Jim, commonly referred to as, “Mr. Gym” or “Mr. Gymnastics”, has been at Buckeye Gymnastics since 2001. Jim participated in gymnastics at the YMCA and the Columbus Recreation and Parks, Sports Aerobatics and Spring Board Diving RPAC. He was also an instructor under Jim Sweeney and Peter Kormann, the US Olympic Teach Coach.
Hannah learned her gymnastics at Buckeye Gymnastics spending five years competing on the Scarlet and Gray Team and reaching the Xcel Platinum Level. Hannah likes to challenge herself to go outside her comfort zone and to be the best she can be and she hopes to instill those values in her students.
Girls Team Coach
Dayah grew up in the gym. She competed as a member of Hills Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, Maryland, before earning a full college scholarship at West Virginia University. At WVU Dayah earned an undergraduate degree in Athletic Coaching Education with a minor in Personal Training and went to earn her Masters in Athletic Coaching. Dayah competed and lettered all four years at WVU culminating with a 3rd place All Around finish at the Big Twelve Championships in 2014 and in being elected Team Captain by her coaches for her dedication and leadership. She continued her gymnastics career at West Virginia as a graduate assistant coach and as a teacher and coach at WVU’s summer camp program.
Jolene, or Coach Jo, as she is known, has been teaching and coaching gymnastics for 18 years. Coach Jo has been a Preschool Gymnastics Program Director and a Head Team Coach for Levels 2-6 during her coaching career. She has developed many Individual State Champions and State Champion Teams. Coach Jo has always had a passion for working with kids thru sports teams and church. She is now our Tumble Bears Preschool Director at Buckeye Gymnastics in our Westerville location.
Nate learned gymnastics at Olympic Academy in Newark, Ohio and he learned to teach and coach over the past 13 years at gyms throughout central Ohio. Along the way John developed experience and skill in teaching preschool gymnastics, girls and boys gymnastics, competitive girls gymnastics, special needs, and Trampoline and Tumbling. John has a great way with kids and he provides his students with a fun, effective , and positive approach to learning.
Vicki was a gymnast at Buckeye for many years before returning to us to teach and coach. Vicki brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the gym where she is a popular teacher in the Gym Stars programs. Vicki was the lead tumbling coach for the Buckeye Flyers TNT team for many years where she developed many state, regional and national champions.
Buckeye Teacher / Girls Team Coach
Scott is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a Master’s degree in Sports Promotions. While at West Virginia Scott was a scholarship gymnast on the Mountaineer’s Men’s Team. Scott has over 35 years of coaching experience ranging from coaching college at West Virginia University and UC-Berkeley to 9 years here at Buckeye Gymnastics and 15 years spent coaching in California. He was a member of the So Cal USAG Board of Directors for a number of years while in CA. He is currently coaching S&G and USAG Girls team, and is the Scarlet and Grey Team Director and Operations Manager at Buckeye Gymnastics.
Julia grew up in Rocky River, Ohio where she trained and competed for Great Lakes Gymnastics. Julia went on to cheer for Rocky River High School while teaching gymnastics at Great Lakes. Julia is now at Ohio State.
Preschool Director (Powell)
Jennifer has been teaching and coaching gymnastics since 2011. Jen coached at Top Flight Gymnastics in Crestview Hills, KY and she was the Gymnastics Coordinator for the Ross County YMCA where she managed the entire program, taught gymnastics at all ages and abilities and coached the competitive team. Jennifer is the Buckeye Preschool Director at Powell.
Buckeye Stars Director (Powell)
Laura competed in gymnastics for six years and has coached gymnastics at Buckeye for over a decade. She is a graduate of Capital University, graduating with a degree in Biology and Psychology. Laura attended a six-week internship at Rushmore Gymnastics in London, England, where she shared with our British sister club the details of running an American style gymnastics school.
