Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Former Cougarettes join offseason coaching staff

BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe announced on April 7 that former Cougarettes Stacy Bills and Morgan St. Pierre will return to BYU to co-coach the squad in light of Jodi Maxfield’s retirement.

Bills and St. Pierre will fill the shoes of former head coach Maxfield, who decided to retire after 30 years of coaching. She earned 19 national championships in her tenure as Cougarettes’ head coach.

Holmoe believes Bills and St. Pierre will fit in nicely with the winning legacy left behind by Maxfield.

“Stacy and Morgan bring a wealth of dance, teaching and choreography experience to the Cougarettes,” Holmoe said. “We believe they will continue the success of the program with their own flare and unique abilities. As former Cougarette captains, their passion for the program will certainly be seen and felt in future team performances.”

Nate Edwards
BYU’s Cosmo the Cougar performs with the BYU Cougarettes during the 2017 Homecoming Football game vs Boise State on Oct. 6, 2017. (Nate Edwards)

Bills has a long history in Provo where she was raised before attending BYU on a dance scholarship. She was a member of the Cougarettes for three years and was dance captain twice. Bills went on to use her dance skills on various national television shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Star Search,” advancing to the finals in Star Search. To add to an already impressive resume, Bills was awarded Miss Utah in 2003 and was a non-finalist talent award winner in the Miss America contest.

Since her time as a Cougarette, Bills has gone on to train and direct at multiple dance studios in various locations, including Prodigy Performing Arts (Dallas), Center Stage Performing Arts (Orem) and Studio North Academy of the Performing Arts (Chicago). In the last decade, Bills trained the National Best Dancer award winners in 2013, 2016 and 2017 and was awarded National Choreographer of the Year in 2013 and 2019.

The former Cougarette expressed her excitement of being a part of the team again.

“I’m thrilled to be able to return to the university that I’ve always loved and the Cougarette program that has given me so much,” Bills said. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity to help these incredible dancers perform at the highest level and represent BYU.”

Bills will get to co-coach alongside her former Cougarette teammate St. Pierre.

“I am so excited to work with Morgan, my longtime friend and colleague,” Bills said. “We shared the Cougarette experience together and look forward to carrying on the exceptional Cougarette legacy. I express deep appreciation to Tom Holmoe, Liz Darger and the administration for their trust, and of course a special thanks to Jodi Maxfield for making the program what it is today.”

St. Pierre came to BYU from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and danced on the Cougarettes squad for four years. She was also an officer for two of those years. During her dance career, St. Pierre had the opportunity to perform at the Daytime Emmy Awards and with the Cougarettes at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In the time following her career at BYU, St. Pierre has directed and choreographed for dance squads across the country, including teams in Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Hawaii. She also has two years of experience as assistant coach for the Cougarettes under Maxfield. St. Pierre has also coached for Utah Dance Artists (Salt Lake) and Hi-Light Dance Academy (Alpine) in addition to winning several choreography, costuming and performance local and international awards for her work with these squads.

St. Pierre understands what Cougarette legacy means and is excited to help coach the team to success.

“We understand the Cougarette legacy and can’t wait to help shape its future,” St. Pierre said. “I appreciate Jodi Maxfield and how her influence helped shaped the woman I am today. I’m humbled to share this opportunity with such an accomplished friend and professional in Stacy. We look forward to getting started.”

Updated information about the Cougarettes’ audition process for 2020 can be found on the Cougarettes’ website.

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