“Meet the Coaches:” Manta Ray Welcomes Three to It’s Team!

As many of you already know, there have been some new additions to the Manta Ray coaching staff. We’ve added two familiar faces, EFC members Charlie Baeza and Jason Marmolejo, as well as a newer face, Tommy Martinez. Many of you know our EFC members, and now coaches, Charlie and Jason – but get to know them a little better below. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Coach Tommy yet, you will soon! Coach Tommy is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. He is coming on board at Manta Ray with 10+ years experience coaching. He holds his CrossFit L2 certification as well as many other specialty certifications ranging from Mobility, to Gymnastics and Olympic Weightlifting. We are very proud to announce all three additions to the Manta Ray Coaching Team, and excited to have them share their knowledge with you all! Read a bio from each coach below and get to know your Manta Ray Coaches:


Coach Tommy

Coach Tommy was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Playing sports and being part of a team has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. Youth Wrestling and Football eventually lead to Mixed Martial Arts and Rugby. Tommy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BSBA in Finance, served his country as an Intelligence Analyst in the United States Army Reserves, and has over a decade of experience coaching all aspects of health and fitness.

Over the years, Tommy has built and managed two gyms and has owned and managed a few successful gyms of his own. With a long list of certifications, Tommy is a lifetime student of health and fitness. He has an intense passion for coaching and excels at building a stronger more confident individual.


National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer
National Academy of Sports Medicine – Corrective Exercise Specialist
Opex Assessment
Opex Program Design
Opex Life Coaching
Sports Performance Coach Level 1 from USAW
CrossFit Level 1
CrossFit Level 2
CrossFit Endurance
CrossFit Gymnastics
CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting
CrossFit Mobility
CrossFit Striking
Modern Army Combatives Instructor Program – Level 2

Favorite Color: White

Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans

Favorite Sport: Mixed Martial Arts

Favorite Athlete: Jerome Bettis

Favorite Exercise: Thrusters

Least Favorite Exercise: Anything that makes me breathe heavy

Favorite Quote: “There is something immoral about abandoning your common sense in the matters of social importance.” – A.E. Samaan


Coach Charlie

Charlie Baeza was born in Northern Chihuahua, Mexico. At 3 years old his family moved to the city of Los Angeles, California. He was raised there in a highly active city with many friends and family to surround him. In 2008 he moved with his wife Irma, and two sons; Johnny and Xavier to Clearwater, FL. Far away from home…

Encouraged tremendously by his energetic parents, he has always had an active lifestyle. Charlie played many sports including football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, biking and more. As a kid, he was usually the smallest and youngest amongst his friends and immediate family members. This pushed him to work extra hard in sports and other physical activities just to try and keep up with the pack. This would turn out to be a positive challenge that would help him to always try harder in many aspects of his life. He loves the outdoors, traveling and just simply being around people.

He was introduced to CrossFit by Coaches Luis and Anmarie Benitez and after a week of on-ramp it immediately became a natural fit for him. After the first week he joined Evolve Fitness Clearwater and in just a short period of time his entire family became active members. Now fitness is an integral part of their family’s lifestyle.

In October 2017 he completed his CF-L1 trainer certification. Charlie is passionate about continuing to grow and excel as a Coach/Athlete at Manta Ray. He has personally seen the positive results that CrossFit can have on health and fitness. He is excited to share his experience and passion with the Manta Ray family as a Coach.


CrossFit Level 1

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Sport: CrossFit

Favorite Movie: The Count of Monte Cristo

Favorite Athlete: Bo Jackson….because Bo knows!!!

Favorite Exercise: Bar Muscle Ups

Least Favorite Exercise: Assault Bike

Favorite Quote: “For when I am weak, then I am powerful.” 2 Corinthians 12:10.


Coach Jason

Jason was born and raised in Mission Hills, California. As a kid, he was extremely active and loved being outdoors. Growing up, Jason played a variety of team sports such as baseball, basketball and football. He also competed in individual sports such as wrestling and track. When Jason wasn’t playing these sports, you could find him skateboarding, snowboarding and riding motor cross. Aside from these activities, he was constantly at the gym from the age of 15 on.

Jason moved to the Tampa Bay area when he was 20 and began a career in the steel fabrication industry.

Eventually, after Jason had been working out at a standard gym with this brother Justin, he realized he was getting tired of the standard “body building” routine. Jason decided his fitness goal was just to be strong and to be able to run a mile. From that discussion, his brother suggested that he try CrossFit. They did Fran right there and Jason was sold. He decided that CrossFit was exactly what he was wanted to do for fitness and hasn’t look back since. His success with CrossFit expanded his passion to helping others achieve similar goals. Jason takes pride in leading by example the lifestyle he preaches, and helping others achieve their fitness goals at Manta Ray.


CrossFit Level 1

Favorite Color: Black

Favorite Sport: Skateboarding

Favorite Exercise: All Olympic Lifting

Least Favorite Exercise: Thrusters