Greg “Cricket“ Shelnutt, owner/head coach of Newnan School of Gymnastics, began his coaching career 40 years ago when he entered West Georgia College to earn a degree in Recreation. During the first 8 years of his career, Cricket worked for the Coweta County Recreation Department. In 1988, Shelnutt decided to open his own gym, Newnan School of Gymnastics.
Cricket’s athletic background was in Olympic Weightlifting. He was the 1985 NCAA National Champion, competing for West Georgia College. He also coached other successful weightlifters, including one who competed in the Olympics. before deciding to retire from competing and coaching that sport and devoting his time to coaching gymnastics.
Shelnutt has coached literally thousands of athletes from the area, both boys and girls, who gone on to earn State and Regional Championships, as well as coaching on the national level. many of his athletes from NSG have received college scholarships to continue their career on the collegiate level. In 2018, he was asked to coach on the international level, as a coach for the Jamaican National Team. As a coach for Team Jamaica, Shelnutt travelled internationally to Peru for the 2018 Pan American Games, Qatar for the 2018 World Championships and Germany for the 2019 World Championships. Cricket stated of this accomplishment, “The experience was phenomenal. I felt honored to have been asked to coached the team and I learned so much to bring into my gym through the experience.”
Cricket was always busy and never settled down until 2017, when he met his wife Vesna, a two time Olympian in swimming. Shelnutt says, “Vesna has brought so much to the gym and my coaching. Her experiences have proved invaluable to me and the gym.” Cricket and Vesna are raising their daughter, Viktorija. Cricket added, “Viktorija loves the gym and the water. But doing both gymnastics and swimming early in life can only be beneficial.”
The experience was phenomenal. I felt honored to have been asked to coach the team at Worlds.I learned so much through the immersive interaction with world class athletes, and I am glad I was able to bring that knowlege into my gym