Girls Team Coach
Li Li is one of the most popular and decorated gymnasts China has ever produced. She competed in the 1992 Olympics
in Barcelona and in two world championships. She also coached Liu Xuan who earned a bronze medal on Uneven Bars at the 1999 World Championships. Li Li has been coaching at Buckeye for about three years and she has already had a huge impact sending several girls to National Team Training Camps, placing several girls on National TOPs teams, and getting our athletes qualified for J.O. Nationals.
Justin is an Ohio University graduate where he was a cheerleader for four years and was a member of the 2001 nationals team that placed 10th at NCA nationals. He has been coaching for over ten years and is currently in his elenth year coaching at BCE. His teams have won several National titles with various companies such as Jamfest, COA, and Cheer Power. He has also coached a BCE Team at the World Championships. He has also worked with several high schools and middle schools in the Columbus area and has judged for various competitions. Justin is NFHS certified, and both First Aid and CPR certified.
Girls Team Coach
Michelle came to us from WOGA, World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, in Texas where she was Xcel Team Director and an assistant compulsory coach. Prior to that Chellee was a graduate assistant for the Texas Woman’s University Gymnastics Team. She has also coached at Kips Gymnastics and U.S. Gold Gymnastics and was an accomplished gymnast herself and trained under Marty Wright at Olympus School of Gymnastics for 13 years from a beginner to Level 10 Nationals. Chellee holds a M.S in Kinesiology-Sports Management and a B.A. in Communications-Journalism, Minor- African American Ethnic Studies. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. while in Central Ohio. Chellee will be working with compulsory levels and optional levels through level 7.
Buckeye Teacher / Girls Team Coach
Gabby grew up at Buckeye Gymnastics starting at age 7 and “graduating” as a high school senior. She competed for Buckeye for 6 years through Level 8. She is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist and discovered that she has the gift of teaching after rejoining us as a gymnastics teacher and coach.
Ray attended Desmet Jesuit High School in the St Louis area where he wrestled and tumbled before heading to Ohio State. Ray is going to head up the Buckeye Warriors program and that tumbling and wrestling experience will be put to good use. One of Ray’s favorite quotes comes from Dumbledore, ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.’
Lauren was a student and competitive gymnast at Buckeye from the time she was in Kindergarten until 12 years old. She competed for Buckeye through Level 8 and then did gymnastics at Thomas Worthington High School. Lauren went on to get a degree in Early Childhood Development from CSCC. After getting her degree she worked as a preschool teacher for a number of years before returning to Buckeye to coach.
Angela is a graduate of Big Walnut High School and she has been teaching preschool for almost nine years including three years at the YMCA. She is certified in CPR, First Aid, Communicable Disease, and Child Abuse by the State of Ohio. Angie has been teaching at Buckeye for a decade.
Girls Team Director
In the 30+ years that Kittia has been coaching at Buckeye her gymnasts have won over 1,000 state, regional, and national titles. She was an elite gymnast herself and a former elite national champion and she attended Arizona State University on a full athletic scholarship. Kittia is also a brevet judge and she has judged the top American athletes at the most important competitions in the country including Championships of the USA and the Olympic Team Trials. In addition, Kittia was elected by the coaches and judges in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana to serve on the Region 5 Board for USA Gymnastics. As Head Coach at Buckeye Kittia coached Gabby Douglas to the 2016 Olympic Team (Team USA Gold) and 2015 World Championships Team (Team Gold, Silver AA) and she has developed both Nia Dennis and Shania Adams both USA National Team members. Buckeye was named the Region 5 Elite Gym of the Year in 2016.
Bri competed with Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, and later tumbled at Midwest Cheer Elite. While attending the Ohio State University, Bri joined the recreational gymnastics team and trampoline and tumbling team, and received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Bri has coached at a few gyms in Columbus and San Francisco for a total of four years. She has been with Buckeye since Autumn of 2016, where she is a Director in Training, teaches rec classes, and coaches the Scarlet and Grey team.
