Ellen Barker was tapped as the head coach of the Bulldogs acrobatics and tumbling program on June 14, 2016. At Adrian College, the Michigan native is beginning her first season in a professional coaching setting in 2016-17.
"Ellen has a solid background in acro and tumbling, gymnastics and competitive cheerleading that complements her knowledge of prep programs and clubs in Michigan," Duffy said. "Those attributes, along with her success at the national level as a collegiate student-athlete, will serve her well here at Adrian College."
Barker is making a return to her home state of Michigan. The Mason High School graduate attended Davenport University in Grand Rapids for two years, participating in competitive cheer. She helped the Panthers claim the National Cheerleaders' Association All-Girl III national championship and was named an NCA All-American.
Then she transferred to NCAA Division II Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., where she was a member of the acrobatics and tumbling program for three seasons. Barker earned two event national titles in duo tumbling and the flipping pyramid in 2014. As a senior, she was voted captain by her teammates for the 2015-16 season. She also helped maintain the team's Instagram and Facebook social media accounts as well as created other various promotional material.
"I am thrilled to be a part of Michigan's only acrobatics and tumbling program, so I am very thankful to Adrian College for giving this opportunity to me," added Barker. "As a Michigan native, I am excited to connect with athletes with backgrounds similar to mine. Being a previous acrobatics and tumbling athlete, it means so much to me that I now have the opportunity to offer young women a chance to be a part of a varsity collegiate sport."
After studying business marketing at Davenport, Barker earned a bachelor of arts degree in cinematic arts (film business) from Azusa Pacific this past April. She made Dean's List and was on an academic excellence scholarship at both institutions.
Barker's athletic career began as a gymnast at Great Lakes Gymnastics Club and Red Cedar Gymnastics in Lansing for 11 years from 1995 to 2008. She was a Levels 5-7 top-10 ranked state finalist and 2008 prep-optional state champion in the Gold Division. She also was a varsity cheerleading for four years at Mason High School.
Barker also has worked for Maxathletics Summer Camp each June since 2011. She coached high school cheerleaders tumbling and stunts, demonstrated and taught basic body positions, and coordinated with the camp director and fellow coaches on all camp operations.
Biography written by Adrian College Athletics