Katie Willis is the owner of Inland Empire Gymnastics Academy. A former elementary
school teacher and district administrator with San Bernardino City Unified School
District, Katie’s interest in gymnastics developed alongside her oldest daughter
Maggie. When Maggie’s gym decided to close its doors, Katie chose to open her own
program, rather than drive her daughter, five days a week, to another community for
training. Though never a gymnast herself, Katie has come to love the sport of gymnastics
and all that it can provide for young people. Katie can often be heard saying “you
don’t have to be a competitive gymnast to love gymnastics and get something out of
it…gymnastics offers something for everyone!”
Katie’s daughters are both still involved in gymnastics. Her oldest daughter Maggie
is a college gymnast at Gustavus Adolphus in Minnesota and Abby is on the IEGA Women’s Optional Team.
Danielle Gauntlett has been coaching here at IEGA since it
opened in 2004. No stranger to the challenges and rewards that the sport of gymnastics
provides, Danielle spent over 12 years as a competitive gymnast, reaching Level 10.
After a successful career as a competitive gymnast, Danielle now focuses her energy and
efforts on coaching other athletes to achieve the same success. Danielle enjoys watching
young children grow in to successful young ladies, and prides herself on teaching far
more than just gymnastics. Danielle has been coaching professionally since 1999, and
she also teaches summer school at a local elementary school. Danielle is First Aid &
CPR certified, Safety Certified through USAG, and a professional member of USA Gymnastics.
Danielle is constantly looking to learn more about the sport of gymnastics and annually
attends national, regional and local congresses, clinics, and coaching seminars in an
effort to bring “best practices” back to our gym. Danielle’s primary role is as the USAG
Compulsory Head Coach. In this role she is responsible for the development, oversight and
coaching of our Women’s USAG Levels 2-9 Competitive Team.
Mariano Noriega is the vault and bars coach for the women’s competitive gymnastics
team at Inland Empire Gymnastics Academy. With over 35 years of gymnastics coaching
experience, Mariano favorite part of this incredible sport continues to be helping
gymnasts to reach their personal goals. Mariano’s coaching career began in
his home country of Argentina, where his athletes
competed internationally in Brazil, Venezuela and Israel. Immigrating to the United
States in 2001, Mariano accepted a job at the National Gymnastics Training Center
in Aliso Viejo, CA, where he worked for nearly 10 years teaching all levels of
gymnastics including USAG compulsory and optional team.
Mariano and his family relocated to Palm Desert in 2011 where Mariano resumed
competitive coaching at The Gymnastics Academy. After settling into the Coachella Valley,
Mariano and his wife Gaby, who is also a gymnastics coach, established a mobile preschool
gymnastics business in order to provide more local opportunities for children to experience
the benefits of gymnastics instruction. Their “gymnastics on wheels” program serves
preschools throughout the communities of Palm Desert and Palm Springs.
Mariano has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, is First Aid & CPR certified,
Safety Certified through USAG, and is a USAG Professional Member in women’s artistic gymnastics.
An athlete at heart, Mariano is also on the volunteer ski patrol in Big Bear. When he
is not coaching, you will find Mariano spending lots of quality time with his family.
Robert Ito began coaching at IEGA in January of 2011,
however his tenure in the sport of gymnastics is quite lengthy and varied. Robert
says that his love for gymnastics runs very deep and stems from his competitive
experiences as a youth. A graduate of Colombus State University, with a BS in Exercise
Physiology and Kinesiology, Robert comes to us with 15 years of coaching experience
working with athletes from the recreational to elite competitive levels in both
men's and women's programs. Known to the kids at the gym as Coach Ito, Robert is First
Aid & CPR certified, Safety Certified through USAG and is a professional member of
USA Gymnastics in both women’s artistic gymnastics and men’s gymnastics. He is also a
USAG Men's Gymnastics Judge. Robert is the Head Coach of our USAG Men's Team, responsible for the development,
oversight and coaches in our Boys Program at Inland Empire Gymnastics Academy, with his
primary focus being men’s competitive levels 4-10. With Robert at the helm, IEGA’s USAG
Men’s Program continues to grow.
Taylor Smith, while new to Inland Empire Gymnastics Academy, is not new to the world of
gymnastics coaching. Taylor came to us in 2014 from a USAIGC competitive program in Los
Angeles and has now taken the reigns of our USAIGC program as the Head Coach. As such she
is responsible for the development, oversight and coaching of our USAIGC athletes, and she
also works in USAG program teaching a number of our developmental Power Kids and Pre Team
classes. With Taylor at the helm, IEGA’s USAIGC Program is already beginning to see tremendous growth.
Stephanie Walti has been coaching at Inland Empire Gymnastics Academy for over 5
years. She is our Recreational Director, Events Coordinator, and also Coaches for our newest
competitive program: Power TeamGym. Before coaching, she competed in artistic
and group gymnastics for 6 years and participated in acrobatic gymnastics for 2 years.
Stephanie has her USAG Safety and Instructor and First Aid & CPR certifications.
She is a recent Valedictorian Graduate from Art Institute of California where she received her
Bachelors of Science in Web & Graphic Design.
Shamaiah has been with IEGA for quite some time. Before she began coaching in
our Recreational, Tumbling, and Preschool programs, she was a competitive gymnast
in both our USAG and IGC programs for 6 years. Now, she is in her 3rd year of
college to become a Counselor, where she received a Scholarship from the SB
Police Department. Outside of the gym and school, she enjoys spending time with her daughter.
