GREENVILLE, Ill. -- The Greenville University Athletic Department has announced a recent change in the leadership of the dance program. Current head cheer coach Sean Washington will assume oversight of the dance program in addition to his responsibiliities with the cheer program. His new title encapsulates both areas of responsibility as he is now known as Greenville University's Spirit Program Coordinator.
The dance program will now be a Christ-centered club sport in the Athletic Department, and it rounds out the overall Spirit Program (Cheer, Dance, Mascot) in conjunction with the marching and pep bands. Its emphasis will be gameday, campus, and community entertainment. However, the program will be competitive as well.
The program will be much more visible within the GU campus community, and it will focus on student-athlete development in technique, choreography, musicality, performance, teamwork, and leadership as it develops student-athletes of character.
The majority of student-athletes participating in the dance, like other spirit programs, will be recruited with the sole emphasis of fulfilling a roster position. The team hopes to carry 12-16 student-athletes.
The mission of the Greenville University spirit program is to glorify God through the gifts and talents He has given us, by leading and bringing school spirit to sporting and other campus events. Spirit program participants are also ambassadors of Greenville University on campus, in the community, and other areas.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity to undertake and develop the Dance Program at Greenville," said Washington.
"Going forward this move will help round out the entire Spirit Program and change the dynamic of game-day, school and campus events, all for the glory of God! I am thankful to all involved in this decision, especially Athletic Director Tom Ackerman and his vision and plan for the Athletic Department and Spirit Program."
Washington joined the Greenville University Athletic Department in 2015 as its first full-time Head Cheerleading Coach in school history.
A Texas native, Washington has been a part of the cheerleading world for more than 15 years and has cheered on high school, college and all-star cheer teams with his teams consistently being nationally ranked. He has personally won national partner stunt and group stunt championships.
His coaching career spans more than a decade and includes coaching high school, college and all-star cheer teams with his teams having won several local, regional, state and national championships. He has also been a Senior Staff Instructor and Curriculum Director for a major national cheerleading organization traveling all over the continental United States directing elementary, middle school/junior high, high school, college, and all-star cheer camps. He also led camps in Hawaii and Costa Rica.
In addition to being an accomplished tumbler and stuntman himself, he has also coached tumbling for all levels. Sean is a certified coach holding certificates in CPR, First Aid, AED, and is AACCA (American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors) safety certified, as well as a USAG (United States Association of Gymnastics) member.
Adding routine choreography (choreographing more than 40 different national championship routines for college, high school and all-star teams) and music mixing to his skill set makes him one of the best all around, most highly sought after coaches, choreographers and cheer directors in the nation.
Under the direction of Washington, the Greenville University cheer team competed nationally for the first time in school history during the spring of 2017.
For two years running, the team has competed at CCA Christian Cheer Nationals and Collegiate Championship. The team came away with several accolades and awards. During the 2017 competition, the team competed in the Large Coed College Division and came out with a first place finish.
Hoguey D. Panther competed as well in the College Mascot Division and won out.
Greenville University came out as the Grand Collegiate Champion with the highest score of all college teams competing (large coed, small coed, all-girl, etc.).
The 2018 team had a repeat of awards and accolades. The team competed in the Small Coed division, winning out. Hoguey repeated as College Mascot Champion. The team also came away Grand Collegiate Champions for the second year in a row. Coach Washington was also named one of the Top Twenty-Five Christian Coaches in America.
He attended the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Texas, Winston Salem State University in North Carolina and is a graduate of Liberty University, in Virginia with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Kinesiology, majoring in Health and Physical Education. In his free time, Coach Washington volunteers with the Greenville Fire Protection District and is partnered with the Kingsbury Park District.