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By Travis Thomason, student writer

The Office of Student Life has named Garrin Gosnell as the new Head Cheer Coach for Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Coming from a head coaching position at Kilgore Junior College in Texas, Gosnell was chosen after instructing a private cheer camp for HPU this summer.

After reviewing multiple applicants for the position, school officials selected Gosnell to head the Sea Warriors in August. Because of previous commitments his start date was set for October.

“ His personality and qualifications fit right in with HPU Cheer and embody what HPU represents,” said Director of Student Life Jenni Matheson.

Originally from Florida, Gosnell, 30, has taught cheerleading for 12 years. For the past eight, he has been the head instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate Camp Circuit, instructing top atheletes across the nation every summer. Recently, he returned from Europe where he toured and taught independent camps in Germany.

“ Garrin has discipline, is a strong leader, and holds a lot of passion for Hawai‘i Pacific University,” said Bridget Hall, an assistant cheer coach.

As a student and head coach at Florida Atlantic University, Gosnell won his first NCA National Champion Title in 1999. The first of many accolades, he continued his career cheering at Stephen F. Austin State University from 2003-2006, a Division I school in Texas.

At SFA, Gosnell won four consecutive titles while competing with the Lumberjacks. In addition to being named captain at SFA his final year, he was simultaneously the head coach at Kilgore Junior College; all the while receiving a bonus scholarship for exceptional academics.

“ It’s exciting to work with such a well-respected powerhouse like HPU,” Gosnell said. “My passion is coaching college cheerleading, and it’s rare to find a full-time job you love to do.”

Gosnell’s technical skills are widely known; he was named partner stunting champion by the Universal Cheer Association in 2004.

“ He has come in running,” said Lisa Doyle, assistant director of Student Life. “His enthusiastic manner and balance of character makes him real.”

After his first week of practice, the athletes agree.

James Fowler, a five- year veteran and smack coed captain said, “This year’s teams are more talented than ever before. We are very excited about Garrin and the upcoming year.”

“ The assistant coaches and my supervisor Adrienne Lampitelli have kept this program strong while there was not a head coach present,” Gosnell said. “I am so thankful to be a part of a program that receives so much support from the president and the University.”

Gosnell succeeds previous Head Coach Matthew Parkey who leasd HPU to five national Cheer titles and who resigned last year.

The Large Coed Team consisting of 13 guys and seven girls, will compete for its fifth consecutive title this year at NCA Nationals. Small Coed, consisting of 16 girls and four guys, was created by Parkey in 2005 and will compete for its third consecutive title at NCAA this year.

“ It’s not just a sideline sport anymore, when you make this level of cheer, must and are expected to be a well-rounded athlete,” said coed member Aaron Johnson.

HPU Cheer has many traditions and expectations to fulfill. From community events and national competitions, it seems as though Gosnell will have a busy first year.

“ I love tradition and never want to change that aspect of HPU,” said Gosnell. “But after talking with the assistants, they agree, the big bows have to go.”

Planning to also pursue a degree in hospitality management, Gosnell will lead the cheerleaders to Daytona Beach, Florida this April where HPU will defend its titles.

He is also well aware and happy that board shorts and slippers are common attire here in the islands. Gosnell is looking forward to a great season with HPU Cheer.

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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