Release courtesy of Mary Hardin-Baylor Athletics
BELTON, Texas -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Acrobatics and Tumbling program has its first head coach with the announcement of the hiring of Courtney Pate to lead the program. Pate will be on campus February 4th to begin recruiting for Cru Acrobatics and Tumbling with the program scheduled to open competition in the spring of 2020.
Pate will have the opportunity to start an Acrobatics and Tumbling program for the second time in her young coaching career at UMHB. She spent the last two years at West Virginia Wesleyan College as the school's inaugural coach. Pate was hired in January of 2017 and spent a year recruiting for the program before guiding the Bobcats to a 4-4 record in their first season of competition in the spring of 2018. Pate also spent one semester as a volunteer assistant coach at Baylor University prior to taking over the Wesleyan program. The Belton native will also be reunited with her father, Jerry, at UMHB. Jerry Pate is Associate Athletic Trainer for UMHB Athletics.
"It means the world to me to have the opportunity to provide opportunities for females to continue their athletic careers in Acrobatics and Tumbling on the collegiate level," Pate said. "Especially in a sport that was really created for females to compete in. It means even more to have the opportunity to come back home. I have a phenomenal support system in my immediate and extended family. They provide so much strength for me and I look forward to making this kind of a family affair and to have them all here and behind me will be great."
Pate is a 2016 graduate of Baylor University with a degree in fine art with a focus in photography. She was a four-year letterwinner for the Baylor Athletics and Tumbling program and won two Team National Championships with the Bears (2015, 2016). Pate also won three individual National Championships during her time at Baylor. She was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team as a freshman. Pate was an eight-time Big 12 Commissioners Honor Roll and Dean's List selection during her collegiate career. She is also a graduate of Belton High School, where she was a four-time All-American cheerleader and a Regional Qualifier as a pole vaulter.
"We are thrilled to have Courtney Pate join us as our first Acrobatics and Tumbling Head Coach," UMHB Vice-President for Athletics Randy Mann said. "She has experience in starting a program and knows what it takes to compete on a national level, having done it as a student-athlete and coach. Courtney has tremendous passion for the sport and we look forward to watching her build our program."
UMHB Acrobatics and Tumbling will compete in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA). The Cru will be the 26th member of the NCATA and becomes just the third Acrobatics and Tumbling program in the state of Texas.