SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Drury University has named Tyler Dunlap as the head coach for its Cheer program. Dunlap served as an assistant coach at Drury last year and is a decorated senior collegiate staffing instructor for the Universal Cheerleading Association.
Dunlap replaces Ashley Parnell, who served as head coach at Drury for 12 years. Last month, Parnell accepted a specialty sales representative position with the biotech company AbbVie.
As an assistant coach at Drury last year, Dunlap helped the program to a national runner-up finish in the Open Small Co-Ed Division at the UCA Cheerleading and Dance National Championships in Orlando, Florida. He’s been a staff instructor for UCA for seven years, where he worked with collegiate-level coaches and athletes on skills, safety, all-around proficiency, and effectiveness in the gameday and competitive settings. While at UCA, Dunlap was chosen as one of the top athletes and instructors in the country to create and demonstrate the most innovative and advanced skills. He also organized and led instructional seminars for hundreds of coaches and athletes nationwide.
Dunlap started his cheer career at Missouri State and served as a team captain in his second year with the Bears. He then took his talents to Kentucky and joined the Morehead State Eagles, where he was a part of multiple UCA Coed national championship squads at the Division I level. The Paris, Missouri native has a degree in Psychology from Missouri State and Communications from Morehead State with multiple emphases on fitness and personal training.
“Honestly, I’m pretty fired up!” said Dunlap. “I’m honored and excited for this opportunity. I’m grateful for the friends and family who have helped me prepare for this moment.”
Dunlap started his full-time duties at Drury this week. He will lead a Cheer program that has finished in the top three at the UCA national championships for five straight seasons and won the Division II Small Coed national title in 2020.