Something to cheer about

Cheer and dance head coach Erica Long is a 2003 Civil Engineering alumna. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Alumna Erica Long, senior academic advisor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and head coach of the S&T cheerleading squad and Gold Miners dance team, poses with her cheerleaders after practice. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

When former cheerleaders get together, someone always ends up getting thrown in the air. At weddings, social gatherings or even during marriage proposals, former cheerleaders always find a reason to perform stunts. At least that’s what Erica Long says, and she has been working with cheerleaders at Missouri S&T since she first stepped onto campus as a student in 1998.

Today, Long is the head coach of the S&T cheerleading squad and the Gold Miners dance team. For the fifth year in a row, she’s organizing an opportunity for former cheerleaders to throw each other in the air again.

Since 2011, Long has invited former S&T cheerleaders to return and cheer alongside the current squad during the Homecoming football game.

“It started with a couple of alumni begging me to do something like this,” says Long, a 2003 civil engineering graduate. “The first year we did it, seven former cheerleaders came back, including me, and it’s grown every year since then into a tradition.” [Read more…]