Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
Email: JWilcox@ASA.edu Phone: 786-279-2618
Twitter: @ASASilverStorm /@ASAMiamiFB | Instagram: @ASASilverStorm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2019
HIALEAH, FL – ASA College-Miami Director of Athletics Kenney Wilcox announced Tuesday that the school has launched competitive cheerleading and competitive dance programs that will be based out of its Hialeah campus.
Wilcox also announced the hiring of Racquel Garcia to serve as the head coach for both the cheer and dance programs.
The two programs represent the second and third newly added branches to the Silver Storm athletics tree – since ASA Miami added men’s lacrosse a month ago – something Wilcox said should signal just how committed ASA College-Miami is to be a premier destination for student-athletes.
“As a whole, our athletics program offers a lot…we’re the only junior college in Florida that offers a football program, we have a perennial national championship-level tennis program, and we have an excellent staff of coaches that are invested in their players’ futures,” Wilcox began.
“Now, adding competitive cheer and dance, we’re adding another avenue in which student-athletes can not only further their education but also continue to pursue their athletic dreams. Cheerleading and dance are much more than young women and young men doing some cheers or a routine at athletic events, they are true student-athletes that also put in hours to perfect their crafts and compete. We’re excited about the addition because it’s also going to add to the overall student experience at ASA Miami.”
Also, in tabbing Garcia to lead the programs, Wilcox is confident that the programs will hit the ground running.
“Racquel has a great resume and has accomplished quite a bit during her career,” Wilcox said. “We’re lucky to have someone with her experience leading our program and I’m very excited to see what she does as a part of the Silver Storm family. She fills any room she’s in with infectious positive energy – which is one of the building blocks of competitive cheer and dance.”
Both programs are already accepting inquiries from interested student-athletes with the plan of having teams ready to begin practicing and performing during the upcoming fall. A position for a costumed mascot is open as well.
Starting a program from scratch is never an easy task at any level, but if someone had to do it, Garcia is a seemingly perfect candidate. She has over 18 years of cheer and dance experience, including winning 40 national and state championship titles in both cheer and dance throughout her career as well as being a two-time All-American cheerleader.
Garcia has over a decade of experience as a collegiate competition coach and currently serves as a judge for various competitions throughout Florida. Prior to joining ASA Miami, Garcia worked at Florida International University (FIU), where she was an associate cheerleading coach – being responsible for the team’s technique and competition training. Under her direction, FIU’s cheerleaders placed top three in the country at NCAA College Nationals in both the D-I and D-IA Small Coed Divisions.
“I’ve been in the development stages of several programs before. It’s fun, it’s exciting because you’re creating a new footprint. I like the fact that You’re creating a brand. You’re creating awareness, you’re promoting higher education, and you’re impacting lives in a positive way. I feel like it’s a positive challenge.”
California-born but Florida-raised, Garcia began participating in dance at the age of seven and began cheerleading at 13 while attending Miami Lakes Middle School. She continued doing both through high school (at Hialeah American Senior High) and into college (at Miami Dade College and FIU).
She eventually became the FIU’s cheerleading team’s captain during her collegiate career and transitioned into coaching the Golden Panthers.
Garcia also competed with international cheer competition team Top Gun All-Stars Cheer and Dance, where she helped win multiple championships.
“I have a passion for titles. I chase titles,” Garcia joked recalling her cheering days.
Adding cheer and dance pushes ASA Miami’s athletic program count to 14 – but will be the only that is coed. Like the other Silver Storm programs, the cheer and dance teams will be outfitted in Under Armour apparel and have many sport-specific perquisites.
Garcia is confident that the student-athletes will quickly see the benefit of being a part of ASA Miami’s cheer and/or dance programs.
“What better place on earth to be than Miami,” Garcia quipped.
“The students are going to have an opportunity to not only focus on their passion from an academic standpoint, but they’re going to immerse themselves in a multicultural area. They are going to be a part of the community…they’re not just going to show up on gameday, they are going to actually be involved in the community and making an impact. They will be encouraging others to pursue higher education.”
“They’re also going to have the chance to impact their families because being a part of a spirit team, just naturally your aura changes and you're just excited and energetic all day – even when you don't want to be. And I feel like they're going to amplify that in their homes,” Garcia added.
“We’re going to get the community and the fans not to just to show up to the games, but to be involved in the games to be a part of ASA family.”