Meet our Staff:
Owner, Universal Athletics
The "Always Pushing for More" Coach
Aaron is the head coach of the all-star cheer program and head instructor for all tumbling classes beginner through advanced. He coaches our Ninja obstacle training class as well. Aaron graduated from Cumberland College with a degree in Business Administration. He has over 22 years of experience in the field of gymnastics, cheerleading, and tumbling. He has taught tumbling and gymnastics since 1996 in Frankfort, Lexington, London,and Murray KY. He cheered at his University for 4 years and professionally for the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team. Aaron has coached and choreographed for many teams throughout the United States. These teams have claimed numerous championship titles. The UKC All-Stars, under his coaching, won Program Champions in 2005 at JamFest Nationals, have received numerous bids to US Finals and the D2 Summit, and have claimed the title of National Champions on many occasions. Aaron has judged tryouts and competitions in various parts of the country. Aaron loves coaching the sport of cheerleading and gymnastics and safety is his number one goal. Aaron's dream was to own and operate a gymnastics and cheerleading training facility and UKC is his full time commitment. Aaron's dedication to the sport and commitment to the gym attributes to all the students successes! He has certifications through the United States All Star Federation in all levels 1-5., CPR, and First Aid training. Aaron is also the Head Cheer Coach for Murray State University Co-Ed Cheer Squad. He has employed and trained collegiate and all star athletes for Summer employment to travel the US to instruct cheer camps and clinics. He has been invited to other countries to share his experience. Aaron is a spirit industry professional and works closely with event producers to create positive cheer experiences. Aaron has developed athletes tumbling skills from very beginner to advanced. He focuses on teaching proper technique and safety. Whether you need skills for school tryouts, are wanting to cheer at college, aiming for a national championship, wanting the dream of getting paid to travel the country and teach cheerleading, or simply want to flip for fun...you need to meet Coach Aaron!
Most people don't know this about me but.....I am a certified Scuba diver.
If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be: Philly Cheese Steak.
Pepsi or Coke: Diet Coke!
Favorite Part of All-Star routines: Partner Stunts
Owner, Universal Athletics
The "Mother-Hen" Coach
Joelle is the head coach for the all star cheer program and oversees the Recreational programs here including KinderGym, MiniGym, and Tumbling Program. Joelle is also the coordinator of the UKC Prep Cheer Teams. Joelle graduated from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Needs Education and Spanish. She cheered for her University and competed with them at UCA College Nationals. Her University is one of Pennsylvania's top college cheer programs. She loves coaching kids and seeing them get new skills, make new friends, and conquer new challenges. She is a positive role-model to all the kids. Her love for children has made her a caring, positive coach who teaches the important message of always giving your best ! Joelle has been coaching youth, middle, and high school athletes for over 21 years. She has traveled the United States instructing middle school and high school cheerleaders and has worked with over 1,000 school cheerleaders and coaches. She is a well known choreographer and has choreographed over 250 routines for school cheerleaders and all star competitors. Coach Joelle spends her days talking with other coaches around the country to offer them advice and instruction on developing spirit leaders and all star performers. She has close relationships with spirit industry professionals like event producers, magazine editors, and collegiate coaches. She has judged regional, state, and national competitions and tryouts throughout PA, KY, OH, TN and WV. Joelle choreographs all of the Curriculum for a National Cheer Camp Organization. She also trains collegiate athletes and top all star athletes for Instructor Certifications. She was a professional cheerleader for the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers. Joelle is also safety certified in all areas and levels 1-5 through USASF and AACCA.
If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be: Little Caesars' Crazy Bread
Favorite Quote: "Teamwork makes the dream work!"
Favorite Gymnastics Event: Balance Beam
Pepsi or Coke: Coke...all day every day!
Reason why you love the sport: The hours of dedication and hard work don't compare to the adrenaline rush behind stage and the seconds before the music begins!!! Performance time is my favorite!!!
