Monica Aldama Announces Retirement from Navarro College, Culminating Three Decades of Unprecedented Cheerleading Excellence
Posted on November 29, 2023
CORSICANA, TEXAS — November 29, 2023 — Monica Aldama, renowned as "The Queen" among her athletes, has officially announced her retirement from Navarro College and its esteemed cheer program, a dynasty she meticulously built and nurtured over nearly three decades. Aldama's illustrious career concludes at the end of the Fall 2023 semester, marking the end of a chapter that began when she was hired to teach mathematics and sponsor cheerleading at Navarro.
Aldama's legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. Since the year 2000, her precision-perfect Navarro Cheer squads have claimed an unprecedented 16 National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) National Championships in the Advanced Large Co-Ed Division. Additionally, they secured a 17th national title in the new Game Day Open Division during competitions in Daytona Beach, FL, last April. Under Aldama's guidance, Navarro Cheer also earned six 'Grand National' Championships by consistently achieving the highest scores across all competing programs, including elite NCAA Division I squads. Notably, her 2000 Cheer team set an NCA College Nationals' all-time scoring record during an era when no official 'Grand National' title was awarded.
“There is not a larger figure in the sport of cheer than Monica Aldama and we are proud to call her our own,” said Michael Landers, Executive Director of Student Services and Athletics. “She is an icon in the sport and built our program from the ground up with class, grace and a championship mindset.”
In the final five years of her near-lifetime dedication to perfecting the art of cheer, Aldama continued to champion the cause of cheerleading. In 2019, she was honored as one of the first 10 members of the Bulldog Hall of Fame's inaugural class, recognizing excellence spanning more than 70 years of Navarro Athletics. In 2020, Aldama gained instant television fame through her pivotal role in the Emmy-winning Netflix docuseries "Cheer." Finally, in 2022, she released her autobiography and personal growth book, "Full Out: Lessons In Life and Leadership From America's Favorite Coach."
The height of Navarro Cheer's fame and international acclaim came in 2020 when the six-part, Emmy-winning "Cheer" became a pop-culture phenomenon. The series focused on Aldama's mentorship, showcasing college athletes navigating injuries and personal challenges while striving for excellence. Aldama's drive for perfectionism and success, epitomized by her hallmark line, "You keep going until you get it right, and then you keep going until you can't get it wrong," resonated with audiences worldwide.
Aldama and the Navarro Cheer team swiftly became overnight sensations, making promotional appearances on major network television programs such as "Today," "Good Morning America," and "Ellen." Their reach extended to NBC's Saturday Night Live, where they were featured in a dedicated spoof segment, with SNL staffer Heidi Gardner portraying Monica. As Aldama's celebrity soared, she was invited to participate in the 29th season of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars," spending seven weeks in a new realm of competition and finishing 10th alongside dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
“Coach Aldama’s success in the sport of cheer is only surpassed by the empowering impact that she had daily with her student athletes, the Navarro College Bulldog family, and her community of Corsicana,” said Dr. Kevin Fegan, District President of Navarro College. “The unconditional giving of her time and talent to so many is what those closest to her value, admire, and illustrates the significance of her legacy.”
Monica Aldama's retirement marks the end of an era, leaving an indelible mark on the world of cheerleading and inspiring countless athletes to strive for excellence both on and off the mat. Her impact will be felt for generations to come.