Lisa has been coaching gymnastics since 1976 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from Arizona State University. Since opening Desert Lights, Lisa has been creating and directing the developmental and competitive womens' programs to Championships multiple times. More importantly, over 100 Women athletes have qualified for scholarships under Lisa’s coaching.
Lisa is qualified to judge Elite competitions and in 1989 and 1990 was a coach for the National Team. She has produced 10 USA National Gymnasts, and continues to develop athletes at all levels – State, Regional, Elite, International and Olympic.Lisa has recently been named Master of Sport for Gymnastics, (USA Gymnastics recognition of Coaches who have achieved the highest level of coaching distinction, the mastery of the sport.). The only Coach in AZ with this recognition.
Lisa will tell you that despite the level any athlete achieves “Gymnastics is a sport which builds strength, flexibility, and confidence in children of all ages and ability levels. Since 1976 I get to help each child I work with become the best gymnast, and athlete, as well as the best person. A person with the character and ability to achieve any goal they set for themselves.”
Founder John Spini
While John Spini’s main claim to fame is that he is married to Lisa Spini he has also dabbled in gymnastics. In 2015 he retired as the Head Women’s Gymnastic Coach at Arizona State University after 34 years (the longest tenured coach in ASU history). He established a National caliber program and a tradition of excellence that is unmatched at ASU. He stepped down while among the top collegiate coached in the country. His winning percentage is unbeaten among all of ASU’s coaches in NCAA competition. Pair that with his dedication to creating a gymnastics program which cultivated talented gymnasts who succeed not only athletically, but academically, as well. His coaching techniques are modeled in programs across the country, and have a basis in helping the athletes reach their full potential, and aspire to even greater achievements.
Now as a Grandfather and retiree, he is putting his time into ensuring that Desert Lights has a state of the art facility, that can help all levels of gymnasts become confident, strong and enthusiastic in reaching for their stars.
Founder Desert Lights Gymnastics - A State of The Art Facility
Lisa and John are very proud of their state-of-the-art facility, which opened September 1997. The facility is one of the top training facilities in the southwest and was named a National Team Training Center by USA Gymnastics shortly after it opened.