Meet Trish Thomas, head coach for the cheerleading, STUNT and dance teams – and one of The University of Olivet’s biggest fans herself. Coach Thomas is entering her second year serving OC, and has led her teams in a tremendous period of growth. She believes that mentoring Comets to be the best they can while competing, practicing, studying, and in all aspects of life, is the best way to help students reach their goals. This time of year, you’ll catch Coach Thomas and her teams preparing for national competitions coming up in April!
Why do you love OC?
I really love the young people that I get to meet and work with. I enjoy being able to be creative and do something that I love every day, and the opportunity to share that with them.
What’s your coaching style?
My coaching style is adaptive, and I am responsible for scheduling, practice planning, skill development, academic success, retention and recruitment. I adapt to the overall needs of the team. I like to coach the whole athlete. I don’t just focus on skills and winning, but I focus on who they are as people and how I can help them accomplish their overall goals.
Why is it important to build personal relationships with students?
I don’t believe you can have authority without influence. If I want my team to trust my leadership, they have to trust me as an individual first. The only way to do that is to build relationships with them. My goal is to have relationships with them beyond the time that I am their coach.
What are you most looking forward to during the spring cheer, STUNT and dance season?
I am most looking forward to seeing students’ growth as a team as the season progresses. We are still very young as a program, and have lots of room for growth. I’m looking forward to looking back on where we started as a team in comparison to where we finish.
What is the number one piece of advice you share with students?
Be true to yourself!
More about Coach Thomas:
- Coach Thomas holds a degree in applied behavioral analysis and psychology from Western Michigan University.
- She also has experience as a track and field coach, and even helped lead Concord High School to finish third in the state as head women’s track and field coach.
- While Coach Thomas typically goes by Trish, it is actually a nickname for her first name, Tietricha.
Learn more about becoming a cheerleader, dancer or even mascot at The University of Olivet by scheduling a campus visit and requesting to meet with Coach Thomas. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or email@example.com to learn more.