BRISTOL, Tenn. – It with great pride and enthusiasm that King Athletics and Athletic Director David Hicks announce the naming of the first Acrobatics & Tumbling coach. Amber King has accepted the position as head coach and will lead the Lady Tornado into their first season of competition and begin recruiting for the team immediately. A search for the next Cheer head coach will take place this spring.
Amber King will help branch out in the College's opportunities for female athletes once again, this time as the first coach of the new Acrobatics & Tumbling team. The program is set to begin competition in Fall 2013.
"I am so excited to get into a sport that is gaining legitimacy," said King. "It feels like what I am supposed to do and help King make history while starting something new and fresh."
"Amber has been involved with the NCATA for over a year, and is familiar with the sport and the potential for providing genuine competition experiences for student athletes," said Athletic Director David Hicks. "She has the knowledge of the recruiting market and the technical skills to build a quality program in a fast-growing and exciting sport. I am thrilled she has accepted this position."
She will begin her duties as head coach of Acrobatics & Tumbling immediately while serving as head coach of Tornado Cheer through the rest of the 2012-13 academic year.
"I think we have really established something that is unique and will create so many opportunities for female athletes," said King. "My biggest goal is to get girls involved in a program that ultimately will change their life for the better and is going to produce independent, prepared, and successful people."
Coach King is currently in the midst of her first year at the helm of Tornado Cheer, a program she helped create from the ground up in 2004. Since returning to campus she has increased numbers from last year's squad and improved the team's overall skill level after hosting a team camp that featured the University of Oregon's Acrobatics & Tumbling coaching staff. The team will compete at CHEERSPORT Nationals on Feb. 16-17 in Atlanta, Ga. and at the CANAM Nationals on March 15 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
"When we selected Amber as our head cheer coach last spring we chose her because of her passion for King, her desire and abilities to provide a quality athletic experience for our student athletes," said Hicks. "Amber's transition to Acrobatics & Tumbling is a natural progression and has raised the bar for the next head cheer coach."
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Coach King continued, "I am looking forward to working within a gameday experience where we compete in multiple, single meets as opposed to a few competitions. I have a blast with what I am doing now but am so incredibly excited for that aspect of this new sport."
King will serve as the eighth institution in the United States to sponsor competitive Acrobatics and Tumbling joining Fairmont State University (WV), the University of Oregon (OR), Baylor University (TX), Quinnipiac University (CT), the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (MA), Alderson-Broaddus College (WV), and Azusa Pacific University (CA). Alderson-Broaddus was the most recent institution to add Acrobatics and Tumbling to its athletic program and will also begin competing in 2013-14. King now sponsors 25 varsity athletic sports with the addition of Acrobatics & Tumbling.
Acrobatics and Tumbling is derived from a combination of all seven disciplines of gymnastics. Those disciplines include men's and women's artistic, rhythmic, aerobic, acro, trampoline and tumbling, and group gymnastics. The sport does not focus on any one discipline but instead focuses on a skill set that encompasses traits from all areas to create a single, comprehensive team of athletes that contribute to success.
King ('08) has a combined 15 years of cheer experience before accepting the cheer coaching position at her alma mater. She served as head cheer coach at Newberry College (SC) for one year where choreographed competition routines for CANAM and CCA National events while producing multiple fundraising activities for the team.
In 2011-12, she was named among the Top-25 Coaches in America by the Christian Cheerleaders of America (CCA) after a trio of spectacular finishes in competition. King led her team to a First Runner-up honor at the CANAM Nationals, a National Championship in the All-Girl CCA Nationals, and was crowned Grand Champion as the best overall college team at the 2012 CCA Nationals.
From 2005 to 2008, King was an instructor for the Universal Cheerleaders Association where she was a part of over 52 camps that hosted over 1,000 cheerleaders. At that time, she also began serving as a Spirit Event Coordinator judge which she remains active in.
King was a part of the College's first cheer team, established in 2004, and captained the squad for three years. Following her graduation, she served as assistant coach in 2008 and was a major contributor in readying the team for their first official competition in which they placed second overall.
She holds a Bachelor of Business in sport management with a minor in coaching from King College and recently completed her master's degree in coaching education from Ohio University.