UT Tyler Athletics Adds Competitive Cheerleading Program

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

TYLER – UT Tyler has announced the addition of an all-girl STUNT competitive cheerleading program for the 2017-18 season and the co-educational competitive cheerleading for the 2018-19 season. STUNT is a cheerleading-based activity which removes the crowd-leading element and focuses on the technical and athletic components of cheer, including partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, group jumps and tumbling.

The dance team, within the UT Tyler Spirit Squads, will also compete this season at the American Dance/Drill Team’s American Collegiate Championship on March 24, 2018 in Denton. The program will be a part of UT Tyler Athletics, but competes as a non-NCAA sport. 

As part of its NCAA Emerging Sport initiative, USA Cheer created STUNT as an opportunity for colleges, universities and high school to meet the strict Title IX requirements of a college sport, while still preserving traditional cheerleading. With more than 500,000 high school cheerleaders, STUNT will expand participation opportunities for young women at the collegiate level by providing and avenue for female athletes to use their cheerleading skill backgrounds in a new format.

“UT Tyler will shortly become known as the place for dance and cheer athletes to attend university and be a part of this ever-growing program,” said Dr. Howard Patterson, UT Tyler Vice President for Student Affairs. “Fans appreciate the time, talent, and hard work these athletes put into enhancing the game day environment for many of UT Tyler’s athletics programs.”

Maggie Williams Koehn is the head coach of the expansion within the UT Tyler Spirit Squad Program.

“Cheerleading and Dance are both highly competitive in Texas and I think it will be a natural fit for our athletic department,” Williams Koehn said. “I look forward to building another competitive program along with providing more opportunities for students to experience what The University of Texas at Tyler has to offer.”

The Spirit Squads are currently recruiting male and female athletes with all initial expenses paid to any participants, including mascots. Tryouts will be held Saturday, August 26 with more information available by calling (903) 565-6534. Prospective athletes can also email coach Williams Koehn at maggiewilliams@uttyler.edu

Koehn has coached the UT Tyler cheerleaders, dancers and mascots for the past year and looks forward to the new challenge.

“I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural season of competitive dance and cheer at UT Tyler,” Williams Koehn said.

She is a Tyler native who danced at Dance- N-Drill for 12 years, Cheered at Spirit of Tyler for 2 along with cheering in high school at Robert E. Lee high school. Maggie continued to pursue her passion for the sport in college where she cheered at Baylor University from 2010-2014. While starting her masters in College Student Personnel, she coached one year at Arkansas Tech University, then transitioned into professional cheerleading. During her professional career, she cheered the 2015-2016 season for the Indianapolis Colts, 2016-2017 season for the Houston Rockets, and remains a part of the Houston Rockets organization.

“Maggie has done an outstanding job enhancing the image of UT Tyler’s cheer and dance teams as well as the interests of school age cheer and dance students,” Dr. Patterson said. “Squad sizes have and will continue to grow, attracting young ladies and men who want to continue their cheer and dance careers while gaining a meaningful and marketable education at east Texas’ premier higher education institution.”

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