At Ocala Athletix we are committed to bringing out the champion in every athlete. Regardless of age, gender or experience, all of our valued athletes will be given the skills necessary to be winners on and off the mat. With a Summit championship coach and a passionate and qualified staff, we will build and maintain a positive, healthy and unified environment that everyone can be proud of. We will build an all star cheerleading legacy that our entire community will enjoy for many years to come.
Building A Legacy
Since the 1800s, cheerleading has been a part of the American culture. What was once a sport focused on student bodies and collegiate sports, has blossomed into an eight-billion-dollar industry worldwide. Competitive all-star cheerleading drives that boom with an unsurpassed passion and fervor for the sport that is clearly positioned to grow.
Starting in 2020, the Olympics have recognized all-star cheerleading as an official sport, which means millions of children will be exposed to this amazing sport and many will have dreams of someday going for the gold with their teammates. What an exciting time for this sport.
As 40-year residents of Ocala, and parents of an all-star cheerleader, Mike and Jean Brennan explored the possibility and viability of offering a program solely focused on the cheerleading community. It was then the couple saw a need for a state-of the-art training facility and unsurpassed coaching talent, where both highly skilled local cheerleaders and all central Florida cheer newcomers would benefit greatly together.
In the 1980’s Jean won multiple national championships in the equestrian sport of hunter jumpers and knows what it takes to create champions. “I was blessed to have a tremendous coach and environment in which I reached my potential,” she says.” The culture I trained in was unsurpassed. I want that same commitment to be shown to Ocala’s all-star cheerleading community. These tremendous athletes deserve it.”
Under the direction of Ocala native and 2017 Summit Champion Coach Dennis Gilley, Ocala Athletix will offer students an amazing 10,000-square foot building filled with the most qualified and passionate coaches, state of the art equipment and an environment where excellence and attention to detail will be on display at every turn.
Ocala Athletix drives their mission on discipline while creating champions who strive for excellence in every phase of life, especially in academics. “On a daily basis we are molding and conditioning our athletes,” says Coach Gilley, “while teaching them the importance of commitment, sportsmanship, selflessness and camaraderie.”
“I want nothing more than our athletes at Ocala Athletix to excel in the sport of cheerleading as minis, youths, juniors and seniors – potentially earning college scholarships and eventually dominating on the college level,” explains Jean. “Nothing would make me prouder.” Giving back is one of the pillars upon what Ocala Athletix has been built. “We are committed to having a booster club that will provide scholarship opportunities for our athletes while, as a program, we will be very involved in community activities.” says Jean.
Jean’s passion for community, paired with Gilley’s skill and enthusiasm for cheer excellence, is undoubtedly a recipe for success. Coach Gilley’s mantra has always been, “Perfect practice makes perfect performance.” His reputation for being the best – creating the best – shines brightly. “His loyalty to his athletes is undeniable,” says cheer parent Michelle Nappi, whose daughter was coached for five years under Gilley. “I’m excited to see his winning streak follow him. He finally has a gym of his own – a permanent home for his relentless dedication to cheerleading – at Ocala Athletix.”
Athlete Oteaja Burton said of Gilley, “His work ethic is crazy and he always comes out on top. Of my ten years cheering, he is the best coach I have ever come across.”
Opening May of 2018, Ocala Athletix is now accepting enrollment and looks forward to welcoming both the inexperienced cheerleader interested in discovering his or her hidden talents, while challenging Ocala and Central Florida’s skilled cheerleaders to reach new heights.
Ocala Athletix is more than a facility, they are a family. Whether you’ve never cheered before or have grown up with a pom-pom in your hand, they invite you to call Ocala Athletix “home.”
Article courtesy of Family Times Magazine