It’s the end of an era for Cheer‘s Monica Aldama!
On Sunday, the head coach of the Navarro Cheer team announced her retirement after 30 years in the business.
“If you had asked me 30 years ago where my life was headed, I never would have thought I would be coaching cheerleading, certainly not for 3 decades,” Aldama wrote on Instagram. “As a young, naive 22-year-old, I had big plans for my future. I just knew I would make it to Wall Street one day and build my business empire. It’s funny how life works though. God knew what He had in store for me and what my purpose was going to be.”
The 51-year-old reflected on starting her career at Navarro when she thought that it would be a temporary position.
“I took what I thought was going to be a temporary job coaching, but here we are 30 seasons later,” she wrote. “God knew exactly what my passion was, and He opened the door for me to share that passion with others in sport – and ultimately the world. Wow! What a run! It’s been incredible what these amazing athletes have accomplished. From day one, my whole world has revolved around the Navarro College program and every cheerleader that has come through those doors. Every athlete has made me who I am and has made me a better person, a better coach, a better friend, and a better human.”
She added, “They have taught me lessons I never would have learned had I chosen a different career path. I have been given the gift of spending most of my life with people from all over the world, from different cultures, with different personalities, with different quirks, with different backgrounds and different beliefs. It taught me a much bigger kind of love and empathy than I could have ever imagined. For that I will be eternally grateful. I always knew that my time coaching would eventually come to an end, and I would pursue other opportunities. I have prayed a lot about what direction God was leading me in, and it was that prayer that I felt the tug that God was pushing me into a different role and different purpose. I know that I can still help effectuate changes that we need in the world, and certainly in the sport of cheerleading. I felt His calling and I knew the timing was right for this to be my last season coaching. “He has big plans for me, and I will faithfully follow where He is leading me.”
Aldama ended her message by sharing her excitement for the next chapter and a special thanks to her supporters.
“I am excited about the upcoming opportunities and projects and cannot wait to share where life takes me,” she wrote. “Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support. I have felt every bit of it! All my love, Monica❤️.”
Aldama’s retirement was announced officially on the Navarro College website, where they celebrated her decades-long career.
“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,” the message read in part.
Aldama and the Navarro Bulldogs cheer squad were introduced to the world in 2020 on the Netflix series, Cheer. After a successful first season, season 2 captured all the ups and downs that they were going through as a team, including the 2020 NCA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships being canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, breakout season 1 star Jerry Harris’ arrest on child pornography charges, and Aldama’s falling out with star La’Darius Marshall.
In April, Aldama faced another hurdle when she was named in a lawsuit filed by a former Navarro cheerleader, who alleged she was sexually assaulted by a male cheerleader.
Allegations detailed in the 20-page lawsuit filed in a Dallas court included an overall culture of abuse, violence, hazing, and cover-ups within the program. It also named the cheerleader’s alleged attacker, the college and Aldama.
According to the lawsuit, the former cheerleader allegedly called Aldama and told her about the alleged assault, and claims she was told, “Let’s not make this a big deal. I want the best for you and I will help you cheer wherever you want.”
The case was dismissed last month, according to People.
In 2022, ET spoke with Aldama — who was competing on DWTS — about overcoming the hardships the team faced in recent years.
“I think this is a culmination of hit after hit after hit,” Aldama said of her toughest time as coach. “Dealing with a very mentally challenging time, where things are very different than they normally are, and, of course, the Jerry Harris news and the pandemic, it was a lot. It was challenge after challenge.”