Girls Team Coach
Sasha is a former Champion of the USSR and a Master of Sport. He was also the head coach of one of the Soviet Gymnastics Training Centers in Ukraine where he developed national team members and at least one Olympian for the former USSR. Sasha brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Buckeye. He is hard-working with a focus on the development of solid and technically correct basics. Sasha has been coaching the Girls Team at Buckeye for over 20 years and he was part of the Buckeye coaching team that was voted Optional Coaching Staff of the Year in Ohio in 2016.
Chelsea started gymnastics when she was 2 years old and spent 11 years at Buckeye with many enjoyable years competing on the team. During that time, Chelsea also cheered for Genoa middle school and later for Westerville Central High School. After leaving Buckeye, Chelsea also competed and was a flyer on the Midwest Magic Competitive Cheer Team. Chelsea has been teaching at Buckeye for several years and is a popular teacher at all levels.
Girls Team Coach
Becky was already something of a legend in the sport of gymnastics in Ohio before she stepped into the gym as a coach at Buckeye. Becky was the 2012 Horizon Coach of the Year for Region 5 (OH, MI, IL, IN, KY), 2011 Ohio Judge of the Year, and the 2013 Spirit of Team Ohio award winner. She has been coaching some of the best gymnasts in the city, state and region as coach at Universal Gymnasts for over a decade and she was an accomplished gymnast in her own right at Lima Gymnastics. Becky brings over 30 years of gymnastics experience to Buckeye through her competing, judging and coaching and we welcome her to the coaching staff.
Charity Rae Ellzey
Charity all but grew up at Buckeye Gymnastics. She competed for us for many years and traveled all over the USA with her favorite competitions held in Florida, Texas, Chicago and Philadelphia. Charity was good on every event but she absolutely rocked on vaulting and was a many time State Champion on that event. Charity now coaches the sport that she loves and is a popular teacher at Buckeye.
Girls Team Coach
Becky has been involved in gymnastics since she was six years old. She was a top performer at Buckeye Gymnastics for seven years as she won many individual state titles and helped the Buckeye team win six State Team titles. She competed at the J.O. National Championships in Dallas and attended WVU on a full athletic scholarship in gymnastics while leading the Lady Mountaineers to four winning seasons. She has been an important component to our coaching staff at Buckeye for many years and she has developed many state, regional and national champions. She was part of the Buckeye coaching team that was voted Optional Coaching Staff of the Year in Ohio in 2016.
Viktoria is a graduate from Westerville Central high school. She took classes at buckeye from age 7 until she was about 16. She was on her high school gymnastics team and never lost her love for the sport. She’s currently pursuing a degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting at Marion Technical. She also holds a position at Riverside Methodist hospital which makes her certified in first aide and CPR. Her love for the sport is what keeps her so involved with coaching kids to become the best they can be!
Kristen grew up doing gymnastics and cheerleading is Fishers, Indiana. Bars was her favorite event in gymnastics while stunting was her favorite in cheer. In the end Kristen stuck with cheerleading and she competed in multiple National Championships and her team won Level UCA Large Senior 4 Nationals in 2010. My philosophy is that “Its not just about being the best athlete, its all about being the best person.”
Taylor Young Smith
Taylor is a former Buckeye gymnast who won floor at L9 Easterns, as well as competing for Eastern Michigan from 2013 until 2015. Taylor graduated from Eastern Michigan in 2017 with a BA in Communications and a minor is psychology. Taylor coached Buckeye’s Level 1 and Level 2’s prior to leaving for college and has expanded her coaching experience by coaching pre-team through Level 7 at Champion Gymnastics in Ann Arbor for the last two years.
Ariane was a gymnast for 11 years and was a level 9 State Champion gymnast at Olympic Academy in Newark. Ariane has a degree in Women’s Studies from Ohio State University, and is a licensed Esthetician. She has taught gymnastics for four years in Central Ohio and coached to level 4. She loves her cats and dogs, music, Colorado, and the smiles on kids’ faces while coaching.
