BGC STAFF

  • KEALA HOPPS

    Co-Owner / President / Coach

    Keala grew up doing gymnastics in Kirkland, WA and competed through Level 6 as well as on her Eastlake High School varsity gymnastics team.

    She began her coaching career while attending Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. She started by coaching preschool and recreational gymnasts and then started an in-house and Rec-Op Team program at the gym in Spokane. Upon her graduation from GU, she moved back to Seattle.

    Keala was called by the owner of a local Seattle gym and asked to come and manage the recreational program there. As director of the program for almost six years, she oversaw the hiring and training of the employees, helped with curriculum development and coached gymnasts in all recreational levels as well as Compulsory and Rec-Op Team girls.

    Since beginning coaching, Keala knew her end goal was to open and run her own gym. She has been passionate about watching kids develop a love for being active and involved in the sport of gymnastics. She is truly excited to bring her positive energy to Bothell and hopes to see you all in the gym!

    In her free time, Keala does kickboxing and Muay Thai and loves to ski and travel. She spent almost a year in 2011-12 traveling solo in Southeast Asia.

  • AMY LINHARDT

    Co-Owner / President / Coach

    Amy grew up in Oak Harbor WA. She did gymnastics at Oak Harbor Gymnastics School for ten years, retiring as an advanced optional gymnast at seventeen years old. She started coaching classes at her gym at age fourteen. After high school, she moved to Edmonds to attend college. During that time, she started working for a local gym. She was soon given the position of site manager, and decided that gymnastics was her true calling.

    During her 22 years working at the gym, she had the opportunity to run multiple different programs and sites. The first few years were spent running a site that offered a little of everything including recreational, preschool and lower level competitive teams. After her time there, she moved to another facility in the company and ran the competitive team program – USAG Levels 1-10. As the team grew, a separate facility was built to accommodate the growth. In that gym, development through level ten gymnastics was taught. Amy spent the next few years running that facility and developing staff and young gymnasts. Most recently, Amy has been running the gym’s preschool program.

    Amy is excited about opening Bothell Gymnastics Club and bringing her knowledge and experience to all of you!

    When Amy's not in the gym coaching gymnastics, you can usually find her and her husband supporting one of her two sons (aged 7 and 10) on the basketball court.

  • ADRIANE STEWART

    USAG JO Team Director / Coach

    Adriane grew up in Tacoma, WA and was a competitive gymnast at Grace Gymnastics Center. She competed through Level 8 and went on to do collegiate cheerleading at New York University.

    She began working with Amy and Keala in 2005 at a gym in Seattle. There she coached preschool, compulsory team and oversaw the Recreational-Optional Team program until 2010. Then, Adriane moved to Hawaii to complete an MBA at Hawaii Pacific University. While in Hawaii she worked for Hawaiian Island Twisters coaching USAG Levels 4 through 7 where her teams were four time state champions!

    Adriane is excited to be at BGC and grow a new Junior Olympic Team Program as the Team Director!

    In her spare time, Adriane is an avid fashion blogger and enjoys running and shopping.

  • BIANCA SWAIN

    USAG JO Development Program Director / Coach

    Bianca is a Seattle native who has been coaching gymnastics since 2004. She did gymnastics recreationally and then competed for the Shorecrest High School team in her junior and senior year. Not until she was enrolled at Washington State University did she join a recreational gymnastics club and really commit to working out.

    After a semester of gymnastics, Bianca decided to combine her hobby with her studies and put her degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Education to good use. She was hired to teach beginning gymnastics classes at Palouse Empire Gymnastics in Idaho. She spent her time there training with the owners on teaching and safely spotting more advanced and upper-level skills.

    After college, she moved to the beautiful Willamette Valley in Oregon and continued to coach in the afternoons in Salem at the Athletic Edge while teaching morning preschool and kindergarten at a Montessori school. Seeing as she is a life-long city girl, she moved back home to Seattle in 2009.

    For the past few years she has been the USAG Junior Olympic Development Supervisor at a gym in south Seattle. Over the last 10 years of coaching Bianca has managed to teach boys and girls between the ages of 1 to 41, including recreational classes, recreational teams, JO Team levels 1-6 and even dance and cheerleading.

    Bianca is excited about her new home at BGC. For a late start in the sport, gymnastics has unexpectedly become something great in her life: a wonderful career with many happy memories from many gyms for many years.

  • GUNNAR FIELD

    Boys Program Director / Coach

    Gunnar has been coaching gymnastics since 2002. Hailing from Minneapolis, he did gymnastics from ages 4 to 14, both recreationally and competitively. After stopping, he took his gymnastics skills to a local circus school and started to perform aeiral silks, trapeze and acrobatics.

    Gunnar has taught gymnastics and circus and performed all over Asia and the U.S. He has worked with boys and girls, preschool, recreational and pre-team. Gunnar has come to BGC to lead the boy's recreational gymnastics program. When Gunnar started coaching in the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he realized his true passion of coaching and working with children. His coaching style combines his formal and non-formal training from gymnastics and circus acrobatics.

    In his spare time Gunnar still trains hand balancing and likes to spend time with his family.

  • KENNEDY GIBSON

    Coach

    Kennedy started gymnastics at the age of 4 and loved it. Born and raised in Bothell, WA, she grew up doing gymnastics at a local gym. She spent most of her time doing exhibition gymnastics until she competed for Bothell High School. She was on Bothell's only state championship gymnastics team as a freshman in 2006. Kennedy also competed on an Acro Gymnastics team as a level 8 her freshman year of college, getting 4th at Nationals.

