Cheerleading Mastermind Christa Sanford Isn't Done Yet!

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There is one word to describe Christa Sanford, and that is DRIVEN.

After winning her 10th consecutive national championship title with Shelton State in January and leading the USA national coed team to another gold medal, Sanford isn't stopping there. She has accepted the head coed coaching job and assistant spirit coordinator position at the University of Alabama! Get ready, the Tide is coming in high!

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Photo By: Alabama Athletics

Varsity TV: What is your cheer history? Where have you coached and cheered?


Sanford: I was a Power Tumbler for 10 years, and I went to Raceland High School in Raceland, Kentucky. I attended Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, and cheered on both the coed and all-girl squads. After graduation, I coached my alma mater! I also was on UCA staff for 13 years where I was a head instructor for the State Director of Kentucky for six years and a part of college staff. I managed a cheer gym for 14 years and have been an owner for the last four. I coached Shelton State Community College from 2005 to 2017 and have coached the USA coed team the past four years as well!

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Sanford's Cheerleading Accomplishments:


  • 1993: UCA College Coed National Champion at Morehead State University
  • 1998: UCA College All Girl National Champion at Morehead State University (First All Girl championship at MSU)
  • 1999: UCA College Coed National Champion at Morehead State University
  • 2001: UCA College All Girl National Champions coaching Morehead State University
  • 2002: UCA College All Girl National Champions coaching Morehead State University
  • 2008: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2009: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2010: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2011: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2012: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2013: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2014: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2014: Gold Medal coaching USA Coed
  • 2015: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2015: Silver Medal coaching USA Coed
  • 2016: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2016: Gold Medal coaching USA Coed
  • 2017: UCA College National Champions coaching Shelton State Community College
  • 2017: Gold Medal coaching USA Coed

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Tell us about your new position at the University of Alabama:


I am the assistant spirit coordinator and the coed cheer coach. The position itself is still in the beginning stages. My responsibilities will be to assist the spirit coordinator, Jennifer Thrasher, begin leading as the new Alabama coed cheer coach and to provide support within the program for both the coed and all-girl cheerleading teams and Big Al. I'm excited about the new adventure of the game-day environment and to be a representative of the University of Alabama within the spirit program!

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What do you hope to bring to the program at Alabama?


I am hoping to continue the impressive program and its classic, traditional reputation that is already established at Alabama. To be named a coach within this great program is a dream come true!


Sanford breaking down the new 2017-18 squad for the first time.


Where do you hope to see the squad succeed?


The team will continue to be a leading program and continue to lead the industry in game-day situations. I hope to improve the overall cheerleading aspect as far as tumbling, baskets, and the difficulty of being able to maintain the level of expectation, along with the university expectation on and off the field within the program. I hope to take the things that I have learned from my background as a cheerleader, my coaching at Shelton, and the success of what I learned by coaching USA and continue to build along that with the University of Alabama program.


Who is your inspiration?


Myron Doan (the 19-time national champion Morehead State coach who passed away in 2014) was more than a coach. He was a mentor, leader, and friend. He led by teaching us to strive for success no matter the task. His leadership taught is that hard work, determination, and passion would be a formula for success. As young adults, he helped us through life decisions that showed us he cared so much more than just winning championships!

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What's next for Shelton State?


Brittany Crook will take over as coach for Shelton State. She was on the 2009 and 2010 championship teams and also on the Alabama Coed National Championship-winning team in 2011. She has a strong background with the Shelton State cheerleading program, the expectations, and overall what the program stands for. I have complete confidence that the program will continue to stand as a leading program in the junior college environment.

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Photo By: Universal Cheerleading Association

Shelton State means more to me than just the championships. The support from the administration, each athlete I coached, and every situation has been a part of my growth as a person and as a coach! My goal was to impact and lead the young lives of each athlete the way my mentor and coach, Myron Doan, did for me!

Watch Christa and the rest of the U.S. National Coed team in the three-part documentary series "USA Coed: Going For Gold!"

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