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Jason Collins, VP & chief athletics officer, sits next to Aimee Boorman, the soon-to-be elite director at EVO Athletics.
East County Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 5 years ago

Olympic coach finds new home in Sarasota

EVO Athletics adds big-name to its gymnastics lineup.
by: Berkley Mason Staff Writer

After coaching the U.S. women's gymnastics team to an Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro, Aimee Boorman looked forward to going home.

Only her "home" was about to change.

A Houston resident, Boorman decided it was time for her to start a new adventure.

On Tuesday morning, Boorman accepted a position as director of women's and elite gymnastics at EVO Athletics in Sarasota.

"Coaching gymnastics is my passion and my life," Boorman said. "My vision for what a gymnastics facility should be is reflected in this at EVO."

Her decision to leave Houston meant a split with Simone Biles, who earned three all-around World Championships under her leadership and the all-around gold at the Olympics in Rio. She had coached Biles for 11 years.

"It's kind of like having a kid that you've raised and then sent off to college," Boorman said of Biles. "I was with her for 11 years. That is what it feels like."

Despite leaving a great program in Houston, Boorman is excited about the future.

"It wasn't a huge thing for me, as far as making a decision to move, if the gymnastics here is great," Boorman said. "We’re going to make the gymnastics here great — that's the plan.”

Besides Biles working extremely hard to achieve her goals, Boorman said it was important for her to have fun as well. Boorman stressed that having a good time is part of her coaching style.

That's a theme at the newly formed EVO Athletics, where Kyle Lawton, who owns the facility with his wife, Lydia Lawton, and Jason Collins, who doubles as the chief athletics office. Lawton not only makes sure the kids are having fun, he tries to make sure life is easier on the parents as well.

"We want this to be a destination so that when you’re here, you enjoy being here, and you look forward to being here,” Lawton said. “These parents are so dedicated to their kids and they travel two hours sometimes to commute. They need to work, but they need a place that's quiet and has internet access."

Boorman said the chemistry at the new 32,000-square-foot facility, which hosted its grand opening on Aug. 6, is right for great things to happen.

"I know there’s a couple of gyms that are in driving distance, and they're doing some great programs, but I kind of feel like here we have a blank slate, so we can make it whatever we want,” Boorman said.

Accompanying Boorman at the press conference was her husband, James Boorman, who made her decision to move to Sarasota easy when he accepted a job at Waldrop Engineering in Sarasota. James Boorman is a golf course architect.

"We really wanted this move to be about everybody, or it wasn't right," James Boorman said. "I got a great job and my wife cultivated a great opportunity. Our (three) kids are getting into great schools."

The Boormans have yet to decide where they will live in the area.

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