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Pitt-Greensburg’s New Cheerleading Coach Brings a Refreshing Change

by Mandy Nelson

Photo via Darian Leighty.

Darian Leighty is Pitt-Greensburg’s new 2018-19 head cheer and dance coach. She graduated from Point Park University with a degree in sports, arts, and entertainment management. While studying at the university, Leighty also joined the cheer and dance team, where she won a variety of awards. (Quote about her time at Point Park)

After graduating from Point Park University, Leighty taught cheerleading camp through The University of Pittsburgh program. Theresa Nuzzo, the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh cheerleading and dance team, has her own Private Cheer Camp Company called Elite Cheerleading Inc., which was where Leighty worked. As it turns out, cheer captain and early education major, Molly Staszak, worked at the same cheer camp.

“I’ve known my coach for about two summer’s now,” Staszak said. “We worked together teaching cheer camp.”

When Staszak heard Pitt-Greensburg was looking for a new cheerleading coach, she brought it to Nuzzo’s attention. It was Nuzzo who suggested to have Leighty come to Pitt-Greensburg. Mark Taylor, the sports information director sent out an email informing the students that Leighty is the new cheer coach.

“She works part time at the university,” Taylor said. Once Leighty started working at Pitt-Greensburg, Staszak thought her new coach introduced new potential.

“She has taught us some new band dances and other little things to get the crowd involved, instead of just half-time routines. She also pushes for team bonding, which is a nice, refreshing, change.” Staszak said.

This year, the cheerleading team is small, with about 4-5 girls on the squad, but they are encouraging new students to join.

“It’s hard because of classes, but we work around everybody’s schedule,” Staszak said. “We are really trying to grow the team as much as we can. We have a small team, but they are loyal, so it’s good.”

Currently, the cheer squad is cheering for girl’s and boys’ basketball at home. They practice twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for three hours. If anyone is interested in joining, please contact Darian Leighty at DAL196@pitt.edu.

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