Coaching Staff

Dennis Friends - Head Coach

Dennis Friends

Coach Dennis Friends has been with the Ithaca College Cheerleading team since 2003 and has been a driving force behind the continued development of the program. Since joining the program after learning about it at a carwash fundraiser by the team, Friends has served as the squad's volunteer coach and has seen the progress the program has made.

"Every year I've been here, things are getting better and better. We have more girls and more dedication. These are very intelligent and very athletic girls. They come motivated every day I see them, and they are very serious about what they do. [They] are focused, and they want to be here. They want to work."

A 1995 graduate of Charles O Dickerson High School, Friends knows about this type of dedication and effort, having been a cheerleading for two years for the Blue Raiders before moving on to the Rochester Institute of Technology to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Computing. While at RIT, Friends continued cheerleading for his final three years for the Tigers, earning captain's honors as a junior.

In 1999, he returned to the Ithaca area to take a position with Cornell University as a computer programmer and began coaching cheerleading the following year at the high school level. In 2003, Friends assumed the volunteer coaching duties of the Ithaca College Cheerleading team and has since earned safety certifications through the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education and is approved to judge on the national level by Cheer Ltd.

Friends currently resides in Ithaca and enters his tenth season as the head coach of Ithaca College Cheerleading in 2012-13.

Christine Bonacci - Assistant Coach

Christine Bonacci

Coach Christine Bonacci (aka Scooby) joined the coaching ranks of Ithaca College in 2007, following her return to New York State after living abroad for a number of years.

Christine is a graduate of Guilderland High School, where she cheered for four years. Christine continued her cheerleading career in college, cheering for the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. Christine was named the captain of the RIT cheerleading squad both her junior and senior years.

In addition to Christine's cheerleading experience, she has over 25 years of dance experience. She studied jazz, tap, ballet and lyrical from when she was a small child through the early years of her collegiate career. She has also choreographed for both dance and cheer routines.

Following Christine's graduation from RIT, she moved to Idaho briefly and began working in her degree field of Nuclear Medicine. Christine then had the opportunity to move abroad and spend time living in Japan and Germany.

Christine returned to the United States in April 2007, and joined the Bomber Cheerleading coaching ranks later that same year. Since her return to the US, Christine has received certifications in safety through the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education (NCSSE) and is certified to judge for Cheer Ltd.

Christine currently resides in Schenectady, NY. She travels to and from the Ithaca area on a regular basis. During her visits she can be found working with the cheerleaders at various practices, events and games.

In addition to her work with the Ithaca College cheerleaders, Christine is also the head coach of the Schalmont JV cheerleading squad and an assistant with Pirate All-Star Cheerleading in Schenectady, NY.

Randi Millman-Brown - Squad Advisor
2010 - Present

Serving as the club advisor since 2010, Randi Millman-Brown is also the Visual Resources Curator for the Art History Department at Ithaca College.


Jackie Hopkins - Squad Advisor

Jackie Hopkins

Serving as an assistant coach and the club’s advisor, Jackie Hopkins brings significant experience to the Bombers Cheerleading Squad and has been involved with the Ithaca College Cheerleading team from the very beginning.

With her vast knowledge, experience and involvement in cheerleading, Hopkins has been instrumental in the development of the program over the past five years. “It’s in my blood… I really enjoy the team spirit and camaraderie… and I [stay involved] because I love the sport. The program has come a long way, and I’m very proud to be a part of it”.

Having developed her passion for the sport as a four-year member of the Spencer-Van Etten cheerleading squad while attending S-VE, she has also served as the head coach of the Panthers varsity cheerleading team for the past 10 years and will begin her ninth year of involvement with Ithaca College Cheerleading in 2009.

Hopkins currently resides in Van Etten, New York and is a Planning Design and Construction Assistant at Ithaca College.


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              Date Updated: April 22, 2013