Gateway Legacy Christian Academy

Sports Academy Staff

The performance specialists at Gateway Sports Academy have years of experience working with athletes of various skill levels and ages. We strive to help players increase their speed and agility. It is our desire to show players how to take their game to the next level.

From the most basic training concepts to complex tactical understanding, the coaching staff at Gateway Preparatory Academy has the experience, knowledge, and ability to work with athletes of all age ranges and skill levels.


Tim Byrnes
Director of Soccer Operations/Head Coach
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About Academy Staff Tim Byrnes

Tim Byrnes is in his second season as the Director of Soccer Operations for Gateway Soccer Academy. Byrnes has lead the Lions from their inaugural season in 2015 that catapulted the program to a rank of #3 in the state of Illinois. Byrnes is incredibly proud that all players from the inaugural season had the opportunity to receive scholarships and play at the collegiate level. 

In the 2016-2017 season, Byrnes continued to grow the program, reaching student athletes from around the world who are serious about moving on to the next level. The level of competition and training continue to increase, providing players with ample opportunity to grow and prepare to meet their goals. 

Before starting the Gateway Soccer Academy, Byrnes helped guide the Belhaven Blazers to an NAIA National Championship in 2012, the second title in program history. In 2013, Byrnes led the Blazers to round eight in the national tournament. In 2013, Byrnes was selected to coach and manage the top NAIA players in a seven-game national tour to showcase and connect with professional clubs. Byrnes led the selected players against professional teams from all levels in the U.S. system, including USL Pro, NASL, and MLS organizations. From the tour, five of the players moved on to play in a professional capacity. 

Along with his college role, Byrnes served as the director of coaching for JC United, an up-and-coming youth club in the St. Louis area. Byrnes coached and directed eight teams within the club in conjunction with several of the top college coaches in the St. Louis area. Byrnes also serves as a coordinator for the College Id Program, tying him directly to over 20 college coaches locally and coaches nationwide. 

Byrnes spent his collegiate career playing in both the NAIA and NCAA. Byrnes finished his career at Greenville College in 2004. After completing his career, he began coaching at Greenville – having the opportunity to coach under 2012 NAIA Coach of the Year, Brian McMahon. Byrnes was born, raised, and played his club, high school, and collegiate soccer in the Metro St.Louis area. "The opportunity to bring the highest level of soccer to the St. Louis area and to manage players from around the world who will impact the club and collegiate levels nationwide is a dream come true," Byrnes says


Marcos Silva
Coordinator of Recruitment/Associate Head Coach
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About Academy Staff Marcos Silva

Marcos Silva is on his first season with Gateway Soccer Academy as a head coach. Working extremely hard to develop Gateway soccer players, Marcos is a key to sending players to college. Coaching players from all over the world, Silva walks side by side with his athletes to help them accomplish their goals. 

A graduate in sports science from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master's degree in sports administration from Eastern New Mexico University, Marcos Silva has established himself as a well-known soccer coach after a great soccer career. Living fifteen years in the United States, Silva was a college soccer player who was a two year first team All-America at Oklahoma Wesleyan University before transferring to Oklahoma Baptist University. At Oklahoma Baptist University, he played for two seasons, reaching the NAIA National Tournament Sweet 16 and finishing number six in the national.

Marcos later became a professional athlete in the United States, Europe, and South Africa. Marcos also won the USL Premier Development League with the Canadian team, Thunder Bay Chill, before becoming a coach. 

After completing his career as a player, Marcos joined college coaching at Eastern New Mexico University, a NCAA II school. As an assistant coach, he recruited many international players which helped the program to grow. After his first season the ENMU had the best winning record of its history. Two years later Silva went back to his alma mater as assistant coach at Oklahoma Baptist University, which was a NAIA school at the time. Silva was not able to win their conference as a player, but as first season coach he won the Sooner Athletic Conference regular season and tournament for the first time in school history. This win took the Bison to the national tournament sweet sixteen once again. 

Marcos has always been involved with youth development. He also spent four years coaching clubs in Oklahoma before joined the Lions.



Deryl Cunningham
Head Basketball Coach
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About Academy Staff Deryl Cunningham

Deryl Cunningham began his first season on the Gateway Sports Academy staff in the 2015-2016 school year. Cunningham has been a men's Division I assistant basketball coach for the past ten years. He has coached and played in the NCAA tournament. Cunningham coached the past four seasons at SIU Edwardsville, a school that transitioned from DII to DI. In that time, SIUE qualified for their conference tournament two of three years of eligibility. He oversaw the development of post player Keaton Jackson. Keaton led the Ohio Valley Conference in field goal percentage (.740) and was second in blocks with 65. The total is the second best in a single season at SIUE. 

