Spirit Coordinator / Head Cheerleading Coach

Gregg Niemiec is entering his 20th year as the head cheerleading coach and spirit coordinator for the University of Iowa spirit squads. Niemiec coaches the Iowa cheerleaders, while running the spirit squad and all of its events, travel, public relations, fundraising, alumni relations and daily needs.

A 1993 graduate of Northern Illinois University, Niemiec was assistant coach at Northwestern University for three years while also coaching at the high school and junior high level in the suburbs of Chicago. As a cheerleader at Northern Illinois, he was a three-year captain and competed at nationals in the team and partner stunt divisions.

Niemiec worked for Universal Cheerleaders Association for 14 years as a territory manager in the Midwest Region. UCA is the world leader in the spirit industry, including national competitions being covered by ESPN, worldwide camps, competitions and uniform sales and numerous sister companies covering all areas of the spirit industry. As a territory manager events and camps were set-up and administered, staffs were hired, trained and scheduled and coaches were kept up to date on all that was going on in the various states Niemiec covered. He has judged competitions at all levels, including numerous state and national competitions.

Niemiec was originally hired as Iowa’s head cheerleading coach. Shortly after arriving at the UI, the Iowa cheerleaders and Iowa dance team (known at the time as the Iowa pom pom squad) merged to create the Iowa spirit squads. The final piece of the Iowa spirit squads came into place when the daily duties of Herky the Hawk were officially assumed by the UI Athletics Department. As a model for other spirit squads around the country, the Iowa spirit squads run together as a group, as opposed to three different entities being run separately.

As an advocate for safety in the cheerleading industry, Niemiec has been an AACCA safety certifier for the organization since its inception. AACCA guidelines have now officially been adopted by the NCAA and all of its member institutions.

From 2007-2011, Niemiec and his wife, Jenny, started a youth cheerleading program in Iowa City, HAWK All-Stars, to help the youth in the area further their cheerleading skills. The first in the Iowa City area, HAWK All-Stars helped to improve not only cheerleading skills, but fitness, body awareness and self esteem.

Niemiec is married to Jenny Niemiec, a graduate of Western Michigan, with a teaching degree received from the University of Iowa. They have two daughters, Emily (12) and Ashley (8), and they reside in Iowa City.

Head Dance Team Coach

Jenny Eustice is entering her seventh year as the dance team coach for the University of Iowa. She has taken the Iowa dance team to UDA College Nationals every season as a coach. In 2012, the Iowa dance team made history by earning a spot in the finals of two divisions, and placing in the top 10 in both the jazz and pom categories. In 2015 the Iowa dance team placed fifth at Nationals in pom category, their highest placement in school history.

Eustice is a former Minnesota Vikings cheerleader and a Minnesota Swarm Performance Team member. She is a former dancer (captain) and assistant coach of the four-time UDA National Champion University of Minnesota dance team in Minneapolis. While at Minnesota, she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in nutrition, a 9-12 teaching license in life science education, and a master’s of life science education. Her coaching background also includes the multiple state champion Wayzata High School dance team. Currently, Eustice teaches science courses at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa.

Eustice has been the Universal Dance Association(UDA) ESPN dance analyst for the National High School Dance Team Championship for nine years. She is a former member/choreographer for UDA summer camps. As a former V!ROC dance choreographer, she has choreographed for nationally ranked college dance teams. Eustice has 15 years of studio training in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and modern from the Dance Shoppe in Plymouth, Minn.

Eustice is married to Luke Eustice, the director of operations for Iowa’s wrestling program, and they have a daughter, Peyton (3) and son, Charlie (1).

Assistant Cheerleading Coach

Allison Smith is beginning her first year as the assistant cheerleading coach at the University of Iowa.

Smith is a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor degree of science in human development and family studies. She did master’s level coursework work at Morehead State University in sports management and education. While at Morehead State she was a two time UCA national champion in co-ed in 2010 and all-girl in 2011. She completed her nursing degree at Olivet Nazarene in 2015.

Smith has worked for Universal Cheerleaders Association since 2006 as a head instructor, part of the college camp staff, and as an international ambassador. She has traveled around the world teaching camps, assisting teams, and judging and promoting cheerleading. She has helped out in Australia, Germany, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Denmark, Taiwan, Columbia, and Japan. She is AACCA certified and has performed safety audits at Big Ten championship events. She was the head coach at the University of Arizona in 2012-13 in charge of both the cheerleaders and mascots.

Smith is a full-time nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the labor/delivery area.

Assistant Cheerleading Coach

Entering her 17th year as a volunteer assistant cheerleading coach, Jenny Niemiec’s role has been both behind the scenes and in the gym coaching. At practice, she works to help everyone further their skills and perfect their abilities, this includes choreographing routines for halftimes and Nationals.

A former five-year staff member for Universal Cheerleaders Association, Niemiec taught summer camps and helped run events all around the Midwest. A graduate from Western Michigan University, she received a teaching degree from the University of Iowa.

Niemiec currently teaches second grade in the Iowa City Community School District. She formerly ran and co-owned HAWK All-Stars, a cheerleading gym in Iowa City.

Niemiec is married to Gregg Niemiec. The couple has two daughters Emily (12) and Ashley (8), and they reside in Iowa City.
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