Tampa Mayor Castor proclaims ‘USF Coed Cheer Team Day’

Friday’s ceremony featured 31 athletes in attendance as Tampa Mayor Jane Castor honored the USF coed cheer team. ORACLE PHOTO/HANNAH HALILI

Celebrating three consecutive champion titles in the UCA D1A Coed Division, the South Florida coed cheer team now has an official day to commemorate their hard work. 

Outside of the Tampa City Hall on Friday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor proclaimed Feb. 24, 2023 as Tampa’s “USF Coed Cheer Team Day”  and congratulated the Bulls on their UCA College National Competition win on Jan. 15


The coed cheer team is South Florida’s third athletics team to have a proclamation declared by a Tampa mayor. USF baseball was honored on June 8, 2021 by Castor for winning the program’s first AAC conference championship.

Women’s basketball was celebrated by former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Aug. 26, 2015 for their first time being ranked No. 25 and on Oct. 26, 2017 for earning the American Athletic Conference’s 2016-17 Academic Excellence Award.

Castor said she was proud of the athleticism and perseverance USF coed cheer has shown over their last three seasons. As a former college athlete, Castor is an advocate for team sports and credits her experience to be the reason behind her success. 

“What it did for me is it allowed me to build a foundation of those life skills that are so important. The commitment, dedication and drive to work cohesively as a team…those are the skills you are building today,” Castor said. 

Castor played volleyball and basketball at the University of Tampa from 1977-81. She finished her college basketball career with 1,055 points and 508 rebounds. ORACLE PHOTO/HANNAH HALILI

Junior Ansley Topchick has been cheering for 10 years of her life. She said knowing the city supports her team feels like being on “cloud nine.”

“Just being recognized for all your hard work is the best feeling. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be standing here graduating with three national championship titles,” Topchick said. “I’ve always looked up to people that were college cheerleaders in this exact division, so to just be doing what I dreamed of, it’s the best feeling.”

Coach Gillian Guadagnino has been coaching the team for seven years. When Guadagnino came to Tampa in 2016, it had been 13 years since the Bulls last attended a competition. She recognized there was a lot of work to be done.

Three national wins later, Guadagnino described the team as a “dynasty” South Florida has worked tirelessly to create. She said the recognition is well deserved.

“We have great athletes, great students and most importantly, great people with amazing character who are going to change the world one day. They’ve already left their mark and made such an impact on our lives, each other and the community. We feel so blessed to be part of this experience,” Guadagnino said.

Guadagnino said she was proud to stand alongside other winning teams in Tampa Bay, including the Buccaneers, Lightning and Rays.

“In the city of Tampa there are so many amazing sports here that win. To be part of ‘Champa Bay’ is just amazing. And for us to be able to do that three years in a row and to build something…that’s so special,” Guadagnino said.