Cunningham came to SIUE after serving as an assistant with the Missouri Valley Conference Champion Indiana State. Cunningham worked with the Sycamores for three seasons as the post coach. Indiana State went to postseason in two of the three seasons. During his first season with the Sycamores, two post players finished in the top 10 in rebounding in the MVC. Post player Jay Tunnell made the All-Improved Team while finishing in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage in the MVC. Indiana State also led the conference in block shots in 2009-2010. The Sycamores also played in the NCAA tournament. 

 Deryl Cunningham started in college athletics as a graduate/assistant coach with South Dakota State. Cunningham was part of the Jack Rabbits' move to Division I. Cunningham was involved in all facets of the basketball programs including recruiting, coaching, scouting, and scheduling. 

The native of Bellwood, Illinois, spent two seasons as an assistant varsity basketball coach at his alma mater, St. Joseph's High School. He assisted legendary head coach Gene Pingatore. Cunningham helped guide St. Joe's to conference titles from 2003 to 2005. In 2004-2005, St. Joe's enjoyed a school record best start at 21-0, finishing 28-2. The team ranked among USA Today's Top 25 high school teams in the nation. 

While a player at St. Joseph's, Cunningham was a 1989 Parade magazine All-American. Cunningham was elected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2004, his high school retired his jersey. Cunningham is in Taylor Bell's 2006 book, Glory Days Illinois Legends of High School Basketball. Cunningham was also in the documentary Hoop Dreams. 

Cunningham began college at DePaul before finishing at Kansas State where he played three seasons with the Wildcats under Dana Altman. Cunningham led the team in rebounding from 1992 to 1994. He remains seventh on the all-time rebounding list with 624 career rebounds with the Wildcats. His 295 boards during the 1993-1994 season remains the ninth-highest total in a single season in school history. K-State earned a six seed in the NCAA tournament during his junior year, and the Wildcats were an NIT Final Four team in Cunningham's senior season. He was a two-time All-Big Eight Honorable Mention selection at K-State, while leading the league in offensive rebounds for two consecutive years. 

 As a professional, Cunningham had a four-year career in the Continental Basketball Association. Sioux Falls drafted Cunningham, and he played for the late Flip Saunders. Cunningham also played for the Omaha Racers and Saskatchewan. He reached the Conference finals with two teams. Cunningham also played professionally overseas for clubs in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, all in the First Division.


Dana Kirksey
Girls Basketball Coach

About Academy Staff Dana Kirksey



Caitlyn Vann
Volleyball Coach
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About Academy Staff Caitlyn Vann

Our coaching staff, under the direction of C2 Founder, Caitlyn Vann, brings a wide array of volleyball experience and knowledge at the Division I level. Caitlyn Vann begins her first season on the Gateway Sports Academy staff in the 2016-2017 season. Vann coached at the Division I level at DePaul University and the University of California Berkeley.

In 2014 Vann founded C2 Volleyball, a volleyball organization that focuses on skill and character development for youth athletes throughout the nation. Vann is also the director of DIG it! Volleyball Inc., a nonprofit female empowerment program established to provide free after-school volleyball training for low-income girls.

Vann joined the DePaul coaching staff in 2012. She specialized in libero training, recruiting, and camp coordination. At DePaul she was part of the coaching staff that led the team to the best single-season record in program history. At the University of California (2011-2012), Vann worked with the liberos and with video breakdown. 

Prior to beginning her Division I coaching career, Vann played professionally overseas in Split, Croatia (2011). The native of Muncie, IN, received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Missouri where she played the libero position. While at Mizzou, she was the starting libero on the team that went to the NCAA Sweet 16 (2010). Additionally, she was a 9-time BIG 12 Defensive Player of the Week, led the BIG 12 in aces (2010), led the BIG 12 in digs and digs/set (2010), was tabbed CVU National Player of the Week Runner Up (2010), and was named to the AVCA All-Central Regional honorable mention team. At the high school level, Vann played as an outside hitter where she was an AVCA All-American, 4-time state champion, and 1-time national champion. She was also a member of the USA Youth National A2 Team and Junior National Training Team (2005-2007).



Dave Redden
Track Coach
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About Academy Staff Dave Redden

Track coach Dave Redden lives in Edwardsville with wife Barbara. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren. 

Coach Redden was a long-time educator at Metro-east Lutheran HS, where he received numerous statewide honors including Illinois Athletic Director of the Year in 2010. 

He is a six-time Alton Telegraph track coach of the year as well as a four-time cross country coach of the year. He has coached over 100 athletes who have gone to the state championships and have been all-state performers as well as state champions.

Redden has been fortunate to coach many exceptional athletes at the collegiate, high school, and srade school level, but he believes that more important were the accomplishments of work and preparation and life skills learned by all of the athletes; some who were world class, while others were marginal at best.

“I thank God for the opportunity to serve and minister as coach and realize none of this would have happened without his guidance. To God be the glory. “ (Dave Redden)