Matt Arnot was a four-time All-American gymnast at UNM from 1981-85. The highlight of his amateur career came after his senior season when he was presented with the Nissen Award - the equivalent of college football's Heisman Trophy. The Nissen is given to the top senior each year based on academic and athletic accomplishments. Arnot was also a four time Western Athletic Conference all-around champion.
By the time Arnot came to UNM, he was already a seasoned gymnast.
"I started in a tumbling class at Fishback Dance Studio in 1970," said Arnot. "Ed Burch was the teacher." Burch later opened Gold Cup Gymnastics in the late 1970s and took gymnasts to international and Olympic competition.
Time management and discipline are hallmarks of the sport. "I frequently was at school from 7:30 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon and in the gym from 4:30 until 9. I had to fit in schoolwork and my parents said that if my grades suffered, I couldn't do gymnastics. Gymnastics motivated me to do my best."
Unlike other sports that have an off-season, gymnastics operates year round. "The collegiate season ran from December to April and the international circuit from May through September or October. The months in between, we healed from injury and learned new skills," Arnot said.
In 1984, Arnot was ranked 15th at the All-Around Olympic Trials. He had a long and illustrious career as a member of the USA national team from 1978-1985. Also in 1985, Arnot earned a BBA from Anderson Schools of Management at UNM, and became the UNM men's assistant gymnastics coach.
The degree came in handy when Arnot opened Duke City Gymnastics in 1990. He owned and operated DCG until 2002 when he sold it in order to "dedicate my time to my family."
Arnot became a loan officer at Superior Mortgage Company. He made partner in May 2006 and has been in the mortgage business since in 1986.