KU Spirit Squad Director Cathy Jarzemkoski Announces Retirement

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Longtime Director of Spirt Squad, Cathy “Cat J” Jarzemkoski announced her retirement today after working at KU since 2000.

Jarzemkoski has brought a blend of experience, a solid foundation of skills and a passion for dance and cheer to the coaching staff and members of the squad over the last 22 years. During her tenure, the program has built national credibility, winning awards at national events, and established a great rapport with the fans.

“The journey during my time at KU has been extraordinary,” Jarzemkoski said. “Getting to know team members and seeing their growth over the years is the most fulfilling aspect of my job at KU. Experiencing events such as bowl games and National Championships through their eyes is an amazing experience. Roughly 1,500 individuals have gone through this program during my tenure, and I’ve gotten such joy from seeing them graduate and find their paths in life.

“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to represent the KU brand, and I’m proud of the way these kids did it year after year. I look forward to new and exciting times ahead, and will always be passionate about the Jayhawk family. I treasure all those I have met along the way—the students, fans, and KU Athletics staff.  I am confident to leave the program in the hands of outstanding coaches, and that this administration has the best interest of the program in mind with every thoughtful decision they make.”

Jarzemkoski became involved in cheer and dance when she was 10 years-old. As a part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ cheerleader program for 25 years, first as a “Chiefette” then transitioning to coaching. Over the last 20-plus years, she has choreographed many “Late Night in the Phog” routines and flash mob appearances at KU basketball games and events.

Jarzemkoski plans to travel, seek new challenges and spend time with her husband, Walter, son, Hank, and her grandchildren.