Quinnipiac University College of Arts and Sciences

‘Cats Love Their Coach

In Campus on January 7, 2014 at 4:13 pm


By Mallory Robalino, as published in The Quinnipiac Chronicle

What do you get when you cross a dedicated mother, a hardworking secretary and the driving force of Quinnipiac’s two cheerleading powerhouses? The answer: Michelle Coppola.

Coppola is the head coach of both Sideline Cheerleading and the IceCats – not to mention the creative mind behind Bobcats Madness every October. To all 51 of her cheerleaders, however, she is so much more than that.

“Michelle is constantly doing things for other people. She is not only a coach to us, but she’s also a second mom,” said Nicole Trotta, Sideline Cheer assistant.

Whether it is advice about school or a hug whenever one is needed, Coppola is never out of reach. Time and time again, she never fails to show her steadfast dedication to the teams that she leads. Chloe Ambler, one of the captains for Sideline Cheer, appreciates the close-knit family she has come to know thanks to Michelle.

“She wants the best for us on and off the court, encouraging us to work together and not only be a team but to be a family, and that’s exactly what we’ve become: a cheer family,” Ambler said.

The example set forth by Coppola has created a mutual feeling of respect and closeness amongst both her teams.

“For us, Michelle is more than just a coach, or second mom,” said Alexa Panzarino, a captain for the IceCats. “She started what has truly become our support system. I would do anything for these girls and we owe our friendship and respect for each other to Michelle.”

When she is not driving back and forth between all the practices, games, and tournaments, Coppola is a secretary for the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a mother of two. Her son, Joey Coppola, is a freshman here at Quinnipiac who agrees, “The way she balances everything with her teams and works the way that she does while still being a full-time mother just makes me appreciate her so much more than I already do,” Joey said.

As most mothers know, hard work often goes unnoticed and Michelle is no exception.

“She puts so much time into what she does even if it goes unrecognized – and she never complains about a thing” Sideline Cheer captain Alyson Cerbone said.

Just when you think that her plate is full enough, Coppola continues to support Quinnipiac Athletics by organizing the annual Parent’s Weekend spectacle known as Bobcats Madness. Every aspect of the event, from the spirit group performances down to the gritty details of rehearsals and promotions (especially the finale), is overseen thanks to Michelle’s completely volunteered time and energy.

“Her dedication, enthusiasm, and eye for detail have transformed the entire dynamic of the event,” said Matt Calcagni, TD Bank Sports Center ticket manager. “With her leadership and coordination, she has helped unify the spirit groups as a whole, making the finale a must-see. I’m looking forward to next year’s performance.”

Whether it’s a warm hello when you pass her office in CAS3, or an encouraging message when you’re down, Michelle has undoubtedly enhanced the lives of her cheerleaders and IceCats, serving as a role model and second mother to them while at school. Her unwavering dedication to the spirit of Quinnipiac truly shows in all that she does.


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