CrossFit | Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

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ByMelissa YingerMarch 2, 2021

Austin Malleolo delivers a lecture at a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course.

About as many CrossFit athletes have heard of Austin Malleolo as have climbed a rope or performed a deadlift. Malleolo has journeyed down nearly every career path CrossFit has to offer, helping many to move better along the way; he has been a coach, a CrossFit Games athlete, an affiliate owner, a CrossFit Seminar Staff member, and now, he is taking on a new role as CrossFit’s director of U.S. gym operations.

In his new role, Malleolo will have the opportunity to support the health of the affiliates under his purview by facilitating communication and providing key business insights and resources. This role, along with other new positions like those held by the affiliate representatives and field leaders, is part of a larger plan to develop a stronger infrastructure to support CrossFit affiliates.

“The 10,000-foot view is … to take care of the affiliates in the U.S.,” Malleolo said of his specific role. “The goal is to truly have someone who is overseeing the affiliate health, from resources being delivered to listening to them. What do they need? What do they want? What can the CrossFit home office do to support them and help them and elevate them?”

Malleolo will work with Gary Gaines, CrossFit’s GM of affiliates and international business lines, and the Affiliate Support team as he contributes to CrossFit’s focus on championing and growing affiliates globally.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Austin join the team as director of our U.S. gym operations,” Gaines said. “With over 12 years of involvement in CrossFit, Austin has built significant relationships within the community that will help guide him in serving our affiliates and leading a field organization laser-focused on ‘affiliates first.’”

Malleolo at East Regional

Malleolo competes at the East Regional on his way to the CrossFit Games.

“His unique experience as a successful affiliate owner, tenured Seminar Staff member, and former Games athlete allows him to make an immediate impact in our organization,” Gaines said.

In fact, Malleolo’s unique background shapes every aspect of the leadership philosophy he brings to the new role.

Drawing on his experience as an affiliate owner, he explained, “We as affiliate owners love to kind of do our thing … that’s the beauty of it. But also, there are times where it’s nice to know what’s going on. Nice to know the bigger picture.” Therefore, his perspective on how to best serve affiliates involves “really just thinking about that balance,” he said.

The key is to “give tools, not rules” Malleolo said, and the goal “ is to grow our affiliate community stronger within the existing affiliates and then to set our new gyms up for success.”

The CrossFit Workout of the Day can be used as a model for the kinds of tools the CrossFit home office might offer to affiliates, Malleolo explained.

“We provide a workout, but by no means are you obligated to utilize that workout at your gym, even though it’s from CrossFit.com. But you can have the Workout of the Day, which is really cool. … I think that we can utilize that same concept with a lot of other tools for our affiliates, beyond the workout.”

Malleolo also noted the importance of sharing the wisdom of CrossFit’s 10-year affiliate owners with the newer folks taking on gym ownership for the first time.

“You hear a lot of things that are consistent” when talking to newer affiliate owners, Malleolo explained. He said he often hears comments like, “I would have loved to have some help reading the lease,” or getting help with human resources issues, or reading up on zoning laws.

“When you open any business, specifically a gym, there’s so many things that are usually outside your scope of expertise,” Malleolo said. “Probably nice to have some support on that.”

Malleolo coaching

Malleolo helps an athlete work on mechanics at a CrossFit seminar.

The passion Malleolo brings to the new position comes from the same place as his love of coaching: “We want more people to do CrossFit,” he said. “We want more people to come into our gyms and really help them and support them in that journey. That’s something that I get really fired up about.”

“That’s why I started coaching and training and eventually opened up a gym … that opportunity to help people. And we know that it really starts at the affiliate,” he explained.

Helping people and caring about them is the thread that ties together all of Malleolo’s roles in the CrossFit world.

Caring about people “is really the most important aspect of coaching,” he said. “Care about your people. They will keep coming back. Yes, I want them to have their heels down, their knees out, their chest up, their hips going back and down, all that good stuff. But that’s secondary to feeling cared about.”

Likewise in the new role, Malleolo said, “I just want to know that every one of our affiliates is cared about.”

Malleolo and family

Malleolo and family


All photos courtesy of Austin Malleolo.

Comments on Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

17 Comments

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Vadim Noskov
March 16th, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

Well deserved! Congratulations Austin!

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David Colina
March 15th, 2021 at 3:14 am
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

This is great news. Well deserved - congrats Austin, big win for the CrossFit community.

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Austin Malleolo
March 15th, 2021 at 1:38 pm

Thank you very much, Dave!

(edited)
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Michael Anderson
March 12th, 2021 at 12:45 pm
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

Congratulations Austin. This is good news for CrossFit and great news for affiliates; those who have been around for a while and those who join on in the future. Best wishes from CrossFit Malibu

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Austin Malleolo
March 14th, 2021 at 11:44 am

Thank you very much, means alot!

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Sean O'Donnell
March 12th, 2021 at 2:53 am
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

I love it when good things happen to good people. Congratulations Austin!!

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Austin Malleolo
March 14th, 2021 at 11:44 am

Thank you very much!

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Richard Von Sternberg
March 6th, 2021 at 8:10 am
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

Great news, good job Austin!

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Austin Malleolo
March 11th, 2021 at 1:35 am

Thank you!

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Stephane Leconte
March 5th, 2021 at 6:29 am
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

Super good news !!!

félicitation Austin..!!!

une personne sur qui vous pouvez compter !!

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Austin Malleolo
March 5th, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Merci beaucoup, excité pour l'avenir!

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Russell Hamilton
March 4th, 2021 at 10:06 pm
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

Congratulations Austin to you and your family.

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Austin Malleolo
March 5th, 2021 at 8:25 pm

Thank you very much!

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Allison Autrey
March 4th, 2021 at 9:34 pm
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

So excited to have Austin on the team!

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Austin Malleolo
March 5th, 2021 at 8:25 pm

I am fired up!!

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Derek Eason
March 4th, 2021 at 9:10 pm
Commented on: Austin Malleolo Named New Director of U.S. Gym Operations

This is awesome!


I am definitely looking forward to what CrossFit will begin to provide for us Affiliate Owners.


Austin seems like a solid guy that any Affiliate Owner should look to for guidance and support. Great choice CrossFit!

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Austin Malleolo
March 5th, 2021 at 8:26 pm

Thank you, that means a lot!!

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