Bicyclist killed in San Jose collision was beloved gymnastics coach

A bicyclist killed in a collision with two cars Saturday in San Jose was a gymnastics coach from Russia who was dedicated to his job, a former colleague said.

Mikhail Tsitsiline, 41, of Belmont, was killed in the collision reported shortly after 7 p.m. at South Seventh and East Reed streets, police said.  Tsitsiline had been traveling west on Reed Street then crossed on Seventh Street, where he was hit by a silver 2016 Audi and thrown into the path of a black 2002 GMC SUV, according to police.

A nurse who saw the collision gave the 41-year-old CPR, but emergency crews pronounced him dead at the scene a short time later, police said.

Tsitsiline arrived to the Bay Area from Voronezh, Russia, in 1999 and a year afterward started working at Peninsula Gymnastics in San Mateo, said Mark Kachko, the gym's administrative director.  During his time at the gym, he was head coach of the boy's team and four children he trained moved on to represent the state in regional competitions, Kachko said.

Tsitsiline also received a coach of the year award from the Northern California Boys Gymnastics Association, according to Kachko.  He was a tough and honest coach who cared about his athletes, Kachko said.  After Tsitsiline left Peninsula Gymnastics in 2007, he worked at another gymnastics center in San Mateo and made a brief return to Russia, Kachko said.

He most recently worked at Champions Academy, a gymnastics facility off of Monterey Highway in San Jose, according to Kachko.  Tsitsiline, who was more commonly known as Misha, was a smart and friendly person who read many books, Kachko said.

He attended Voronezh University in Russia, where he obtained his bachelor's degree in physical culture in 1995, according to his LinkedIn profile.  An online fundraiser has been organized through the crowdfunding website YouCaring to bury Tsitsiline in Voronezh near his family. The page has raised $15,745 of its $18,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon.

"Many of us who knew him admired his big heart and his compassionate nature. He was a gymnastics coach to many of our kids and thus has made a life-long impact on them. He was a friend and he will forever be loved and sorely missed," according to a post on the fundraiser page.

Tsitsiline leaves behind his mother, Lydia, who also lost her older son, Alexander, in October, according to the post.

Donations to the fund can be made online at

A noon religious service has been scheduled for Tsitsiline on Jan. 15 at the Church of All Russian Saints at 744 El Camino Real in Burlingame, followed by a 1 p.m. memorial service at Crosby-N. Gray & Co. Funeral Home at 2 Park Road in Burlingame.

Anyone who has information on the collision is asked to call police Detective Kelvin Pham at (408) 277-4654.