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Angie Koenig Named 2019 National Cheerleading Coach of the Year

By Brett Hart // 2019

Carolina Crossfire Cheer Coach spends a lot of time and effort teaching her athletes that all things are possible if you don’t give up. In October and November of 2019 they returned the favor by nominating Angie and voting for her in Greatmats 4th Annual National Cheerleading Coach of the Year Award.

And after receiving more than a third of the nearly 100,000 votes in the contest, Angie was named the 2019 National Cheerleading Coach of the Year by Greatmats.

When Angie first learned of her nomination she was shocked and honored that her students cared enough about her to nominate her for the award, but she didn’t get her hopes up that she would win as she recognized other top tier coaches among the nominees. Among those she recognized was her good friend Stephani Hughes-Cooley of Belton Honea Path School, who was in the midst of guiding her team to a South Carolina high school state championship.

“She’s an awesome lady and she’s been at it a long time,” Angie said of Stephani. “She’s a phenomenal coach. I look up to her. I admire her.”

The voting for coach of the year ran just over two weeks and two days into the vote, Angie had an awakening that she might just have a shot at winning.

“I’d gone to bed hoping for 400 votes and woke up to 3,000!” she said.

As a gym owner who doesn’t pay herself or the other coaches, Angie said sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked and not realize how much people appreciate what she does.

“To see the votes coming in just reiterates the fact that maybe I do make an impact,” she said. “That really made me feel good about myself and good about what I do.”

What made it even more special to her was the fact that she runs a small gym with just 25-30 competitive athletes and although people could vote multiple times, it wasn’t an easy process.

“I can’t even fathom that many people clicking to vote,” she said. “I don’t know where they came from. The number of people that cared enough to click through that just meant the world to me.”

As a coach, Angie says she loves seeing her kids achieve new skills and gain confidence.

“Most kids that come in are very shy and timid,” she said. “Within a year, they blossom and come out of their shells.”

When times are tough and the kids are able to pull through, that’s when she’s really able to see the confidence boost.

“For kids to see it all work out in the end is really nice to see,” she said. “No matter what life throws their way, they can do it.”

Her work as a female gym owner and multi-national championship coach has allowed her to lead her team to performances at such big events as the nationally televised NASCAR Game Day on national television.

She also takes pride in being able to serve as a mentor and inspiration to other women through public speaking at events such as All Girls Rock.

“When I was young, my dad told me, ‘You can’t live off owning a cheerleading gym,’” she said. “I wanted other women to know to follow their dreams. You never know what will happen.”

And the support Angie received throughout the National Cheerleading Coach of the Year Award Contest was proof of just that.
Angie Koenig
Carolina Crossfire Cheer
Columbia SC 29203
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