Cheer squads benefit from alumni coaches

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    When new cheer coach Lisa Albert was offered the position, she wanted her husband Kier beside her.TCU alumni Kier and Lisa Albert said they hope their squads will have as many wonderful cheerleading memories at TCU as they did.

    Lisa Albert is a former TCU cheerleader and now works as a communications specialist at the university.

    “I was on campus, and I think that seemed to make sense to the cheerleaders who were in need of someone to coach them,” she said. “(TCU) knew I had all of the credentials and qualifications they were looking for.”

    However, Lisa Albert said she asked the university to consider her husband for the coaching position as well because they are more effective as a team.

    Scott Kull, associate director of athletics, said he hired the Alberts because having their expertise would improve the team.

    The team is showing improvement already, he said.

    “They are very organized, and they had instant credibility with the kids because they both cheered here at TCU,” Kull said.

    Former TCU cheerleader Kier Albert is a finance analyst for Bell Helicopter, but he has coached cheerleaders before, Kull said.

    The Alberts opened an all-star gym in 2002 and taught cheer and tumbling classes together for four years.

    “We work with both the coed squad and the all-girl squad, and sometimes the guys like to hear from another guy,” Lisa Albert said. “He can explain (techniques) to the girls, but I think it carries more weight when it comes from a girl who has done that herself.”

    All-women squad captain Ashleigh Greathouse said the Alberts are able to use their specialties in both squads. Because not one squad is favored, the Alberts are creating unity between the squads, she said.

    “They are making sure our squad is heading in a positive and professional direction,” said Greathouse, a senior psychosocial kinesiology major.

    Kier Albert said while he is a “big picture” person and better with techniques when working with a stunt group, his wife is more detail-oriented and stronger with choreography.

    “Lisa and I have worked together long enough that we understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Kier Albert said. “With us being married, there’s no animosity of crossing any lines. We’re both here to improve the program.”

    Coed cheerleader Whitney Barnard said the Alberts give the squads detailed instructions and feedback through e-mails after each game, telling the squads how to improve.

    “They stay on their toes and they keep us on ours,” said Barnard, a junior communication studies major.

    Because the Alberts are both earning master’s degrees from TCU and working full-time jobs, Kier Albert said the best part of team coaching is getting to see his wife every day.

    “We get to spend time together as a team to drive and improve the program,” Kier Albert said.

    He said 70 percent of the coed squad is cheering for TCU football games for the first time, and both squads have already improved in physical fitness, attitudes and individual skills.

    Albert said he has been involved with teams at TCU before in which the athletes had trouble getting their priorities straight.

    “This year, we’ve been really happy that, for the most part, everybody’s putting cheerleading first, after academics,” he said. “It really helps us to have efficient practices and eliminates some of the struggles that go with people missing (practices).