Name: Trisha O’Connor
Position: Spirit Coordinator and Head Cheerleading Coach
Department/Office where you work: Student Affairs/Spirit Programs
Number of years at SFA: I have been coaching at SFA for seven years, but I also attended SFA the four years prior, so 11 years total.
Educational background: Bachelor’s degrees in Child and Family Development and Psychology
Tell us how you came to work in your current position:
I was a member of the cheerleading program for four years prior to graduation in 2005. From the moment I became a member of this program, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the coaching staff. After graduation, I approached the head coach at the time, Brad Patterson, and Assistant Director of Student Affairs Michael Preston and let them know that I would like to stay at SFA as a member of the professional staff. At that time, I was hired as the assistant coach for the large coed team. Soon after, the all-girl cheerleading coach resigned and I was given that program as the head coach. After my first year as assistant and head coach in the SFA Cheer Program, the other head coach resigned and I applied for the position of spirit coordinator and head cheerleading coach, and that’s where I am today!
What do you love about working at SFA?
I love my students! I could not ask for a better group to work with. They are highly motivated, work hard and are very much an extended family for me.
What’s one thing you wish you could tell SFA students and parents?
To the students, I would like to say that it’s okay, and encourage them to ask for help. If that is from your professors or other professional staff, if you need help with academics, personal issues or anything else, ask for help. To parents, I would like to say that it’s okay to let your kids handle some problems on their own. Now, this is not to say that your kids no longer need you or want you to help, but sometimes they need to stand on their own two feet, make mistakes and become successful on their own merit. In the end, it will not only help prepare them for life after college, but it will also mean so much more that they have been able to figure out how to handle situations and still reach their goals.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy reading. I read at least a handful of books at any given time and enjoy true crime and non-fiction reading the most. I also enjoy watching television, sewing and any sporting events and activities.