Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has proven itself to be an athletics powerhouse. Next spring, Crusader student-athletes will begin competing in a new sport, Acrobatics and Tumbling. The new program will be led by head coach Courtney Pate.
Pate will be on campus February 4th to begin recruiting. This will mark the second time in her career that Pate has had the opportunity to start an Acrobatics and Tumbling program. She spent the last two years at West Virginia Wesleyan College as that school's inaugural coach. She also spent one semester as a volunteer assistant coach at Baylor University.
Pate’s new role at UMHB will also reunite the Belton native with her father Jerry Pate, who serves 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. "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."
Pate is a 2016 graduate of Baylor University with a degree in fine art with a focus in photography. She was a four-year letter winner for the Baylor Athletics and Tumbling program and won two Team National Championships with the Bears in 2015 and 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 named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team as a freshman. She is 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 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."
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.