GET TO KNOW THE CREW

The Gymnastics Academy of Charleston 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 Gymnastics Academy of Charleston houses a large in-ground, foam training pit (measuring 16 feet x 18 feet), as well as a ring tower and a trench bar.

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VALERIE MATYSKIEL

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.

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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.

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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.  

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TIM RULE

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 is the head coach for the GAC Xcel program, working primarily with the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond groups.

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DENISE VINCENT

Facilities and Customer Service Manager

Denise was born and raised in Central Georgia, where her love for physical education started. She graduated with a Business degree from University of Georgia, where she played basketball. She is the mother of 3 daughters, the youngest of whom is a Level 9 gymnast at GAC. Her daughter's entry into the sport 7 years ago sparked Denise's passion for the gymnastics world. Denise is the front end Manager and Facilities Manager here at GAC. You will likely be greeted by Denise when you visit GAC with a smiling face. 

LINDSAY BENTLEY

Team Coach & TOPs Coach

Lindsay grew up in Eastern Tennessee and after marrying a Navy sailor, moved to and coached in upstate New York, Washington state, and now South Carolina. While in Washington, Lindsay obtained her Physical Therapist Assistant license and integrates her knowledge for rehabilitation into her coaching techniques, along with attention to detail and endurance-based training. She also aided in coaching National TOPs Team members, multiple Washington State Champions at the compulsory and optional levels, and a Developmental Invite camp participant.

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TAHJ COLLINS-WILLIAMS

Team Coach

Orginally from Columbia, South Carolina, Tahj moved to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston. She is currently a Senior and will receive her B.S. in Exercise Science upon graduation. 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. 

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MACKENZIE LUIKART

Team Coach

Coming to us from Florence, South Carolina, Mackenzie Luikart joined the GAC coaching team during the summer of 2018. She competed for Florence Gymnastics up to Level 8, and spent years coaching at their facility as well. More recently she worked for the Summerville YMCA with their gymnastics program, and is currently a College of Charleston student studying Exercise Science.

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CLAIRE SANDERS

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 Cane Bay 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.

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MAX FORTIER

Team Coach, Acro & Tumbling Head Coach

Max Fortier is a graduate of Wando High School and has a background in martial arts. He earned his first-degree blackbelt in taekwondo, and got into tumbling and "tricking" at the age of 13. After spending years attending GAC open gyms and tirelessly polishing his own skills, Max came on as a member of our staff in order to share the excitement of that transformative journey with others and has spent much of his time with our boy's team and ninja program. 

TAMMY SIMON

Xcel and Recreational Coach

Fitness has always been an important part of Tammy's life. In High school she ran track and field, cheered though middle and high school, started dancing at the age of 5 and continued all through college on the dance team. After obtaining a Bachelors degree in  Exercise Science from Lander University, she was an Exercise Physiologist for a wellness center, a personal trainer, and an aerobics coordinator/instructor. She has also taught college level fitness classes and preschool traveling gymnastics classes.  She loves children, of course having 4 of her own ;-), and teaching fitness and helping them achieve their goals.  Tammy home schools her 4 children and has 2 daughters on the gymnastics team(optional and compulsory), and another daughter and son that are highly competitive tennis players.  She is also certified as a Gymnastics judge for levels 4-5. 

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ALLY EIDSON

Team Coordinator

Ally Eidson is the daughter of Rebecca Parrish, one of the co-owners of GAC, 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.

JENNIFER BIRON

Special Events Staff

Coach Jen is from Goose Creek, SC, and has been involved in gymnastics for much of her life. She spent years doing recreational gymnastics in her youth, and now has a 13 year-old daughter, Emma, who competes Level 8 for GAC. Jen is a licensed massage therapist by trade, but has spent much of her time working with children as a preschool teacher or a nanny. She was one of our Ninja instructors, and now spends her time helping with our special events on weekends. 

SIDNEY VINCENT

Recreational Coach and Special Events

Sidney attends at Oceanside Collegiate Academy and began helping with recreational classes at GAC in 2017. She is currently a Level 9 competitive gymnast and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 7. She is a 5 time State Champion, and a 2-time Regional qualifier. She strives to be a positive role model for both young gymnasts and her teammates.

WILL BUCK

Boys Team Coach, Ninja Coach, Acro & Tumbling

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, ninja, and acro/tumbling programs. 

ABBY PROKOP

Xcel Coach and After School Program

Abby is originally from the state of New Jersey, though she moved down to Charleston, SC to attend the College of Charleston. She graduated in May of 2019 with a degree in Communications and a minor in Studio Art. She was a gymnast for 10 years in her youth, as well as a lacrosse player. When she's not coaching, Abby is interning for a wedding and event design company in Charleston, which she pursuing as a full-time career. 

COLLEEN VAUGHN

Recreational Coach

Colleen is originally from Hilton Head Island, SC, and has come to us after coaching for 5 years at Rock Hill Gymnastics. She graduated from Winthrop University in 2018 with a bachelors degree in Psychology and a minor in visual design. Upon graduation she moved to Charleston to pursue a career in public health. In her youth, Colleen was a competitive gymnast for 7 years before moving on to play travel volleyball. In high school she was also a pole vaulter, a competitive cheerleader, and participated in dance & acro. Colleen’s coaching experience includes teaching therapeutic horseback riding and dance and acro tumbling for two years.

GINA DIGIACOMO

Recreational Coach

Gina is originally from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts where she was a gymnast at Elite Gymnastics Academy (Ashland, MA). She competed up through Level 8 and competed both Xcel Diamond and high school gymnastics as well. After a recurring injury, Gina switched over to coaching and has worked with recreational classes, compulsory teams, and an Xcel program at Mass Gymnastics Center. She was brought down South to attend the College of Charleston where she is pursuing a degree in exercise science. Driven by her love of fitness, Gina is an avid "Crossfitter", and she hopes to someday get her doctorate in physical therapy.

WHITNEY WRIGHT

After School Manager

Whitney joined our fantastic team during August of 2018 and is in charge of our after school program. Before she had her four children, Whitney was a preschool and kindergarten teacher in Michigan.

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. 

DELANEY WHITE

Recreational Coach & Special Events

Delaney is a sophomore at Wando High School and has been doing gymnastics since the age of 8. During her time as a GAC gymnast, she competed up to Level 7, as well as Xcel Diamond. She has since switched over to the sport of track and field, specializing in the events of pole vault and high jump. Still wishing to pass on her passion for the sport of gymnastics, Delaney helps with special events, summer camps, and our Xcel Prep program. 

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CONTACT US

2029 Wambaw Creek

Charleston, SC 29492

843-856-2200

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