Fresh out of college and competitive cheer at Indiana Wesleyan University, Hannah Kirby is excited to bring her expertise, experience and excitement to the Taylor cheer team as the new head coach.
Flashback to the spring, Hannah Kirby’s college cheerleading team was on the road in Iowa to compete in nationals when they received word that they were no longer allowed to compete due to COVID-19 precautions.
If there is one thing Taylor University’s new cheerleading coach learned from her time as a collegiate cheerleader, it is that you never know when it will be your last. For Kirby, it was her senior year of cheer at Indiana Wesleyan University that was suddenly brought to an end.
Now a 2020 graduate of IWU, Kirby is excited to continue her passion for the sport at Taylor University as the new cheerleading head coach in the program’s transition from club status to a varsity sport.
“So excited that this is a varsity sport. I think that this brings so much seriousness and high expectations for the program from this moment on,” Kirby said. “I’ve told the girls they set the precedent for the years to come, and so what we do this year will trickle down in the years to come.”
Taylor University cheer may not be on the sidelines of a football game this fall, but Kirby takes on the exciting challenge of coaching a new varsity sport and brings experience and energy to the program.
She loves the sport and has a deep passion for the athletes participating.
Junior cheerleader Kirsten Norman was on the team when it was a club and is optimistic about Kirby’s leadership.
“Coach Hannah is a game changer for TU Cheer. She’s organized, high spirited, determined, and she’s got big plans for us this season. She’s exactly what we need for our first year going NAIA,” Norman said.
Kirby’s desire to build a culture of loving God and others through the sport of cheer is expressed in what she brings to the program. The team has plans to compete in two to four NAIA cheer and dance competitions this winter, which cannot be accomplished without a certain sense of seriousness and standard. Kirby has high expectations for the team and is confident in the talent, both from incoming athletes and those returning.
Senior cheerleader Hailey Lyon appreciates Kirby’s commitment to the team’s growth as both athletes and believers.
“She [Kirby] brings such positive energy to the team and prioritizes the spiritual health of the team,” Lyon said.
When she is not coaching, Kirby teaches English and AP Psych at Mississinewa high school where she graduated from just five years ago. Going back to her roots as a teacher and having the opportunity to continue her passion for cheer as a coach evokes a love and dedication to the community, students and athletes she pours into.