The University of Mobile announced the addition of co-educational competitive cheerleading for the 2016-17 season, and the promotion of Kami Whiteis to head coach of the new varsity sport.
“Cheerleading is a very popular sport in the Southeast, and we think it will be a natural fit for our athletic department,” UMobile athletic director Joe Niland said. “We look forward to developing another competitive program and feel it provides another opportunity for student-athletes to experience what the University of Mobile has to offer.”
UMobile is currently recruiting male and female athletes with scholarships available to all participants, including mascots. Tryouts will be held April 29-30 with more information available at www.umobilerams.com or by calling (251) 442-2595. Prospective athletes can also email coach Whiteis at email@example.com.
Whiteis has coached the UMobile cheerleaders for the past four seasons and looks forward to the new challenge.
“I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural season of competitive cheer and to set a standard of excellence for cheer at UMobile,” Whiteis said. “Cheer coaches and athletes have been working for decades to receive recognition for their hard work, dedication and athleticism, and the NAIA has continued its tradition of innovation as the only association to offer competitive cheer as a varsity sport.”
She cheered at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from 1994-97, captaining her team to a top seven finish at the UCA Co-ed National Championships in 1997. Since, she has coached high school teams and served as cheer camp instructor and judge.
“Alabama is home to some of the most successful cheer programs in the country and, over the next few years, we hope to add UMobile to that list,” Whiteis said.
The addition of competitive cheerleading gives the University of Mobile 18 varsity sport offerings, and this is the first co-ed sport at the school. In the Southern States Athletic Conference, Loyola, Martin Methodist and Brenau also compete in competitive cheer.
About Competitive Cheer In The NAIA
- The NAIA is the only collegiate Association to declare Competitive Cheer & Dance as an intercollegiate varsity sport.
- After the completion of the NAIA National Invitational March 11-12, the sport will be reviewed by the National Administrative Council (NAC).
- If it is approved and is sponsored by a minimum of 40 institutions as a varsity sport, competitive cheer will become a NAIA National Championship sport beginning in 2016-17.