Mililani Native Is State’s First Collegiate Acrobatics Coach
Among the fastest-growing sports in the NCAA is acrobatics and tumbling. Hawaii Pacific University has vowed to be a part of that growth, announcing that the Sea Warriors will field a team beginning next spring.
HPU also has hired Keenyn Won as its first coach to head up the program.
Born and raised in Mililani, Won is ideally suited to lead the program, having been a student-athlete during the sport’s first year of competition at University of Oregon in 2010. Won also competed on Oregon teams that captured the National Collegiate Acro-batics and Tumbling Association Championships in 2011 and 2012.
“I am very excited about getting the team together and starting practice,” said Won. “I’m confident that this year is going to be an amazing one and the start to a phenomenal program.”
Won’s new appointment also meant the opportunity to return home to Central Oahu. “I told myself I would regret it if I didn’t try for this job – it’s something I wasn’t going to pass up,” she said.
“It is going to be imperative that we build a strong foundation, and with the support of the university and community, we hope to build a large fan base for our first season,” said Won. “This program will be recognized as a leader in acrobatics and tumbling.”
Added HPU athletic director Darren Vorderbruegge: “Keenyn is going to be a great fit for HPU. She is a dynamic young lady who is eager to begin this new program for the Sea Warriors.
“Being from Hawaii allows her to hit the ground running; she already has shown the ability to do so. Equally important, she has been a part of two national championships as an athlete at Oregon, so she knows what it takes to compete at the highest level. We are fortunate to have her on our team.”
Won earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and worked most recently at the Staples corporate office in Los Angeles. She was a competitive cheerleader during her prep years on Oahu, where she was a four-time Hawaii High School Athletics Association All-State First Teamer while attending Kamehameha-Kapalama.
During her senior year, she also was selected as the HHSAA Cheerleader of the Year. She led talented teams, winning the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) National Championship in 2007 and 2008. Won also served as an instructor for two years for UCA.
Won and the Sea Warriors make their debut in February at home versus Azusa Pacific. HPU is currently the only university in the state that offers acrobatics and tumbling.