ELKINS, W.Va. — Keyser native Mariah Ack has been named the second head coach in the history of the Davis & Elkins College acrobatics & tumbling program, Director of Athletics Jamie Joss announced Thursday morning. Ack spent the previous season as a graduate assistant coach at West Liberty, working with the Hilltoppers in a truncated 2020 campaign.
Ack worked in conjunction with head coach Kelsey Kyle, her former teammate at Fairmont State, during her brief stint on the hilltop. Ack was responsible for the creation of conditioning plans during the offseason and preseason, managing travel plans and the creation of team event music and layout.
“When I say I have worked my entire life for this opportunity, I am not exaggerating,” Ack said. “From a little girl who spent hours in a gym to a college athlete to an assistant coach, this is the culmination of all of those experiences—all of which will enable me to lead and develop this team.”
West Liberty broke program records in all but one heat after just three competitions in 2020. The Hilltoppers were tabbed second in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll, posting a 2-1 overall mark.
“My goal for this year is to continue laying the foundation and progressing the D&E program to the next level,” Ack said. “That includes creating a culture that emphasizes the importance of academics in athletics; cultivating a memorable experience for the senior athletes who are the first to finish four years in the program; and establishing metrics that will position the team for MEC and national athlete recognition and MEC tournament invitation. Above all, I am looking forward to being part of Senator Nation!”
“Mariah has enjoyed success in each phase of her young career, with roots in West Virginia, as a student-athlete at Fairmont State and most recently in her coaching role at West Liberty,” Joss said. “Her passion and knowledge for this exciting and emerging sport will serve her well as she continues to grow our acrobatics & tumbling program.”
Ack competed as a student-athlete at Fairmont State, earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2019. She was part of the Falcons’ 2019 Mountain East Conference (MEC) championship team that earned a top-five national ranking while winning the league crown in the seven element and synchronized toss. Also outstanding academically, Ack was selected for the 2019 MEC All-Academic team and the 2019 NCATA Academic Honor Roll and possessed a 4.0 GPA in grad school at the time of release.
She worked summers at Cumberland Gymnastics and Cheer since 2014, choreographing gymnastics and beam routines for use in competition for gymnasts ranging from age 3-18. Ack fills the head coaching role for Shelby Armstrong, who accepted the head acrobatics & tumbling coach position at Mars Hill in December. Ack began her role on Monday.