Matthew Paul is the new cheerleading and dance coach at McPherson College.
The announcement was made Thursday by Mac Athletic Director Andrew Ehling.
The programs have been inactive the last two years, but will be part of KCAC competition this upcoming year.
Paul, who has owned and operated Next Level Athletics in McPherson since 2013, officially began his duties on June 1.
He has offered various cheer, dance, tumbling, gymnastics and fitness classes for individuals ages 2-22. In June 2016, Paul began a competitive trampoline and tumbling program that has produced several state champions in the short time it has been open.
"I'm excited to begin working more closely with the McPherson College cheer and dance teams in the upcoming year," said Paul, "and hope to provide our student-athletes with training and opportunities to further enrich their college experience as Bulldogs."
He has also assisted with the McPherson College Diamond Dogs cheer team and worked with individuals and programs at Wichita State University, Central Christian College and Butler County Community College, as well as Canton-Galva, McPherson High School and Wichita Collegiate. He has traveled throughout Central Kansas teaching specialized clinics and working with coaches and club owners to develop skill progression techniques and class structures for high level gymnastics.
Paul has also coached cheerleading and women's gymnastics at JAG Gymnastics in Andover, where he continues to serve as tumbling director. From 2013-2015, he coached competitive All-Star cheerleading - first at Cheer Fusion in Andover, then at ICT Cheer Legacy in Park City after Cheer Fusion's merger with Omega Cheer. Paul began as a tumbling instructor, but rose to teach recreational cheer and tumbling, as well as competitive teams from ages 5-14, and was the tumbling program coordinator for senior and advanced athletes.
Paul has been enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard since 2006, currently holding the rank of Sergeant. While with the Kansas Army National Guard, he has worked with the Marines, Navy and Air Force in joint operations while being deployed overseas on tours to Iraq (2007-2008) and Djibouti (2010-2011).
"I'm very excited about finding a coach with Matt's experience," Ehling said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and will be a great addition as we transition to competing in cheer and dance."
A native of Emporia, Paul graduated from Wichita State University in May 2017 with a degree in psychology. He also holds a technical certificate in automotive technology from Flint Hills Technical College, holds an EMT-B license and also works as a paraeducator in USD 259 in Wichita.