Eventing with Kiki Parenteau – University of Minnesota Athletics
Women’s Gymnastics | 12/30/2021 16:00:00
From coaching staff to support staff, the Gopher Women’s Gymnastics Team is made up of a skilled and passionate group of people dedicated to supporting its student-athletes both on and off the competition field. Get to know the people behind the program who support the Gophers in their athletic and academic endeavors, starting with the team’s volunteer assistant coach, Kiki parenteau.
GopherSports: When did you start working at the University of Minnesota?
Kiki parenteau: I started working at the University of Minnesota at the end of August 2021.
GS: What is your alma mater and what did you study at university?
KP: I went to school at Southern Utah University where I majored in family life and human development. I was also on the gymnastics team until November of my junior year until I had to retire due to injury. After that, I stayed involved with the team as a volunteer student coach.
GS: What does your job consist of?
KP: Regarding the events, I attend the ground and the jump; as well as the tramp jump, which is a low impact jumping exercise that we do. I cut a few pieces of music on the floor and assisted Geralen Stack-Eaton with some choreography on the floor. I was also able to learn the office side of things where I worked to get everything supplied to our judges for competitions, putting events in the calendar and was able to work on new tank leotards.
GS: How did you get into your field?
KP: When I was 14, I started training in my club gym the day I didn’t have a workout. I’ve always loved coaching and it’s the only job I’ve ever done. I have such a passion for gymnastics and it’s one of those things that has had such a big impact on my life. I want to be able to help others find this same passion.
GS: How did you get to your current job at the University of Minnesota?
KP: I was a gym trainer in Texas and Geralen came in to recruit. Ger and I chatted and I told him I was from Minnesota and wanted to be a college coach. She told me they were looking for a volunteer trainer and texted Jenny that I was interested in the position. It worked really well because I was coming home that day for my sister’s wedding, so I got to meet Jenny a few days later about the job. I was more than excited when Jenny offered me the job!
GS: What is your favorite part of your job?
KP: My favorite part of the job is everything I learned from the coaching staff. It’s only been a few months, but I’ve learned so much not only on the gymnastics side, but also on the office side. They help me prepare for my future when I get a job as an assistant coach.
GS: What challenges do you encounter in your work?
KP: The main challenge comes from office work as the majority of things are new to me with all the programs they use. But whatever I don’t know how to do, everyone is very willing to help and guide me with any questions I might have.
GS: What is the moment that you are most proud of in your professional career?
KP: My proudest moment in my professional career so far would be to get this volunteer coaching position. This is the moment I am most proud of because it is the stepping stone I have been waiting for to enter academia and help me achieve my goal of becoming a varsity coach.
GS: What is your favorite memory when working out with the Gopher Women’s Gymnastics?
KP: I can’t really identify a particular memory because for me, I loved the welcome from everyone and the feeling of being with family. I really don’t think I could have been luckier to have the opportunity to work with this program because the staff here are absolutely amazing and we all get along so well. When it comes to working with gymnasts, I appreciate their responsiveness to me and I already feel like we’ve built that trust between us. I love being able to help them, even if it’s the smallest of things, and see how happy they really are when they are successful. This program is truly something special and I am so grateful to be a part of it.
GS: If you could trade a job with anyone at Gopher Athletics for a day, who would it be and why?
KP: If I could trade jobs with anyone it would be the head coach, Jenny hansen. I think it would be very interesting to see all the responsibilities she has as a head coach. She is so passionate about her job and cares so much about girls not only as athletes but as people.
GS: What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
KP: I like to work out, watch movies, cook and go out on the lake. I grew up doing off-road bikes, four-wheelers, and snowmobiles, so I love those things too! Also, since returning home, I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my family.