UST Announces Katie McAninch as Head Cheer & Dance Coach

By: Sandra Soliz
| Published 04/15/2021

Katie McAninch, UST's Cheer & Dance Coach
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HOUSTON, TX -- Kate McAninch joins the University of St. Thomas Athletic staff as Head Cheer & Dance Coach this May.

McAninch’s duties include molding and cultivating the Cheer & Dance program. She will recruit, lead and manage the Cheer & Dance teams to help build on the spirit, positive culture and rapport around the University of St. Thomas. In addition to teaching classes in conjunction with the University Dance Program, McAninch will also lead a competitive Cheer & Dance program that will compete in the National Cheerleaders Association and the National Dance Alliance.

“I am excited to be joining the Celt family and getting the opportunity to bring new energy and spirit to the Athletic Department” McAninch said. “The department’s culture is diverse and full of seasoned coaches. I know I will be supported and motivated to build the best Cheer and Dance teams for UST.”

McAninch’s Background
McAninch comes from Independence High School where she was the Dance Teacher as well as the Assistant Director of the Independence Royals Drill Team. Prior to her time amongst the high school ranks, she gained a wealth of experience at the collegiate level. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, McAninch was a member and captain of the SFA Dance Team. While grabbing a variety of National Dance Alliance awards and honors, she also attained her Bachelors of Science in Dance Education. She then headed to Texas Women’s University to pursue her Masters's in Fine Arts. While there, she was the Graduate Assistant Coach of the Dance Program from 2017-2020 and tabbed the title of Publicity Coordinator for the 2018-2019 season. She helped lead the TWU Dance Team in their inaugural season and also held the title of Co-Facilitator for a student-led organization within the Dance Department called Community Movers.

'We are very excited Coach McAninch is going to join our St. Thomas and Celt Athletic family,” Athletic Director Todd Smith said. “Her experience and enthusiasm are perfect for our first ever Competitive Cheer and Dance programs. Katie is from the Houston area and will be able to use her connections to recruit many area cheerleaders and dancers.”

Cheer & Dance is Now an Official Intercollegiate Program
Recently, Cheer & Dance was a club sport at St. Thomas. Now with McAninch at the helm, they will be an official intercollegiate program. As the inaugural Cheer & Dance Coach at St. Thomas, McAninch has big plans for the program.

“One main goal in designing and building the Cheer & Dance teams for UST is to bring school spirit while growing as an individual leader in the community,” McAninch said. “With my experience, I hope to inspire the student-athletes to feel successful every day through commitment, respect and mental toughness. I am looking forward to recruiting at many high schools and junior colleges in the area.”

Contact Coach McAninch at cheerdance@stthom.edu

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