BGSU cheerleading continued its trend of strong showings at the UCA College Nationals, bringing home two silver medals from the competition held Jan. 13-15 at Walt Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando.
In the biggest weekend in college cheerleading and dance, Bowling Green State University’s small coed team, coached by Tyler Bill and Anne Marie King, placed second in the Small Coed Division 1A, scoring just a fraction of a point below Florida State University. The BGSU small coed team beat out squads from Purdue University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Memphis, Troy University and Ball State to take home the silver.
“There has been no better feeling in my life thus far than going out on the Nationals floor and cheering with my family. You think about all sacrifices each person has made over the season as well as the blood, sweat and tears that as a group you each put in to try reach your goals,” said BGSU cheerleader Daniel Dimitroff. “The moment we hit the floor, I felt nothing but pride and love for my university, my coaches and, most importantly, my teammates. It was truly an honor to be a part of such an amazing group and share those moments with them.”
The BGSU small coed team consists of 20 members competing on the mat and seven alternates who take part in one of the most competitive divisions at UCA College Nationals.
The university’s all-girl cheer team, also coached by Bill and King, notched its second-place performance in the Division IA Game Day competition, just behind the University of South Florida Bulls. The all-girl team bested teams such as Ole Miss, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Temple University, San Diego State University, Purdue University and the University of South Alabama.
“We weren’t really nervous going into semis because we knew all we had to do was hit a clean routine,” BGSU cheerleader Macey Austin said. “But when we were about to compete in finals, we were nervous. We picked each other up and refocused our minds to not worry about placement, the warm-up or other teams. It was still only about spending one last time on the mat with this team — and that’s what we did.”
The BGSU all-girl gameday team has 29 members who showcase different crowd-effective skills. The UCA College National competition includes a demonstration of the fight song, a sideline routine and a timeout routine.
Bill, a 2015 BGSU alumnus and member of the 2014 National Championship team, said developing a strong team culture all season long was a big key to the success at Nationals.
“For my first year as the head coach of the program, I am beyond excited with our performances on the national stage. I attribute a lot of our success to the team culture that we have been able to cultivate as well as the leadership displayed by all of our athletes,” Bill said. “We truly bought into being a family and kept focused on our team goals. Our goal is to always hit our routine and that is exactly what these two teams did. I would give anything to relive this whole season again with this program. They will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
The BGSU cheerleading teams have seen success on the national stage for more than a decade:
2023 – UCA Small Coed Division 1A Silver Medalist
2023 – UCA All Girl Game Day Division 1A Silver Medalist
2022 – UCA Small Coed Division 1A Bronze Medalist
2022 – UCA All Girl Game Day Division 1A Bronze Medalist
2020 – World University Cup Gold Medalist
2019 – World University Cup Gold Medalist
2019 – UCA Small Coed Division 1 Silver Medalist
2019 – UCA All-Girl Gameday Division 1 4th Place
2018 – University World Cup Silver Medalist
2018 – UCA Small Coed Division 1 5th Place
2017 – UCA Small Coed Division 1 Bronze Medalist
2016 – UCA All-Girl Division 1A 10th Place
2015 – UCA Small Coed Division 1 Bronze Medalist
2014 – UCA Small Coed Division 1 National Champions
2013 – University World Cup Champions
2013 – UCA Small Coed Division 1 Silver Medalist