Terre Haute resident Margit "Grete" Treiber, founder and head coach of the Indiana State women's gymnastics program for 21 years, died Sunday in Indianapolis. She was 92.
Born April 29, 1928, in Hodmazovasarhely, Hungary, Treiber overcame severe ordeals in her youth and became a leading figure in her profession.
She and her family endured hardships during World War II and persevered through the Soviet occupation of her native country to earn a degree in sports science at the University of Pécs.
During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Treiber risked her life to escape Soviet oppression in Hungary and made her way to the United States, where she began anew and achieved considerable success.
She began as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Allentown, Pa., where she met her husband of 32 years, Robert.
They married in 1959, moved to Terre Haute and opened an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Treiber earned a teaching degree and master of science degree from Indiana State in 1961. In 1962, she began teaching and coaching at ISU. She created the gymnastics curriculum of its Physical Education Department and taught gymnastics, dance and fundamental movement courses.
In 1965, she founded the Indiana State women's gymnastics program and became the Sycamores' head coach. Over the years, the program grew to be one of the most respected gymnastics programs in the U.S. She led her teams to several Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national competitions.
She was a judge at the highest level, Brevet, for more than 25 years and a member of the National Association for Women's Gymnastics Judges (NAWGJ). She was a judge for state, regional and national meets for the U.S. Gymnastics Federation (USGF) and served as its technical chairman during the 1960s and '70s.
Treiber hosted the 1972 Olympic Trials at ISU and was head coach for the U.S. team at the World University Games in Torino, Italy, in 1970. She served as the NCAA liaison for the U.S. Olympic Committee as well as several USGF committees.
She was inducted into the the National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges Hall of Fame in 1980, the ISU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984, the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1988, the USA Gymnastics Region 5 Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Indiana Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2013.
Treiber was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her brother, Rudolf Steindl of Maitland, Fla.
In keeping with Treiber's wishes, cremation has taken place. Due to COVID concerns, a celebration of life to honor her is to be held at a later date. As she was a devoted animal lover and advocate, contributions to animal shelters in her memory would be appreciated. Online condolences may be shared sealsfuneralhome.com.