Meet the coach: John Lopez


Coach John Lopez was hired to coach cheerleading at Oak Park after former coach Paige Ramer left the program last year.

Lopez has coached cheer for over 15 years and has been involved with the sport since his sisters first introduced it to him as a child.

“[My sisters] were competing [in cheer], and I used to hang around at their gym and just flip around because I loved the trampolines,” Lopez said. “That introduced me to stunting, which drew me to keep on going. I went on liking it and liking it until I was 12, when I decided I wanted to actually be a cheerleader.”

Lopez said cheerleading developed into a passion, and decided he wanted to pursue it as a career. Lopez has coached athletes of various age levels, including his 9-year-old daughter.

“That’s what a lot of coaches see, the next generation coming in, an example being my daughter,” Lopez said. “[She is] the next level of athlete that I’m bringing up.”

Lopez has experience in several cheer programs including All-Star and Pop Warner, and said his coaching style has adjusted over the years as the athletes he coached grew older and more skilled.

“I’ve had a lot of experience at this level of cheerleading,” Lopez said. “When you find something you love as much as cheerleading like me, it’s something that you always want to go to the next level with.”