GET TO KNOW THE CREW
The Gymnastics Academy of Charleston - Clements Ferry facility is the premiere gymnastics and tumbling facility in the low country. The gym is a 16,000 square foot air-conditioned facility with AAI equipment specific for training the four Olympic events and additional mats for drills and progressions to learn specific skills. The building houses two
in-ground, foam training pits (one measuring 16 feet x 18 feet), as well as a ring tower and a trench bar.
Head Coach + Co-Owner
Valerie grew up in Massachusetts where she trained at Gymnastics Training Center and was coached by Dutch Olympian, Richard Maijs, and Bulgarian Olympian Tania Fillipova. Valerie was a 3-year level 10 competitor. She was a member of the 2004 Massachusetts National Team and qualified for Vault finals. Valerie was recognized for her Scholastic honors in the Boston Globe and Herald. Valerie attended the College of Charleston and graduated in '07 with a bachelor's degree in political science and health. Valerie has grown her competitive team from scratch to over 100 team members. In those years she has had countless State Champions and multiple Regional Qualifiers and Champions. She has coached a TOPs National Team member, Level 10 JO National Qualifier, and has successfully coached many to college scholarships.
REBECCA M. PARRISH
Business Manager + Co-Owner
Becky was born and raised West of the Ashley in Charleston, SC. She graduated with a Business and Industrial Safety Degree from Newberry College and has been a successful business manager for over 25 years. She was a competitive baton twirler with various state and national awards. She is passionate about fitness for children and helping them find a means to further their education through the sport of gymnastics. She has one son and a daughter who graduated as a Level 10 gymnast. She is married to Randy Parrish.
Program Developer | Boys Head Coach & Girls Optional Coach
"The Professional FunMaster" Randy was a former competitive college gymnast at Illinois State University. He has been coaching since 1976 and owned Quincy Gymnastics for 25 years and coached gymnasts and cheerleaders to the National level and collegiate level. He is a certified Physical Education teacher. In addition, he is the director of FLIP FEST summer gymnastics camp in Tennessee owned by Olympians John Macready and John Roethlisberger. He coaches all levels including recreational gymnastics here at GAC. He is GAC’s Program Developer and Director. He has coached athletes to various State, Regional, and National levels. He is USAG National and Regional Clinician and USAG Men’s and Women’s Professional Coach, Meet Director and Safety Certified.
Xcel Head Coach
Tim is from Annville, Pennsylvania, and has been working in East coast gymnastics facilities since 2007. He was a varsity athlete in high school and a talented amateur tumbler. While never a competitive gymnast, Tim has spent well over a decade with the sport on both competitive and recreational sides. He moved to Charleston for graduate school and earned his Masters of Communication from CofC. He is the head coach for the GAC Xcel program, working primarily with the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond groups.
Orginally from Columbia, South Carolina, Tahj moved to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston. She earned her B.S. in Exercise Science in 2019 from CofC. Tahj was a competitive gymnast for 10 years before college, and competed Level 10. She works with both our compulsory and optional programs at GAC.
Xcel Team Coach
Claire is from McLean, Virginia, and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2016 with a major in Special Education. She is currently an Elementary Special Ed Teacher at Bowen's Corner Elementary. Claire coaches the upper-level Xcel teams at GAC. Her background involves teaching adapted gymnastics for special needs children, as well as the level 4 team. She was a gymnast for 15 years and competed level 8.
Team Coach, Acro & Tumbling Coach
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Will Buck has been in the gymnastics and tumbling world for most of his life. He recently graduated from Wando High School and has gone on to join American Cheer Xtreme in Irmo, South Carolina, just outside of Columbia. Will competed up to Level 10 and works with our gymnastics and A&T programs.
Boys Team Coach, Ninja Instructor
Mitch was born and raised in Fulton, NY, and moved to Charleston in 2020 with his wife and two children to escape the snow. He coached for 4 years and taught Ninja for 2 years with Blaze Gymnastics before joining us at GAC. Growing up he was a gymnast for 7 years, as well as a football and lacrosse player. He brings big energy to our gym and is passionate about seeing his students grow through both successes and failures.
Boys Team Coach
Tommy is originally from Hilton Head, SC, and moved back to his home state in 2020 after spending 10 years in California. Though he was never a competitive gymnast, and has spent time coaching AAU basketball as well, Tommy found his true passion for this sport on a Euro bed trampoline and began his gymnastics journey. After working his way up through recreational classes, ninja, and team, he coached the members of Stanford Boys Gymnastics, creating Regional and National champions along the way. Tommy was also the Master Coach on trampoline at Stanford University for both men and women.
Originally from Iva, SC, Alexis came to Charleston to attend CofC and earned her B.S. in Finance with a Minor in Economics. She began gymnastics when she was 18 months old and competed levels 5-9 at Electric City Gymnastics in Anderson, SC. She was also a part of the College of Charleston's club gymnastics program, and she has been coaching since the age of 16. She currently works full-time as a Human Resources Administrator at Nucor Steel Berkeley.
Chesny is originally from Charleston and graduated from Wando High School in 2020. She currently attends the University of South Carolina Beaufort majoring in Public Health.. She competed 3 years of compulsory levels and 3 years in Xcel, as well as coaching since the age of 16. She’s worked with Levels 3-7 and Xcel Silver-Diamond. A particular point of pride: at her last competition one of Chesny’s scores earned her 2nd place in the nation.
Ally Eidson is the daughter of Rebecca Parrish, one of the co-owners of GAC, and she is a graduate of Wando High School. She began gymnastics at the age of 3 and now competed as a Level 10 gymnast, becoming a 4x Regional Qualifier and Level 8 Regional Beam champion on the way. Ally coaches recreational classes and competitive teams.
Special Events & After School Staff
Chloe attends Wando High School, Class of 2023, and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 8. She has been doing gymnastics since she was 18 months old and has competed up to Level 8 and Xcel Diamond with GAC. She works our special events, day camps, and open gyms.
CAROLINE MACKAY DROLET
After School Instructor and Recreational Coach
Caroline is a graduate of Academic Magnet High School and will begin her collegiate education at USC in the fall of 2019. She competed for GAC as a level 9 gymnast and has been working our birthday parties, open gyms, and other special events since 2017. She currently assists with our after school program.