Mary Ann Morrison
Competitive and Recreational Gymnastics Coach, Tumbling Coach
The "Do It All" Coach
Mary Ann has experience in both cheerleading and gymnastics and this gives her an advantage on teaching proper technique in skill development. Mary Ann was an all star cheerleader for 6 years with Universal Kentucky Cheer All-Stars and was involved in gymnastics for 8 years at Universal and Cain's Academy. She has coached at Universal for the past 14 years. She has coached competitive gymnastics for 7 years including USAG Levels 2-7. She was a 2009 Flip Fest Summer Gymnastics Coach and worked alongside Olympians such as John Macready, John Rothlisberger, Courtney Kupets, and Blaine Wilson. She has continued her professional development by attending lecture session on athlete motivation and team building by Steve Butcher, a national clinician and Olympic judge. She has also completed USAG U100 Instructor's Course. Mary Ann has also completed Premiere's Staffing Certification and was a Summer cheer camp instructor for Premiere Cheer Camps and has coached school and all star teams in learning new material and choreographing their competition routines. She has been a judge for cheer competitions as well as cheerleading school tryouts. Mary Ann was the 2007 recipient of the Universal Kentucky Cheer $1,000 Scholarship for her commitment to her athletic talents, community service, and leadership. Mary Ann is a USAG Professional Member for 6 years and USAG Safety Certified for the last 7 years. She is Adult and Pediatric First Aid, CPR, and AED Certified by the American Red Cross. Her dedication to cheerleading and gymnastics, and knowledge of both sports, makes her an outstanding coach! Mary Ann believes in kid's talents and always gets 110% out of her athletes.
If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be: Potatoes
Reasons why you love the sport: It takes an unbelievable amount of talent to be an all star cheerleader or gymnast.
Pepsi or Coke: Coke
Favorite Part of Routine: Jumps and Partner Stunts
Favorite Gymnastics Event: Bars
Favorite Quote: "Both of us wanna be the winner, but there can only be one!"
Competitive and Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Danielle is a USAG Professional Member and Safety Certified. Danielle grew up in the Universal family, competing with the team program when she was 8-13 with Cain's Academy of Gymnastics years ago. Here she won the Level 3 State All Around Gold. Advanced to Level 5 with a 2nd place finish and later won gold in Level 6 and 7. She earned a spot on the Kentucky All Star Gymnastics team and took 1st place against OH 2 years in a row. We have a true champion! Coach Danielle has been coaching recreational gymnastics and team gymnastics at Universal for 5 years. Danielle is currently coaching recreational classes in addition to Xcel Silver, Gold, and Level 4 and 5. Her approach to coaching is fun, patient, and positive. She has enjoyed seeing a ton of progress and developing new routines for Xcel.
UKG Team Gymnastics Coach
Madison began gymnastics at the age of three at Logan County Gymnastics in Russellville, KY. She began cheerleading at age ten and cheered competitively for her school throughout junior high and high school. She began working as a gymnastics coach in her hometown in 2015 until she moved to Murray to attend college at Murray State University, majoring in psychology and minoring in special education. She plans to pursue a career in child psychology. She is currently a UKG Team Gymnastics coach here at UA and loves having fun with the young athletes and seeing them progress and learn new skills for the very first time. Her passion for kids allows her to build strong relationships with the athletes and motivate them to learn new skills for their competitive season success!
Favorite Movie: The Avengers
Favorite Food: Ice Cream
Favorite Part of Gymnastics: Seeing the kids grow confidence and believing in themselves.
Why do you love Universal?: I love Universal because all of the coaches are amazing! They are skilled at what they do and care so much about the athletes. I also love getting to know all the gymnasts and watching them grow. They are all hilarious :)
UKC Head Prep Cheer Coach, All-Star Tumbling Coach and Ass't All Star Coach
Coach Kennedy was a former all star cheerleading under the direction of Coach Aaron and Coach Joelle for 12 years. She competed all levels 1-4 at various Regional and National Events. She has now moved into the coaching realm here at Universal and has been instructing athletes by leading by example and pushing each kid to their best! Kennedy is attending Murray State University and studying accounting and finance. When she graduates she plans to attend law school to become a tax attorney! Coach Kennedy is a fantastic role model to all our athletes!
