Natalie LaFranzo enters her ninth year as head coach of the Washington University in St. Louis co-ed cheerleading team. LaFranzo added assistant coaches Christopher Milano and Chloé Risto in 2012.
LaFranzo is responsible for the recruitment and coaching of cheerleaders, choreography and skill instruction, as well as development of the program and safety standards. LaFranzo has completed the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrator’s (ACCAA) Safety Certification Program, and has worked as a Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) instructor.
Before coming to Washington University, LaFranzo completed her bachelor’s degree at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., where she was a member of the varsity cheerleading team for four years. LaFranzo cheered for the Braves on an NCAA Sweet Sixteen run in 2006, as well as an NIT second-round game in 2007.
LaFranzo received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Washington University in 2013, and is employed full-time at Horizon Discovery, a UK-based translational genomics company. She is also active with her professional organization, the American Chemical Society.