Meet the first 10 Americheer/Ameridance/CheerProfessional Coach of the Year Finalists!

Meet the first 10 Americheer/Ameridance/CheerProfessional Coach of the Year Finalists!

What is a coach? Is a coach a leader, teacher, mentor or friend? If you ask the individuals who nominated their coaches, they’d say a coach is all of these traits and more. AmeriCheer and AmeriDance are partnering with CheerProfessional to award the Coach of the Year award at the AmeriCheer & AmeriDance InterNational Championship, held at Walt Disney World Resort®, on March 22-23, 2014.

“To celebrate 20 wonderful years of memories and magic at Disney, we wanted to do something special to commemorate this landmark event. We chose to honor 20 coaches, nominated by their peers, athletes, friends and family, with VIP treatment at our InterNational Championship,” said Elizabeth Rossetti, AmeriCheer & AmeriDance President and Founder.

At InterNationals, the 20 finalists will enjoy a luxurious limo ride to a private reception within the InterNational Victory Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There, they will gain access to the exclusive VIP Coaches Club tent and will receive custom jackets, a champagne toast and a bag full of goodies. One of the 20 finalists will be awarded Coach of the Year at the awards ceremony, held on March 23rd, and will be featured in an issue of CheerProfessional. The winner will also receive a custom Coach of the Year jacket, designer tote and invited back to InterNationals as a VIP guest in 2015.

“Each year we are proud to announce the Coach of the Year winner at our awards ceremony because at AmeriCheer & AmeriDance, we know how important coaches are to their teams,” explained Missy Richard, AmeriCheer & AmeriDance Brand Manager and National Event Coordinator. “Many of us have been coaches and we know how much time, effort and dedication it takes to be a coach; we want to celebrate the efforts these coaches haven given to their teams.”

10 of the 20 finalists have been selected, but 10 spots still remain. Do you know a coach who deserves to be on this list?  Download a nomination form by visiting or and submit it by March 1, 2014. In order for coaches to win, they and their team(s) must compete at the 2014 InterNational Championship. Register by calling 1-800-966-JUMP or download a registration form at any AmeriCheer family of brands websites. Show your coach how much they mean to you by nominating them for Coach of the Year.

10 of the 20 Finalists:

1. Cookie Jamison McGowan

School/Gym: Maximum Cheer All Stars

City/State: East Greenville, PA

Years Coaching: 25 years in Pop Warner, High School, College, and All Star

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Cookie made our first trip to America and attending the AmeriCheer InterNationals unforgettable with her constant support of the our team, the BCA Allstars.”

2. Amy Faulkner

School/Gym: North Star Studio

City/State: Sunbury, OH

Years Coaching: 20 years

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Amy’s leadership for all of her teams not only exemplifies her dedication to the sport and spirit of cheerleading, but also to the molding and shaping of young people into productive good citizens.”

 3. Kelli Marin

School/Gym: Spirit Enhancers

City/State: Portsmouth, VA

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Kelli’s vision and dedication have allowed her to transform inexperience young squads into confident, award-winning teams.”

4. Erica Brunow

School/Gym: Findlay High School Dance Team

City/State: Findlay, OH

Years Coaching: 10 years coaching Findlay High School Dance Team

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Erica demonstrates amazing coaching through her devotion to our team, her encouragement during our competitions and her ability to push our team to be our best not only in dance, but in our everyday lives.”

5. Brandy Horn

School/Gym: Pazazz All Star Cheer

City/State: Marion, IN

Years Coaching: 6 years

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Brandy is fair and impartial; she always does what’s best for the entire squad. She teaches them to respect one another and is a positive role model.”

6. Shannon Callen

School/Gym: Kalaheo High School Cheerleading

City/State: Kailua, HI

Years Coaching: 13 years

Quote From Nomination Submission: “From practices turning into late-night tutoring sessions, Shannon is our teacher, our strength, our confidant, and she never stops believing in our abilities, pushing us to achieve goals beyond our own expectations.”

7. Tammy Strouse

School/Gym: Rangeview High School Dance Team

City/State: Aurora, CO

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Tammy is an extraordinary coach; she always puts her team first and encourages them to be their best.”

8. Elsa Gomez

School/Gym: Notre Dame High School

City/State: Lawrenceville, NJ

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Elsa strives to make her team the best at every practice and every event.”

9. Jennifer Pulizzano

School/Gym: Wayne Valley High School

City/State: Wayne, NJ

Years Coaching:

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Jennifer is a great coach.  Her team knows how much time and dedication she gives to them and they work hard to make her proud.”

10. Julie Hallam

School/Gym: Titanium Athletics

City/State: New Freedom, PA

Quote From Nomination Submission: “Through thick and thin, good and bad, injuries, tears, excitement. . . Julie always has a positive attitude and is always there for her Bionic cheerleaders.”

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