Alyssa loves inspiring gymnasts and helping them to reach their potential on the
gym floor! A graduate of San Jose State University, with a BS in Kinesiology, Alyssa
was a member of the SJSU Women's gymnastics team where she competed for the Spartan's
on Vault and Floor. She brings with her a wealth of gymnastics knowledge and several
years of coaching experience from preschool classes to Level 6. Some of her interests
outside of the gym include singing, dancing and drawing, and when she's not coaching,
Alyssa can be found outdoors being active.
You can check out one of her floor routine
Ciera is passionate about teaching children and helping them grow and develop!
A former dancer and gymnast, Ciera says that one of her favorite parts of coaching
is watching a child grasp a new concept or learn a new skill and celebrating with them.
Ciera is our Preschool Head Coach and brings with her a wealth of preschool gymnastics
and children's fitness knowledge. In her free
time she loves to sing and spend time with her friends and family.
Tanyr Wilson came to us in March of 2014. She
did recreational gymnastics and advanced tumbling. Tanyr teaches in our Girls and Boys
Recreational Classes and coaches alongside
Coach Ito in our Boys Developmental Program. She is currently
finishing her sophomore year in high school. Outside of the gym and school,
Tanyr enjoys tumbling and volunteering her time in the Special Needs ministry at her church.
Caitlin comes to IEGA with 12 years of coaching experience and works in
our Girls Recreational Program. Caitlin has earned degrees in both Exercise
Science and Nutrition, and some of her hobbies outside of the gym include
going on outdoor adventures, cross-fit, and spending time with her friends
and family. With years as a competitive gymnast under her belt, she enjoys the
challenge of working with gymnasts to develop new skills that they can use
beyond of the sport of gymnastics.
Jacob is a Tumbling and Boys & Girls Recreational coach at Inland Empire Gymnastics
Academy. He comes to IEGA with a background in competitive gymnastics and loads of
positivity. Jacobs favorite thing about coaching is getting to see his students
growth and sharing his passion for gymnastics with them. He is currently attending
the University of Redlands for B.M. in Flute Performance, and is even a member of
their diving team.
Coach Tobias, also known as Coach Toby, and competed in gymnastics for several year at IEGA.
He works with our Recreational Boy and Girls, and our Tumblers as well. He graduated from UCSB
in 2013 with a BS in Aquatic Biology where he competed on the diving team. Outside of coaching
he can be found rock climbing, camping, and scuba diving. Tobias says he enjoys coaching because
of the lessons he is able to teach through the sport of gymnastics.
Demi Brown works primarily with our youngest gymnasts in our Preschool Program.
She enjoys working with children and helping them learn new skills and grow as individuals.
Coach Demi was a cheerleader for 7 years and currently attends CSUSB where she majors in
Kinesiology. Her hobbies include going to the gym, swimming, and traveling.
Kaitlan comes to IEGA with 6 years of competitive gymnastics experience and works in our
Girls Recreational Program. She currently attends UCR and enjoys spending time at the lake,
beach, and playing with her two dogs Winston and Cooper. Her favorite thing about coaching is
seeing the kids improve their gymnastics skills and the happiness it brings them to do gymnastics.
Coach Selena works in our Girls Recreational & Preschool Programs. She studies Health Science and
Musical Theatre at CSUF, where she received a full academic scholarship. In her spare time,
Selena is an active participant in live theatre, performing in musicals, plays, and showcases,
and also enjoys painting and collecting art. She loves being able to spread positivity while
coaching and helping kids grow their personalities and gymnastics skills.
Reyna Nolin is our Front Office Manager, and comes to IEGA with an abundance of experience. Reyna has a
BA in Psychology and a Minor in Management, and is currently in a Masters Program for Healthcare
Administration. She says she loves to be a part of an amazing staff and loves getting to see the
kids so enthusiastic about gymnastics. Outside of work and school, she participates in Relay
For Life - American Cancer Society.
Catherine Bruce came on board as an IEGA staff member in 2013 and now works full
time in the front office, managing student enrollment, tuition and billing and the
many other needs of our amazing customers. Her love of gymnastics started when
she was on her high school’s Junior Varsity Gymnastics Team, but today her daughter
Helena’s passion for the sport keeps her flame burning bright as well.
Sheli works in our Front Office. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with high
honors for a Bachelor's and teaching credentials. She says she loves working with people and
how much her children have learned while taking gymnastics here, and has a son that competes
in our USAG Men's Program. Outside of the gymnastics world, Sheli volunteers at her church
in the Special Needs Ministry.
Viridiana, also known as V, is our Bilingual Office Clerk. She currently attends
RCC & MVC where she is finishing up her General Education Classes. In her spare time,
V can be found reading a book or hiking, and has her CPR Certification. She says she
loves to able to work in an environment that is positive for children.
Jennifer Lourdes Lynch received her training exclusively from the School of International Ballet. She received
scholarships from such prestigious schools as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, and Boston Ballet.
Jennifer became a member of Redlands Festival Ballet Company at age 10. She is an annual presenter at CAHPERD
Southwest Dance, Movement and, Acro Sports Workshop. She is certified in Pilates and Aero ballet barre.
Jennifer Lourdes Lynch is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training
Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.