EUGENE, Ore. — National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) President Dr. Renee Baumgartner has announced the appointment of Janell Cook to the post of Executive Director.
“I’m very excited to join the team of administrators and coaches at the NCATA,” commented Cook. “I’ve followed the sport since its inception and look forward to helping to continue its growth to championship sport status in the NCAA.”
In addition to her administrative role within the NCATA, Cook currently serves as the Assistant Director of Constituent Engagement at the University of Oregon, dealing directly with the Duck Athletic Fund. Since her appointment to the position in December 2013, Cook has worked closely with the inception and operation of the “Women in Flight” fundraising initiative, geared to generate funds for the Ducks’ women’s athletics programs.
“As a former collegiate student-athlete, I appreciate the opportunities Acrobatics & Tumbling provides to engage more young women in collegiate athletics at the varsity level,” added Cook. “With the backing of USA Gymnastics, those opportunities and the passion of the staff and coaches of the NCATA will be the driving force in growing this sport nationally at each divisional level.”
A member of the Oregon Athletic department since July 2006, Cook has served in several roles, most notably as Director of Operations for the Ducks’ women’s basketball team from May 2009 to September 2013, coordinating all day-to-day operations for the squad during her tenure. In addition, Cook served as Special Assistant to the Executive Senior Athletic Administration during the 2008-09 academic year, additionally working as an academic advisor for the Oregon Services for Student-Athletes (SSA) from 2006-08 and as a tutor coordinator during the 2006-07 campaign. Cook arrived back in Eugene from Dartmouth College of the Ivy League, where she served as a Varsity Sports Coordinator from August 2005 to June 2006.
Cook graduated from Oregon in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Human Service, earning her Master of Science in Educational Leadership in 2005. A softball student-athlete, Cook was a four-time letter-winner, earned Pac-10 First Team All-Academic honors during the 2002-03 academic year and earned both the Pac-10 Cooper Tire Leadership Award and Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship Award in 2003.
The hiring of Cook ushers in a new era for the NCATA, which is quickly gaining momentum as one of the fastest rising intercollegiate sports in the United States. Boasting 11 member institutions spanning from Connecticut to Hawaii, Cook will lead the NCATA into a new period of success while continuing to improve expansion of the sport on both an institutional and national level.
“Janell’s background in intercollegiate athletics will bring exceptional experience to our organization. She thinks big-picture and has a unique ability to make complicated issues simple,” says NCATA President Dr. Renee Baumgartner. “Janell brings exactly what our organization and sport need to reach the next level: NCAA Championship status.”
Consisting of Adrian College, Alderson-Broaddus University, Azusa Pacific University, Baylor University, Concordia College (Wisc.), Fairmont State University, Gannon University, Hawaii Pacific University, King University (Tenn.), Oregon University and Quinnipiac University, the NCATA offers institutions an opportunity to partake in a highly competitive, team-oriented and individual sport. The college sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling began competition in the spring of 2011 and is offered to colleges and universities throughout the country. Teams compete in six events including – compulsories, acrobatics, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team event. Each season a team typically competes in 6-8 meets during the spring of each year.
Member institutions have team roster sizes of 28-40 athletes. Member institutions include all levels of the NCAA – Division I, II, and III. Acrobatics & Tumbling teams train up to 20 hours per week and are varsity athletic teams and treated the same as all other varsity teams on the respective campus. The recruiting base for Acrobatics and Tumbling is broad pulling from artistic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, Team Acrobatics & Tumbling youth sport, and high-level competitive cheer teams.