Cheerleading coach allegedly fired for Hooters employment

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A former high school cheerleading coach in Florida is alleging that she was fired from her job because the mother of one of her team members was infuriated that she worked at Hooters.

As reported by the Associated Press and a number of media outlets in and around Naples, Fla., the varsity cheerleading coach at Estero (Fla.) High was fired without being given any clear indication for her dismissal at the conclusion of the school's football season. While no official reason was given to former coach Nicole Zivich for her dismissal, the coach -- who worked with the school's cheerleading program as an assistant coach from 2006-2009 and then returned as the head coach in 2011 -- believes that she was fired because of repeated complaints about her outside employment at Hooters by a single cheerleading parent.

"I think it's personal. I think she doesn't like me," Zivich told the AP. "She has called me [a] nondedicated Hooters girl with no common sense of safety."

The only policy reasons that could be cause for Zivich's dismissal revolve around two incidents with the program: Zivich's policy of practicing stunts without mats -- a policy which matched district protocol (which were only changed to mandate mat use in December) -- and a team fundraiser car wash in which bathing suits were optional for cheerleaders who wanted to wear them.

"Every girl had shorts on," Zivich told the AP. "It was optional to wear a bathing suit top. I have girls that wore T-shirts."

While at least 12 of the former coach's cheerleaders have unified to speak out on her behalf, Zivich said she is considering legal action against the mother of the cheerleader who sent dozens of emails complaining about her leadership of the program. A number of those emails reportedly cited Zivich's employment at Hooters, a job which is necessary because she receives only $1,300 for six months of work leading the cheerleading program according to Fox 4 News in Naples.

"She's slandered my name, who I am, made accusations about what I am about and what I'm trying to do with the program at Estero," Zivich said. "They didn't even give me a chance to give positives. There was never any questions to me of how I ran my program from authorities."

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