Thompson named cheerleading coach at Keene State
KEENE, N.H. 10/12/11 – Keene State College Athletic Director John Ratliff announced the appointment of Kevin Thompson as the Owls new cheerleading coach on Wednesday.
Thompson, from Deerfield, Mass., brings an impressive background to his new position. He currently is an official with the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) and serves as the head cheerleading coach at Frontier Regional High School in Deerfield. He also spent nine years as the head coach of the University of Massachusetts cheerleading program (1993–2002).
“We’re very excited to have Kevin Thompson join the Keene State athletic staff as our new cheerleading coach,” said Ratliff. “His prior collegiate coaching experience will certainly be a plus for our program.”
Thompson, who also worked as a head instructor for the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) is looking forward to taking over the Keene State program. “I can’t wait to begin working with the team,” he said. “I know they’ve competed at the national championships in the past, so I’m looking forward to doing that with the team.”
Thompson, who cheered at his alma mater Boston College and worked with UMass cheerleading squads that made frequent trips to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, including the Final Four, also wants to enhance the game cheering experience for the KSC team. “I know what the excitement can be at a game, so my first goal is to make sure the women enjoy cheering for the basketball team and develop routines to do well at the national level,” he said. “I want people to say that Keene State has a great cheer squad.”
Several returning members of the squad said that they like the fact that Thompson has previous college coaching experience, and they’re looking forward to the upcoming season. “There’s going to be a transition, but we’re all excited to join a new program and see how far we can take it this year,” said Alisa Santangelo, a sophomore from Mamaroneck, N.Y., who has been cheering since her freshman year.
Thompson has won numerous honors in the cheerleading field. He is a three-time Collegiate All-American Cheerleading award winner and led his UMass team to six top-seven finishes, including a fourth place in 2000 at the National Cheerleading Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Thompson takes over the Keene State program from the mother and daughter team of Linda and Megan Lawton, who coached the Owls since 2007.