People of the Plains: Coaching Without Words

Jul 19, 2017

Ryan Brigance, better known as Coach Ryan, is a coach, friend, and role model to several people. I am just thankful to be one of them.

Ryan was the owner and head coach of Amarillo Cheer Elite, or ACE. He opened the gym with his parents when he was 21, and sadly, closed it recently at the age of 36. He is newly married and now works as a hot tub mechanic and a part-time school cheer coach.

Ryan was always the coach that employees could be friends with, athletes could confide in, and parents could trust. I only know this because he was my school cheer coach throughout junior high and high school. I also participated on his competitive team for a few years. Later, when I went to college, he became my boss.

I worked as a cheer coach for a year and a half at ACE and continue to work for him coaching schools in this area. Having this job as a coach and admiring the way that Ryan could motivate and excite kids, is how I chose my future career.

When I first began working at ACE, I was a nursing major at West Texas A&M University. It wasn’t until I began working with kids and finding new ways to inspire them to learn that I realized I wanted to be a teacher.

I cannot express enough gratitude toward Ryan for helping me find my path to such a fitting career for me. It is a blessing that Ryan and I have become close friends through the years, giving me an opportunity to learn so much from him - not only about cheerleading and coaching, but about God, attitude, and self-motivation. He always wanted his athletes to not only be amazing cheerleaders, but to strive to be amazing people, as well. He has shown me ways to positively affect the life of children. I am thankful to have such a motivating mentor who has truly inspired me to become a better person for myself and for those around me. 

West Texas A&M University student Macey Anderson.

My name is Macey Anderson. I am a junior at West Texas A&M majoring in fourth through eighth grade English Language Arts and Reading.

I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas and am glad to be attending a university so close to home.

I have cheered my whole life and have been a cheer coach for the past two years. I plan on continuing to coach throughout college and even into the future while teaching. My hope is to combine my passions for cheerleading, teaching, and kids all into one career.