By Regina Gosney | Staff Writer
Energetic, devoted, lively and gracious are a few adjectives that California Baptist University cheerleaders use to describe their national champion head coach, Tamarin Fleming.
Fleming has a 17-year history as a cheer coach, but said it was something she “fell into.”
“I never really wanted to be a coach,” she said.
Despite her initial hesitation, Fleming has reached much success as a cheer coach from building her own gym and then selling it, to leading CBU to victory at the 2013 National Cheerleading Association nationals, as well as being recognized by CheerPros as the 2013 Coach of the Year.
Fleming said she goes by the team’s motto — “passion, God, success” — which seems to be the key elements for victory. Winning, however, is not the main focus for Fleming.
“Making a difference in (the athletes’) lives is far more important to me than winning, and I love winning,” she said.
Caitlyn Jones, senior psychology major, has been on the cheer team since her freshman year. She said Fleming has not only led the team to victory, but has “inspired the team” and taught the athletes “how to be leaders and how to grow as women” both on and off the mat.
“Her heart is in the sport and in each of her individual athletes,” Jones said.
Tracie Clay, senior biology major and cheerleader, said, “You can come to her with anything.”
Fleming has coached Clay for all four years she has been on the team. Clay said she has come to know Fleming on a personal level and believes she is an inspiration to the whole team.
“She is the perfect combination of both a tough coach and a loving mother,” Clay said. “She pushes you to the limit to be able to reach your highest potential.”
Jones said perhaps the greatest indicator of coach Fleming’s achievement as a cheer coach is the growth and success the team has seen in the past few years.
“I don’t think three years ago anyone would have ever imagined where she has been able to take our team today,” Jones said.
With as much growth and success as the team has seen in the past few years, there is no telling where the team will be in the years to come.