Buckeye Cheer Elite Head Coach
Mike is the Head Coach for Buckeye Cheer Elite. Mike was a cheerleader at the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee while earning his degree in Graphic Design and Psychology. He started Buckeye Cheer Elite in 2000. Mike is First-Aid and CPR certified, AACCA certified (American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors) and USASF certified (United States All Star Federation). He was a founding member of NACCC (National All Star Cheerleading Coaches Congress). His teams have won top honors at the senior level 5 division in various national championships while participating in the top cheer competitions available included the Cheerleading World Championships. He has also coached and developed dozens of college cheerleaders for the Big Ten Conference, other big name conferences, and for many smaller schools as well. Mike was recently inducted into the Americheer Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a coach.
Jen Monaghan Held
Jen has been cheering for most of her life. As a high school student at Somerset Area High School in Somerset, PA, Jen cheered for four years with her school and also cheered for an all-star team that placed at UCA Nationals and at Worlds. She then went on to cheer at Slippery Rock University. Jen has worked for several years as an instructor for UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) at various summer camps and competitions.
Dance Director Powell
Anastasia graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in Theatre & Dance and she has been dancing for over 25 years. She was also a competition dancer for 10 years and was able to travel and learn from a variety of well-known teachers. She has also been a popular and accomplished teacher in her own right and she brings her talent, energy, and experience to Buckeye.
Girls Team Coach
Kaely was born in Durham, NC and grew up in Brunswick, OH. She spent 9 of her younger years as a gymnast for Medina Gymnastics Academy and competed 4 years for Brunswick High School, taking the team to districts in 2011. Kaely attended Marietta College where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemistry and toured with the Marietta College Concert Choir, She coaches gymnastics because… “gymnastics taught me dedication, hard work, and respect, gymnastics made me brave, bold, and confident, gymnastics inspired me to inspire others.
Girls Team Coach
Daniel has been coaching gymnastics since 2000 from pre-school to elite level gymnasts at Twistars USA (2000-2011) and at R-Athletics (2011-2016). Daniel has coached some of the most accomplished gymnasts in the country. More recently Daniel has been dedicated to the development of a progressive system of teaching and coaching that takes gymnasts from beginning levels to higher and then highest levels in the sport. He has been quite successful at this undertaking but he misses the day-to-day interaction with the gymnasts and other coaches and being part of a team. Daniel cannot commit to a traditional full-time schedule but he can commit to a stepped up and regular presence at Buckeye Gymnastics where he will work with the girls and our coaches in a collaborative effort to have each gymnast work to her potential.
Rachel began her initial training as a ballerina with Dayton Ballet School in Dayton, Ohio. She received additional training at San Francisco Ballet, Marin Ballet, Palo Alto Ballet, Jacksonville Ballet and Wright State University and became a professional ballet dancer in 1992 joining Dayton Ballet. Rachel has teaching experience of 20 years in all types of movement. She was Director of Dayton Ballet Junior Company, Dayton Ballet Outreach Program and has staged multiple works for choreographers she worked with while she was a professional dancer. After taking a short break to start a family, Rachel started working for Momentum where she is now Residency Program Manager and Senior Teacher. Momentum is a non-profit organization that teaches students the life skills of self-discipline, teamwork and striving for excellence. She joined Buckeye Gymnastics first as a parent following both of her daughter’s dreams and now as a teacher that loves working with children.
Anamaria (Bican) Roe
Girls Team Coach
Anamaria (Bican) Roe started gymnastics as a child in Romania and by the age of thirteen was invited to train at the Olympic Center among other national and international champions. She went on to win medals in such competitions as American Cup, Goodwill games and European Championships. She was selected to be one of the six gymnasts who made the 1996 Olympic Team for Romania but, unfortunately, she was unable to compete due to a knee accident. For the last past 16 years she has been coaching in the USA preparing athletes who won State, Regional, and National Championships. Anamaria is a National level rated judge and the recipient of Master of Sports Certification awarded by the Romanian Gymnastics Federation. She earned a BA Saginaw Valley State University in International Studies with emphasis in Business and a Certificate in International Business and a minor in accounting.
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