Ed and Claudia Kretschmer are the founders of Gym America and the head coaches of the competitive team. Both Claudia and Ed were athletes at the University of Florida, where Claudia competed on the women’s gymnastics team and Ed on the track team as a pole-vaulter and decathlete. Together, the two have produced many regional and national level competitors. Ed’s bio-mechanical background has been a great force behind Gym America’s success. Claudia has served on the USA Gymnastics State Board for over 20 years and has served as a state, regional and national clinician. In 2003 and 2005 she was honored to receive the USA Gymnastics National Instructor of the Year Award. She is also a two-time recipient of Region 5 Contributor of the Year and USA Gymnastics Service award. She pioneered the Xcel program for the State of Michigan and Region V, and is now the National Xcel Chair. Claudia also is a National Certification Instructor for USA Gymnastics.
Both Ed and Claudia are strong believers in maintaining a high level of coaches’ education and developing a good team through discipline, consistency and positive motivation. Claudia and Ed live in Saline and have two sons, Kevin and Kyle.
Brian Zook has been coaching gymnastics over 30 years. He competed for WMU and earned his teaching degree in Physical Education. Brian is the former owner of Great Lakes Gymnastics in Lansing Michigan. He has produced many National Level competitors, and state and regional champions. Brian is a full-time coach at Gym America. He coaches all levels of the competitive team. Brian also heads the Gym America on Wheels program. Brian has been a clinician and coach for State and Regional Congress and training camps. Brian has been honored to win the 2009 Michigan Male Compulsory Coach of the Year Award and received the Instructor of the Year award from USA Gymnastics. Brian is also a National Instructor teaching the W200 certification course for USA Gymnastics. Brian and his wife Autumn live in Saline and they have two children MacKenzie and Carter.
Sarah Osburn has been coaching at Gym America for over twenty-five years. She is an excellent coach with many years of experience with both optionals and compulsories. Sarah is a lawyer in her day job and is the City Attorney for Adrian. Sarah truly loves the sport of gymnastics; she is a great choreographer and works with all levels of the competitive team. She is a positive force at Gym America. Sarah is married to Brian and has two children Brock and Morgan. Sarah was the first coach in the country to score 100% on her GymCert certification exam!
Kim Tanana has been involved in the gymnastics world for 20 plus years through competing, judging, or coaching. She competed for her high school team in Pipestone, Minnesota and then tried her hand at judging while getting her B.S. in Psychology and Special Education Minor at Mankato State University. Kim has coached preschool, recreational, and team gymnastics up to level 9 and has produced several state champions both individual and team. With that said however, her main achievement she feels is the fact that she has taught good gymnastics in a very positive manner. The important life lessons that are being taught to the young athletes are her main focus: Never say, “I can’t” and always say, “I’ll try” is her mantra.
Emily Bartley is former gymnast (though you might still catch her in a leo once in a while), Emily was bitten by the “gymnastics bug” at age 8 and has never been able the walk away. She began coaching at age 14 at her home club and over the years has coached and/or done choreography for various clubs, community organizations, high schools teams, and even a sleep away summer camp. She has been with Gym America for 6 years. In her non-gymnastics life, Emily is married, and works as a clinical pharmacist for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Ann Arbor. Emily coaches the Xcel Team.
Heather Helms has worked at Gym America for over 9 years. Heather has worked at all levels of our program. From pre-school to competitive teams she has a wealth of knowledge about our program. You will also find Heather in the office as she is the Office Manager for Gym America. Heather lives in Plymouth with her husband Ryan and little boy Clark. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Business Marketing. Heather also coaches levels 4 & 5.
Jamie Krol has been one of Gym America’s pre-school, parent & tot, and recreational instructors since May 2011. She is also an instructor for Gym America on Wheels, a portable gymnastics program that she takes to schools, church’s, special events, and recreation centers for groups of children of all ages. Jamie is a previous gymnast, childcare giver, and mother herself to an elementary-aged child. She loves children and children love her! Her goal with each class is for all of the children to have fun, build confidence, and of course to learn and become more familiar with gymnastics.
Samatha Higgins is a former Level 9 gymnast at Gym America. Sam attends EMU and continues to pursue her passion of gymnastics. Sam teaches all levels of classes and pre-team programs at Gym America. Sam also works with the Xcel and compulsory programs.
Nikki Brady has been coaching at Gym America for five years. Nikki works with Gym America’s Xcel Bronze and Silver teams. Nikki is fun, energetic and dedicated to her athletes. She enjoys watching the improvements the girlsmake during the season.
Andrea Price is a former Gym America gymnast. She attended Central Michigan University on a full athletic scholarship. Andie was the assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University for 11 years. Andie is back home at Gym America. Andie works with all levels of the competitive team. She also is the Movement Director for the Gym America Montessori School.
Patty is a team coach with both the Xcel and JO programs, and is also the pre-team coordinator at Gym America. She has been coaching at Gym America since 2008, but has 9 years of previous coaching experience, as well as experience as a former gymnast and a compulsory judge. She has both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, as well as experience as a dancer that she utilizes when coaching. In her free time, she enjoys doing aerial silks and attending dance performances, but her favorite place to be is in the gym with her kids.
Kurtis graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2013 with a degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology. Kurtis is the director of the instructional and boys programs, and coaches a wide range of classes here at Gym America. Each of his classes and groups are high energy and fun, while giving young athletes the opportunity to develop their skills as a gymnast. His goal is for each of his students to grow in their gymnastics ability while developing many life skills such as self-confidence and perseverance.
Grace has been coaching at Gym America since 2013. She recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelors in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She was a former level 9 gymnast at All American Flames Gymnastics and was involved in club gymnastics during her time at EMU. Grace enjoys coaching because it allows her to combine her passion about gymnastics and her love of working with kids.
Rachel Cole graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Speech and Language pathology and a minor in Psychology. She is now in the Special Education program at Eastern Michigan University. She competed club gymnastics for Saline High School and later for Grand Valley State University. She coaches multiple boys and girls instructional classes with the goal of fostering a love for gymnastics and a comprehensive understanding of the foundational skills of the sport.