    At the age of 16, she began coaching and fell in love with watching kids be successful and have fun in the sport. She started out coaching little ones and then began coaching the exhibition teams at the gym she grew up at. She also coached Woodinville High School gymnastics for all 4 years that she attended the University of Washington. Going to school and coaching full time was definitely a challenge, but was well worth it because of her passion for the sport and because the kids were so important to her.

    Kennedy took a short break from coaching and then found Bothell Gymnastics Club - it was a place she could continue to do what she loves in a fun and supportive environment. She is looking forward to coaching the Advanced Rec-Op Team and seeing the girls grow in their gymnastics.

    Kennedy got a Bachelor's Degree in Media and Communications at UW and currently works at Cobalt, which is in downtown Seattle and has a lovely view of Century Link Field - Go Hawks! When she is not working or coaching, she loves to travel, spend time with her friends and family and go river floating during the summer. She is so excited to be at BGC!

  • ALIZA VACCHER

    Coach

    Aliza grew up in Eugene, Oregon and loved gymnastics from a young age. She competed in the Junior Olympic Program, including three years at level 10. When she was 16 she moved to Arizona and trained at Desert Devils Gymnastics with current BGC coach Meg Whitney. During this time she won multiple state and regional titles. She also finished third all-around and first on beam, her favorite event, at the 2010 JO National Championships.

    After she graduated high school, Aliza was a member of the University of Washington gymnastics team from 2010-2014. She competed all-around for the majority of her career. The highlights of her college career include beating Stanford to finish third as a team at PAC 10's her freshman year, winning vault at regionals her sophmore year, scoring her career-high all-around score on her senior night, advancing to nationals as an individual her freshman and sophmore years, and winning the PAC 12 vault title her senior year. She also recieved PAC 12 all-academic 2nd team honors in 2012 and 2014 and PAC 12 all-academic 1st team honors in 2013.

    For the past three years Aliza has coached at UW gymnastics summer camp and is excited to continue working with gymnastics after her own career is over. She enjoys working with gymnasts of all ages and skill levels, and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and love of the sport with the gymnasts at BGC.

    Aliza graduated from UW in June 2014 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in international studies. She loves to travel, read and write and hopes to someday become an international journalist.

  • MEG WHITNEY

    Coach

    Meg always loved doing gymnastics growing up, but it wasn’t until she moved to Mesa, Arizona in high school that she really started to excel in the sport. She trained at Desert Devils and competed as a level 10 for four years, during which time she won several State and Regional titles and finished 2nd in the all around at JO Nationals in 2008.

    After high school, Meg earned a full ride scholarship to the University of Washington. While at UW, she competed consistently on the vault and beam, helping to bring her team to the brink of qualifying for the NCAA National Championships three years in a row. Her favorite memories from her time as a college gymnast are upsetting Stanford to finish 3rd as a team at Pac-10 Championships in 2011, and hitting her career high score on vault during her final home meet as a senior.

    As a student-athlete at UW, Meg also excelled academically. She maintained the highest GPA on the team, and was awarded with the 101 Club Scholar Athlete of the Year award for the gymnastics team in 2013. She also received Pac-12 1st Team All-Academic Honors in 2012 and 2013. She graduated from UW in June 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and plans to go on to attend graduate school for physical therapy.

    While at Desert Devils Meg spent some time coaching, but she discovered her passion for coaching gymnastics through the GymDawgs Summer Camp at UW. She has coached at these camps for the last 3 summers and enjoys working with gymnasts of all ages and skill levels. She is excited to bring her gymnastics experience to Bothell Gymnastics Club, and can’t wait to help kids grow and build confidence through gymnastics.

    In her spare time, Meg likes to be active in any way she can. She also enjoys learning about physical therapy by volunteering in clinics and shadowing physical therapists.

  • NICK SCHMID

    Coach

    Nick started coaching in 1998 and has been coaching on and off ever since. He started coaching because he had always loved watching gymnastics in the Olympics and had a dream of coaching an Olympic team. He’s now been flipping since before he was 5. In High school Nick was on the diving team and placed 1st in Districts and 9th in State.

    Currently Nick owns an awesome carpet cleaning company - Dutch Masters Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning - and is enjoying time off from that by coaching gymnastics. (15% off steam cleaning for any BGC club members!)

  • STEPHANIE HORVATH

    Head Registrar

    Stephanie had a love for event planning and building community early in life, so naturally she studied Recreation at Western Washington University. Shortly after college, she moved to Nayarit, Mexico to work with friends, building an art and social-help based organization.

    Since returning to Seattle, her biggest endeavor has been raising her 3-year-old daughter Cecelia. Stephanie has a desire to help people achieve overall health through recreation, physical activity, community and nutrition.

  • KRIS POCH

    Registrar

    Kris is a native Washingtonian, born and raised in Shoreline. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BS degree in Math. Beginning her career at Safeco Insurance, she worked there for 7 years, lastly as a Business Analyst, before leaving when her first daughter was born.

    Kris is currently a stay-at-home mom, married with three daughters, Melanie, 16, Jessica and Rianna, 12. Kris now spends much of her time running kids to activities and volunteering at school. She has been involved with gymnastics for the past 10 years as a parent of gymnasts (Jessica and Rianna are member of BGC’s Rec-Op Team). When she has a free moment, Kris enjoys family time, gardening, reading, puzzles, and shopping with her girls.

  • NICOLE LEARY

    Registrar

    Nicole grew up in southwest Washington and played all kinds of sports growing up. She knew nothing about gymnastics until her daughter enrolled in classes as a 4-year-old. It's been quite a ride that has landed her behind the desk surrounded by the great coaches and staff here at BGC! She loves to see kids setting goals and the improvements that come with all of their hard work.

    In her free time, Nicole enjoys hiking, biking, watching movies, laughing and spending time with her husband and three children (including Kate - a member of BGC's Advanced Rec-Op Team).