FCA Cheerleading National Director
Raised in the beautiful New England town of Bethel, Connecticut, Marilou Halastra Braswell’s family moved to Athens, Georgia, during her teenage years where she quickly acquired a Southern drawl. Although she played softball, basketball and soccer up North, the only thing offered at her school was cheerleading, so Marilou jumped right in with both feet!
After cheering in high school, she became a physical education major at the University of Georgia (UGA) where she was a cheerleader for three seasons and a member of the gymnastics team for two years. She was also an NCA (National Cheerleaders Association) College All-American her senior year.
After coaching high school cheerleaders and teaching P.E. at the Lovett School in Atlanta, Marilou returned to her alma mater as the head cheerleading coach from 1993-2004. Afterward, she was named the Dean of Women at Whitefield Academy in Atlanta. Marilou has served in her current role as the National Director for FCA Cheerleading since October 2007.
For 11 years, Marilou directed a nationally-recognized cheerleading program at UGA. Marilou, who was raised Catholic, became a devoted Christian in college and often invited the UGA cheerleaders she coached to participate in team Bible studies and prayer sessions. With the advent of FCA Cheerleading in 2006, Marilou now has an unprecedented opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with thousands of cheerleaders and coaches across the nation as she leads cheer camps and huddles.
Marilou and her husband Matt, an All-Conference offensive lineman for the Bulldogs who also played for the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, have been married for 32 years. They are the proud parents of two adult children, Laci Ann and Beau Matthew, and two granddaughters. The Braswells currently live in Athens.
Marilou's favorite Bible verse is: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good CHEER, for I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33, NKJV)
Posted on Thu, June 14, 2012
by Gayle Tillman