Coach returns to hometown roots
Special to Leader-Press
Chandler Diaz has deep roots in Copperas Cove. Having begun cheer lessons at the age of seven at GymKix and graduating from Copperas Cove High School as the captain of the cheer team and All-American Cheerleader, Diaz never imagined herself being able to return to her hometown and get paid to live her passion on a daily basis.
Diaz is the new Copperas Cove High School cheerleading coach and wrapped up a summer Universal Cheer Association camp where her squad captured 11 All-American status honors. But, Diaz didn’t get the job with Copperas Cove ISD because she is a hometown girl. She proved herself at the UCA camp and has years of of both competitive and school cheer experience she brings to the CCHS squad.
“This is my dream job and I truly never thought I would be here today. I heard the position was possibly opening up and I jumped as soon as I had the chance,” Diaz said. “Cheering at Cove was some of my greatest memories while in high school.”
Diaz credits her love of the sport and the lessons it taught her to her CCHS cheer coach at the time, Kim Eason.
“(Eason) was the definition of hard work and determination and I hope to be half the coach she was,” Diaz said. “I have always loved cheer. I love being creative and being able to show my spirit. Cheer has made too many positive impacts on my life to count, but one of the most important things would be the relationships I made along the way. Cheer taught me to be out-going and how to spread positivity.”
It was during Diaz’s tenure as a CCHS cheerleader that the tradition of raising money for breast cancer began through “Pink Out” at one of the home football games each season.
“My mom actually came up with this idea. She was president of our booster club and it was a fundraiser for our team,” Diaz said. “Breast cancer awareness is very near and dear to our families’ hearts because we lost my dad’s mother to breast cancer. I love that my mom started Pink Out and that the teams after continued this tradition.”
Diaz graduated from Tarleton State University, where she also served on the all-girl cheer team for three years, in December 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise and Sport Studies. In addition to teaching cheer, Dias is also a special education inclusion teacher for the subject of chemistry at CCHS.
“I am so honored for the opportunity to return to my alma mater to build an amazing cheer program and teach,” Diaz said. “It feels good to be home.”