Sports

Cheerleading advisors unexpectedly let go



The University athletic department told Duck cheerleading advisors Laraine Raish and Corine Lewis they were being let go at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday. The mother and daughter were part-time advisors to the program and not full-time coaches, according to the athletic department.

According to the cheer team’s official Web site, Raish was head coach and Lewis was assistant coach and choreographer.

Dave Wiliford, the Oregon sports information director, said the two women were told that the program decided to go in a “different direction.”

“It came as quite a blow,” Raish said. “I’m still a little bit in shock. As to what happened, your guess is as good as mine.”

The 62-year-old Raish has been with the program for 15 years. She said she had spent much of the last month preparing for what was supposed to be the start of daily doubles Monday at 9 a.m.

“A lot of preparation had been gone through for the start of daily doubles,” Raish said. “We never had a meeting before that; we didn’t have a clue,” she said of the firings.

Lewis, Raish’s 37-year-old daughter, was the assistant advisor and choreographer to the team.

Williford said the department is looking to replace Raish and Lewis with two new advisors who would also be part-time. He was uncertain about the timeline.

“There will be no difference in game responsibilities,” Williford said. “Games will not be affected and whether or not we hire someone in the interim, there will be someone in place as soon as possible.”

Raish has lived in the Eugene area for more than 30 years and she was formerly the cheerleading coach at Willamette High School in Eugene.

“This is absolutely my home,” she said.

Calls to Associate Athletic Directors Renee Baumgartner and Joe Giansante were not returned as of 5:30 p.m. Monday.

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