Istvan Javorek

Contributor • Inducted 2009

Istvan JavorekIstvan “Steve” Javorek has served nearly a quarter of a century making sure JCCC athletes perform at their peak physical ability. He supervises the strength and conditioning program for JCCC’s 18 sports and serves as a professor of fitness in the physical education department. Javorek joined the athletic staff at JCCC in 1987, after an illustrious career as coaching Olympic and NCAA champion athletes around the world. In Javorek’s career at JCCC, he has been a part of all 10 national championships and has played a key role in the development of JCCC athletes, including Kit Pellow, a Major League baseball player; Katie Panek, a 1996 Olympian in the hammer; Ed Kaminski, a three-time gold medalist in javelin at the U.S. Olympic Festival and silver medalist at the 1993 World Championships; Jim Dice, a two-time National Collegiate Champion in weightlifting; and All-American soccer players Shawn Beyer and Carlos Olivas, both who played professionally in the NPSL. Javorek has also worked with NBA players Kareem Rush and Wayne Simien; Wesley Barnett, a bronze medalist in weightlifting at the 1996 Olympics; and world champion female boxer Sumya Anani.

An ethnic Hungarian from Romania, Javorek graduated from college in 1964, and by 1968 was coach of the Clujana Sports Club in Cluj, Romania. Javorek was head coach of the Romanian Olympic weightlifting team. For 18 years, he was the head coach-athletics director of Clujana Sports Club. Two of his more famous athletes were Istvan Tasnadi, the silver medalist in weightlifting at the 1984 Olympics, and Dragomir Cioroslan, the bronze medalist in weightlifting at the 1984 Olympics who went on to become the head coach for US Weightlifting at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It was also during this time that Javorek passed the first class coaching board examination, the highest coaching level in Romania. He presented to the coaching board his revolutionary creation, the Javorek Complex No. 1 and Javorek Complex No. 2.

In February 1983, Javorek immigrated to the United States. In his first year in the US, Javorek was invited by the South Korean Olympic Committee to train its national weightlifting team and instruct their coaches. In January 1984, he was hired as a coach at Bela Karolyi’s World Gymnastics Academy in Houston, Texas. Later that year, Javorek was hired as the assistant coach of strength and conditioning at Texas A&M University and his duties included coaching track and field and working with women’s athletics.

Javorek also served as the weightlifting coach for the Texas A&M and JCCC Weightlifting Clubs. For three straight years from 1987 to 1989, Javorek coached his teams to a national title at the National Collegiate Championships. His first title was with Texas A&M, then he followed with two while at JCCC. He also coached 12 individual National Collegiate Champions.

Javorek is well respected in his profession. From 1985 to 2001, he was a speaker-lecturer nine times at the National Strength and Conditioning Association conferences. Javorek also has had over 60 published articles in various sports journals and magazines. Javorek was also featured in an article in the November 2008 issue of Men’s Health Magazine. He also has earned many accolades and honors throughout his career. In 1990 and 1991, Javorek was a nominee for the JCCC Burlington Northern outstanding teacher award. In December of 1992, Romania awarded him with its highest coaching honor, the Emeritus Coaching Award. On March 23, 2002, Javorek was inducted into the Missouri Valley Weightlifting Hall of Fame, and on June 2, 2003, he earned induction into the USA Strength and Conditioning Hall of Fame.