New cheerleading coach helps squad through organization, experience


Dannielle Ruoff spent most of her time on the sidelines cheering her team to victories in both junior high and high school.
    Her athletic talent paid off in college as she cheered on Montana State University-Bozeman and joined an all-star team that traveled through California and Hawaii for competitions.
    This is when Ruoff said cheerleading became serious for her, eventually leading her on a coaching path that started at her alma mater, then to Montana State University-Billings and now K-State.
    As of Aug. 1, Ruoff is the new personality behind the K-State spirit squad, and her recent arrival was still evident by the unpacked boxes that clogged her renovated office more than a month after her arrival.
    Ruoff said accepting the role as head cheerleading coach this fall was a pivotal moment in her athletic career.
    “The Big 12 is an appetizing division to enter,” Ruoff said. “Plus my favorite color is purple.”
    Many in the K-State Athletics Department have been pleased with the decision to add Ruoff as cheerleading coach.
    “Hiring her was easy — she had good expertise, great organization and can work well with all entities she is given,” said Laura Tietjen, senior woman administrator and associate athletics director.
    Ruoff said the transition from Montana to Kansas has been easy because of the welcoming atmosphere in the Manhattan and K-State communities.
    “The people have been helpful, which is a delightful change from other places I have been employed,” Ruoff said.
    Since the position at K-State is a step up from her previous positions, Ruoff said she has been able to ease into the position more than previous jobs.
    “There has been a lot of patience, and I am optimistic the transition will continue to be successful,” Ruoff said.
    Ruoff’s new position allows her to integrate positive changes into the structure and function of the squad.
    Besides supplying new uniforms and integrating new stunts this season, she has brought a more professional attitude to her squad.
    Ruoff said she views her squad as a positive marketing tool for the athletics department and predicts a successful campaign with the Manhattan community in regards to displaying positive role models for the university.
    “Danielle will bring real organization to the squad that will be beneficial in future years,” Tietjen said.
    Ruoff said another goal for the new coach is to develop a deep, positive relationship with her squad and prove herself as an effective mentor to the fellow squad members.
    Jackie Capite, freshman member, said she thinks Ruoff already is making a steady transition.
    “If people give her the chance, she will achieve great things,” Capite said, “because she knows what she is talking about.”