Favorite Food: Steak and Baked Potato
Favorite Movie: Harry Potter
Why do you love Universal?: I have been at Universal since I was 6 years old. It was this gym and the coaching staff that made me not only the cheerleader that I am but the person that I am today. Universal is more like family than just a cheer gym.
Favorite Part of Cheerleading?: My favorite part of cheer is that overwhelming feeling of just hitting your whole routine at competition, both as an athlete and as a coach.
Head Tiny Cheer Coach and Toddler Time Coach
Morgan's cheerleading background as a former All-star cheerleading athlete since she was 9 years old, paired with her field of study at MSU gives her great expertise in coaching our youngest athletes. She is attending Murray State University. She is an Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Major. She loves little ones and her patient, genuine, and fun spirited coaching style is the perfect fit for Orbitz and Toddler Time students. Morgan is a sweet soul that brightens our days here at Universal and her dedication to making sure these athletes are engaged in the fun of fitness is contagious!
Why do you love Universal?: I love Universal because it is my second home and has been for many years. There is so much love and support between everyone in the gym, how could I not love this place!
Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers:)
Favorite Movie: Sweet Home Alabama
Favorite Part of Cheerleading: Stunts and Dance
UKC Prep Cheer Coach, Head Recreational Tumbling Coach, and Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Ashtin is an awesome asset to our programs here at Universal! She joined our team in 2017 and has connected with the athletes and enjoys seeing them get new skills! Ashtin's background is in school cheer. She has grown to love and dive right into learning and teaching new and innovative drills for technique development in tumbling. She excels at team coaching because of her strong ability to teach what she knows and has an eye for details. Ashtin is CPR certified. She has traveled the United States instructing Middle School and High School cheerleaders during the summer months. Ashtin has a fun loving personality! She attends MSU and plans to graduate and become a Chemistry teacher.
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy
Favorite Food: Steak and Potatoes
What is your favorite part of cheer or gymnastics: Performing and Dance Sections
Why do you love Universal?: Universal is full of positivity, love, and support. It is a place where anyone can feel at home. We are like a big family!
UKG Team Gymnastics Coach, KinderGym and MiniGym Coach
Eleri Gesler began her gymnastics career right here at Universal. Her young self was one of our original members. Eleri has evolved into a great coach that brings experience and knowledge to her instructional tactics. She has 8 years of competitive gymnastics training and she has been coaching Competitive team girls and recreational students for 3 years. Eleri now attends Murray State University and is a Political Science Major. Eleri encourages proper skill progression and strives for athletes to have great technique in their gymnastics skills. She knows that gymnastics is fun and builds confidence!
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Movie: Clueless
Favorite Part of Gymnastics: I love how gymnastics lets you fly!!
Why do you love Universal?: Because it is like a big family where everyone is super supportive of each other!
KinderGym, MiniGym, and Ninja Coach
Ninja, and Boys Tumbling Coach
KinderGymnastics and MiniGymnastics Coach
Chloe is the perfect fit for our Kinder and Mini kiddos! Her sweet personality and love for kids and the sport are just the perfect match! Chloe is a former gymnast, school cheerleader and competitive all star! She is currently studying at Murray State University for Nursing. She will graduate in 2021. She loves working at Universal because she loves the relationships she's made with the kids she coaches in both KinderGym and MiniGym. She enjoys having fun with them each week!
What is your favorite part of gymnastics and/or cheer? Floor in gymnastics and tumbling in competitive cheer
Favorite Movie: ALL Harry Potter movies
Favorite Food? Sushi