Antioch says goodbye to legendary cheer coach Robin Gwinn
By Bryan Bonato Special to The News-Sun February 18, 2013 2:44PM
Robin Gwinn gets a hug from her son Cody after she received an award for 19 years of cheerleading coaching excellence before the varsity basketball game at Antioch High School. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
ANTIOCH CHEERING BY THE NUMBERS
Robin Gwinn coached cheerleading at Antioch for 19 years.
Her youngest child Cody graduates from Antioch High this year.
Antioch is one of just 23 programs to have qualified for the state competition every year since the IHSA adopted cheerleading as a sport in 2006, and one of only five to have never finished outside of the top 10. The other four are Wauconda, Lemont, Lockport, and Sandburg.
They have won five sectional titles and earned two state second-place trophies.
ANTIOCH AT STATE
2006 — 2nd*
2007 — 6th *
2008 — 4th *
2009 — 7th
2010 — 8th
2011 — 2nd *
2012 — 8th *
2013 — 5th
(* - won sectional title)
Gwinn was honored before a recent basketball game. She received a plaque thanking her for her 19 years of coaching excellence and a promise that her contributions will never be forgotten.
Updated: March 20, 2013 6:16AM
Robin Gwinn is going out on top.
After 19 years of coaching cheerleading at Antioch High School, she has opted to pass the spirit stick along, although she will remain very active in the sport.
She was honored with a ceremony recently at a school basketball game, and said that while this cheer door is closing, other doors — involving judging and mentoring other coaches — are opening.
And when it’s said she’s going out on top, it’s because she couldn’t have had a better group of cheerers for her final squad at Antioch.
“When we had tryouts last May, I came home and told my husband, ‘If this is the year I retire, God has blessed me with the sweetest group of girls.’
“Talentwise they’re very new. I lost 12 seniors, so this is still a very young group of girls. Only four of them were returning from last year. They did very well. It was great to see, because it really showed that if your team believes and trusts in what you say, they can go anywhere.”
A new coach has not yet been named, and Gwinn has been asked to help with that selection process.
“It has to be somebody who knows the skills and how to train, but also how to coach and relate to these 24 girls that you get, because it really is a relationship,” she said. “Anybody can teach the skills, but coaching is really relational. You really have to like the students and really want to get to know them. For them to do what I wanted, they had to trust me. So there’s a huge trust factor.
“Anybody can teach skills. I love being creative, but it’s really about the lives of the girls. That’s the real challenge to coaching, not the cheerleading.”
Gwinn’s been around the sport so long, that there are former Sequoit cheerleaders everywhere.
“I am constantly seeing alumni. Next year, we are going to have an alumni reunion down at state. It will be a bunch of alumni cheerleaders. Some of them would be 37! I’m old!” she laughed.