SC college gets new cheerleading coach in wake of escort service scandal

Coastal Carolina University (WBTW)

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Coastal Carolina University has named David Almeida, a former NCA national and Grand Collegiate champion, as the new head cheerleading coach.

Almeida in a WBTW photo

Almeida comes to Coastal Carolina from Jacksonville State University, where he has been the head cheerleading coach since 2013.

RELATED: Some Coastal Carolina cheerleaders were escorts in NC, documents show

At Jacksonville State, Almeida oversaw all game-day and competition activities of the spirit program.

“We are excited to welcome David to the Chanticleer family,” said Matt Hogue, director of athletics at CCU. “We are fortunate to have such an accomplished coach lead the next chapter of our program, especially as we move to the FBS and compete on a much higher level.”

The entire cheerleading squad was suspended in late March because of a criminal investigation alleging some members of the team were participating in an escort service.

Just before the suspension, six then-current cheerleaders were brought to the CCU Public Safety Building and interviewed.

In early April, Investigator Michelyn Pylilo confirmed members of the team were currently involved in an escort service called SeekingArrangements.com.

Investigators say the escorts were paid between $100 and $1,500 per date and also received payment in the form of clothes, shoes and designer handbags.

RELATED: Coastal Carolina University cheerleading squad suspended

“I am excited to build a successful program at CCU,” Almeida said. “Coastal has great resources and many exciting things happening on campus, and I am thrilled to be a part of that. My primary goal for this cheerleading team is to make them excellent students and to help them become the best game-day cheerleaders they can be. I know there have been challenges with the program, but I am focused on the team’s future, and I am confident we will be prepared for our many important game day and competitive opportunities.”

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Prior to his stint at JSU, Almeida led cheer programs at George Washington University (2012-2013) and Kansas Wesleyan University (2011-2012).

Concurrent to his collegiate coaching career, Almeida has also helped lead several All-Star cheer gyms, winning national championships at the All-Star level along with developing scholarship-level athletes.

Almeida is certified by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators and the United States All Star Federation. Almeida earned a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.

CBS North Carolina contributed to this report

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