Storm Cheer Adjusts to Hulen’s Resignation


Submitted to The Simpsonian

This semester will be cheer coach Heather Hulen’s last with the Storm’s cheer team.

by Regan Freland, Staff Reporter

After coaching the Storm’s cheer squad for six years, Heather Hulen has decided to step down. 

Hulen previously served as the head cheer coach at Indianola High School, leading the squad from 2011 to 2015. A lifelong resident of Indianola, Hulen is an active member of the community, serving on numerous boards throughout Warren County. She currently serves on the Indianola City Council. 

Hulen announced her resignation to the team in a private Facebook group with a heavy heart. The decision wasn’t easy for Hulen, a coach who created a family-type atmosphere for the Storm.

“It was a difficult decision, but in the end, it is time,” Hulen said. 

Hulen is the Executive Director of the Indianola YMCA. With so much already on her plate, she decided it was time to ease up on her commitments and schedule to allow more time for herself. Hulen also looks forward to spending more time at home with her husband and hobbies, not on a schedule. 

“As college students, we understand having too much on our plate,” sophomore cheerleader Tyra Tillman said. “We aren’t upset that she is leaving, we are just sad that we won’t be able to have her as a coach anymore.”

In her time at Simpson, Hulen has made a positive impact on not only the program but on the girls as well, who call their squad a ‘gigantic family.’ The cheerleaders describe Hulen as being one of the best motivators they know. 

Hulen has many great memories of her time at Simpson College. Overall, her love for the cheerleaders and passion for the sport has topped her list. 

One of Hulen’s favorite memories of being involved with Simpson cheer is practice. 

“I love to see the pride and joy when a stunt finally hits when a routine is solid with team unity, and all the laughs and tears… lots of big feels happen at practice,” Hulen said. 

There are many things she will miss when leaving Simpson, with her biggest sadness coming from leaving the girls and the cheer family they created. 

“This will be hard on all of us,” Tillman said. “All we can do now is cherish the time we have left with her.”

Some of the girls will miss the traditions Hulen is leaving behind. One of those is Sips with Seniors. This event is where Hulen takes her graduating seniors around to the local wineries and enjoys some time with them before they graduate. 

Simpson has not stated who will be taking over as the head cheer coach. That will be the biggest challenge moving forward as the squad is always looking for new recruits. 

Another worry the cheerleaders have is being able to create the environment that Hulen made. 

“Our biggest challenge moving forward will probably be getting adjusted to the new coach, but we have a good group of girls, so I have faith it will be a smooth transition,” Tillman said.

Hulen will finish out the cheer season as head coach. The Storm will compete in two more competitions as well as cheering at the rest of the basketball games.