California Baptist University has promoted assistant cheer coach Olivia Miller to head coach for the upcoming 2020 season.
The cheer program was challenged this season when former head coach Tamarin Fleming stepped down, but the program has succeeded in competitions under Miller’s leadership. The team won its competition for the ninth year in a row at the USA Spirit Nationals Feb. 15-16 against San Francisco State, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Yokohama City University. The team hit two zero-deduction routines both days of the competition.
Miller has been with the cheer program for a long time and started as a student on the CBU cheer team in college. She also coaches both blue and gold cheer teams.
“I am an alumni of the school and cheered for CBU while I was here,” Miller said. “A couple of years after I graduated, a coaching position opened up and the former head coach asked if I would come back to work with her and I’ve been here ever since. It’s a great experience to coach at my alma mater. It’s a privilege to be able to see current teams carry out some of the traditions I helped start as an athlete.”
Miller has helped pioneer the direction of the cheer program even as an assistant coach.
“Since I have been a part of this program for so long, I have been a part of developing our system currently in place. While each year the program grows and changes, I don’t have any major changes planned,” Miller said.
Miller coached Olivia Engebretson, sophomore public relations major on the gold team, for two years and Engebretson said she believes the program is in good hands under Miller’s leadership.
“Olivia was an athlete on the team, so she understands our situations and knows the answers to everything. She knows all of the ins and outs of the program and will represent the program really well and help PGS (passion, God, success) continue to grow,” Engebretson said.
Alongside Engebretson, Miller has also coached Vanessa Copeland, sophomore exercise science major, on the blue team for two years. Copeland said she believes Miller is the best choice to advance the cheer program.
“Coach Olivia is the best selection for head coach because of her experience and understanding of the sport,” said Copeland. “CBU cheer will be able to continue a legacy and traditions because of having a head coach like her.”
The program will continue to pursue more championships under Miller’s leadership in the upcoming seasons.
The Lancers will compete in Daytona Beach, Fla., April 9-11, with hopes of bringing back its eighth consecutive National Cheer Association College Nationals championship.