Myron Doan, cheerleading coach who turned Morehead into a powerhouse, dies

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJune 22, 2014 

Myron Doan, left, head coach of the Morehead State University cheerleaders, and squad members Kristen McNeely and Shelly Parrott celebrated as their teammates arrived at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport on another flight in 2000, the year the co-ed squad won one of its national titles. Doan, 64, died Sunday.

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Retired Morehead State University cheerleading coach and dean of students Myron Doan, who led 19 championship cheerleading teams, died Sunday. He was 64.

Mr. Doan, the driving force behind MSU's transition into a cheerleading powerhouse, was one of the winningest coaches in the United States.

As dean of students, he worked with student organizations and advised Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, the Interfraternity Council and the Student Government Association.

"His heart was in helping students," said Madonna Weathers, vice president of student life.

Said Ryan McGovern, a cheerleader from 1999 to 2002: "You kind of knew at the time that it was a privilege to be around someone who expected such excellence from you all the time. ...

"He just had a lasting impact on anyone that had the opportunity to have their lives cross paths with his."

After Mr. Doan suffered a massive heart attack last week, former students from around the country began flying to Morehead to comfort the family at St. Claire Regional Medical Center, McGovern said.

A native of Falmouth, Mr. Doan came to MSU in 1967 to study music, according to an obituary on the university website. After earning a bachelor's degree, he worked at the campus radio station while completing a graduate degree. In 1985, he was named assistant to the vice president of student life and later would become assistant dean of students and then dean.

Mr. Doan was introduced to college cheerleading after agreeing to accompany the squad on road trips. In 1979, he began to coach and immersed himself in the sport. MSU cheerleading would explode onto the competitive scene in 1988.

"That first year of competition was probably one of the biggest highlights of my career," Mr. Doan said. "We were in unknown territory, having never competed before, so coming out on top was a tremendous experience."

During his career, the coed squad captured 13 national championships. An all-girl squad was added in 1994, and it held six national championships during his tenure.

In 2004, Mr. Doan retired from MSU, then made a brief return in 2010 to serve as interim cheerleading coach.

Mr. Doan was named Cheerleader Magazine's Coach of the Year in 2002 and was inducted into the MSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004. The Myron Doan Cheer Practice Room, formerly the gymnastics room, in MSU's Academic-Athletic Center was named for him in 2006.

Woodhead Funeral Home in Falmouth is in charge of arrangements.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: HLpublicsafety.

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