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Staff

 

At Empire Gymnastics Academy we are dedicated to the preparation and development of each student on an individual basis. Our goal is to build a strong pre-school, recreational and competitive gymnastics program that will provide a positive experience in the sport of gymnastics, as well as instill confidence and self worth within each child that comes through our doors.

Owners, Chris Brashier and April Pyle

Chris Brashier has been involved in competitive gymnastics for 30 years. As an elite gymnast, Chris had the opportunity to compete against Chinese, Russian, and Ukrainian gymnasts before receiving a scholarship to The University of Illinois. An injury cut his career short, and Chris shifted his focus to coaching. He has coached multiple junior and senior national team members and his former athletes have attained state, regional, national, NCAA, and world titles.

"I have known Chris Brashier for over 20 years as one of my athletes and as a coach. Drawing on his experience as an athlete; I believe he understands the long term benefits of participating in gymnastics whether you go on to the Olympics or take a class once a week; gymnastics teaches you how to set goals, work hard and persevere. Chris and his staff at Empire Gymnastics are mindful of the child's development as an athlete and as a person. "
--
Kevin Mazeika
Houston Gymnastics Academy
Men's Program Manager
2004 & 2008 Men's Olympic Gymnastics Team Coach


April Pyle

April is a 2004 graduate of Baylor University.  She and Chris established Empire in 2006, and in that time they have developed and coached multiple state champions, regional champions, TOPS national team members and national champion athletes.  

Beatrice Mihaila

Coach Betty has a Masters degree in physical education, specializing in Women's Gymnastics. She graduated from the National School for Elite Coaches in Bucharest, Romania and is a Romanian Brevet judge. In May of 2005 she received the highest level coach certification available in Romania. Betty is the head Beam and Floor coach for the women's competitive team. 

Vassil Parouchev
Head Coach-Boys Team

We are so excited to welcome Vassil to our staff.

FIG Hall of Fame Brevet Judge 
Judged 2 Olympic games and 9 World Championships
Served the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation from 1989-1996
Coached for 12 years at HGA/GymMasters and HGC

Nikki McElroy

Nikki is a recent addition to Empire’s staff, having joined as head coach of the afternoon USAG team in December 2016.  Nikki joined Empire from Gymnastics Training Center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, where she coached multiple top gymnasts and where she was named USAG Massachusetts Coach of the Year.  In her first season with Empire, Nikki coached multiple state champions and regional qualifiers.

Audra Massoth


Audra has been involved in gymnastics for 22 years. Her competitive career began in Oklahoma at Citadel Gymnastics. Upon her retirement in 1999, she was level 10. She has coached at several acclaimed programs including Houston Gymnastics Academy, WOGA, and Empire Gymnastics Academy among others. Her passion for the sport and attention to detail make her a valued part of the Empire Staff.

Becky Shaw

Coach Shaw has been coaching gymnastics for 18 years, and has been the head coach of the Trinity High School gymnastics team since 2001. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Elementary Education and currently teaches high school health. She has two daughters, Courtney and Whitney.

Jeremy Crawford

Jeremy has been coaching competitive gymnastics for ten years. He coaches the competitive team girls on Vault, Bars and tumbling and has coached multiple athletes to state and regional championships. 

Tamara Linn

Tamara has been involved with the sport of gymnastics since 1974. She was a competitive gymnast on both state and regional levels before moving to coaching at age 17 and eventually owning her own gym. Tamara has been coaching locally since 2000. Throughout her 20 plus years of teaching and coaching, Tamara has worked with children of all ages and levels of gymnastics, cheerleading and physical fitness. She is USAG safety certified, a certified skill evaluator and CPR certified. She currently works full time with Special Needs children in the public school system.

Donnie Rexroat

Donnie is our Physical Therapist Assistant. He has been practicing physical therapy for 11 years, a licensed massage therapist for 17 years and a gymnastics and cheerleading coach for 21 plus years. His most recent certification as a Kinesiotaping practitioner with the national kinesiotaping association furthurs his rehabilition knowledge and expertise. Donnie competed as a gymnast and cheerleader throughout high school and college. He is a 2 time NCA All Star National Champion and a Division 1A NCA National Champion. Donnie resides in Coppell, TX with his wife of three years, Shelly.