls basketball Hardwood Classic tournaments in Tacoma, Yakima and… Continue reading

Most school events, including sports practices, on schedule after coronavirus outbreak

All the school districts in the Reporter’s coverage areas — Northshore, Lake… Continue reading

Boys volleyball tournament coming to Mercer Island

Boys volleyball teams from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and British Columbia will compete… Continue reading

Islanders edge Bainbridge to win state swim meet

A complete team effort propelled the Mercer Island boys swim and dive team to 3A state title.