April 30, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The University of Wyoming Athletics Department announced Wednesday that Matthew Ortega has been hired as the new Spirit Squad Coach for Cowboy and Cowgirl Athletics. Ortega comes to Wyoming after serving as the Assistant Cheerleading Coach at New Mexico State University from April 2009 to April 2014.
Ortega will guide all of UW Athletics spirit squads. In addition to his five years of coaching experience at the college level, Ortega has over 12 years of experience as a coach, choreographer and national judge at the high school and collegiate levels. He is certified as a cheer coach by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA), and has completed Levels 1-5 certification from the U.S. All Star Federation for Cheer and Dance Teams (USASF). He also works with the National Cheerleading Association (NCA).
I'm incredibly excited about leading the University of Wyoming's Spirit Program and teams," said Ortega. "WYO offers such an amazing opportunity for its spirit squad members to be included and valued as a very integral part of the WYO game-day experience and as an overall component of the university and athletics department as not only spirit leaders but as ambassadors and student-athletes. As a national cheerleading judge, I hope to cultivate both local talent and bring in out-of-state athletes to enjoy what the University of Wyoming has to offer.
"I have been overwhelmed by the genuineness and authenticity of the Wyoming Athletic Department `team'. They have been very helpful during this transition. I am particularly impressed by the Athletic Department's commitment to ensure the success and advancement of the spirit program as it moves to the `next level' in becoming a premiere collegiate spirit program."
Ortega was, himself, a former coed cheerleader and is an alumnus of New Mexico State. He completed his bachelor's degree in social work from New Mexico State, and also has taken graduate courses in cross cultural studies and counseling through Baptist University in San Antonio, Texas.