Mike began cheerleading as a teenager at Century High School. During this time, the rivalry that existed between Mater Dei and Century High School inspired the movie Bring It On! After high school, he attended Cal State Long Beach and continued to cheer with Cheer Empire’s Open Coed LV 6 team. From there, he joined the California All Stars family as part of the International Coed Team. He competed at Worlds and continued to compete on IOC5 for several more years!
As a coach, Mike was an inspiration and a mentor to everyone he worked with. His coaching career began at GymMax. He taught tumbling and eventually moved on to coaching the girl’s gymnastics team. He helped shape some incredible athletes, including three Olympic gymnasts!
Mike began coaching cheer at Quakes All Stars in Lake Forest and St. John the Baptist Middle School in Costa Mesa, which became a dominating team. In 2007, Mike, Eddie Strachan and Garrett Costlow opened Apex All Stars in North OC, which quickly became a strong defender in cheerleading in California. During his time at Apex he was also a coach for El Dorado High School with Katie Bowers. Together, in 2011, he and Katie grew a team that won UCA High School Nationals. They were the first team to win from California in over two decades.
In 2013, Mike was given the opportunity to coach the worlds team for American Cheer. After three years with American Cheer, he moved back to Southern California from Bakersfield to be closer to family. He then coached for PCM and then transitioned to California All Stars.
Through all his years of coaching, Mike has inspired all of his athletes to not only become better athletes, but to be better people. If you were to ask any of his athletes they would tell you that they looked at Mike as a father figure. He was someone they could turn to, whether it was to talk about cheerleading or life outside of cheer. He was always there to listen and to offer the best advice that anyone could give. If any of his kids needed a ride or a home to go to, Mike never hesitated to help in any way he could. He would do anything for you.
He also inspired many younger coaches to be the best that they can be. He taught them what to do and how to act to gain the respect of his kids and to get them to be the best athletes that he knew they could be. One thing he stood by was he would never want an athlete to be feared by him; instead he would coach and show the same respect that he would want as an adult.
Michael was the youngest of four boys, but he was the rock that held the family all together. If there was a problem, he wanted to fix it. If there was something to be said, he said it. He was selfless. He was so strong. Some might even say he was stubborn. If Mike set his mind on doing something, there was no stopping him. He was a beautiful person that always loved helping his family. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his family. He was the type of person to meet adversity head on.
The funds raised will be used to help with the remaining medical bills, as well as funeral, memorial, and celebration of life gathering along with any finals expenses. Due to the unexpected timing of this tragedy funds are needed as soon as possible as some of the costs are needed upfront. Garrett, his best friend and partner in life will be handling all of the final costs. Thank you all in advance for any support that you are able to give, as well as all the love shown. Everyone’s testimonies are a huge testament to how great of a man Mike was!
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