David Lee Tracey

David Lee Tracey and 1987-88 Cheerleaders

The 1987-88 cheerleaders.  David Lee Tracey is pictured at the very back centre.  Courtesy of UWO Student Council.

Cheerleading at Western was revolutionized under David Lee Tracey's continued leadership. Tracey, or “Trace” first became a cheerleader when he was in his fourth year of Western in 1980. After he finished at Western, he stayed on as coach of the squad. Before Tracey, there was no coach and leadership had belonged to a senior student on the squad.
Tracey's strategy for his successful team was a completely co-ed squad who were athletic. He changed the routines to well planned ones that required a lot of talent and practice. He brought with him ideas from gymnastics and kinesiology to create these strong routines. Before this time the cheers had not changed very much since the 1960s.
Tracey also stressed cheerleading as a sport. Although it had not always been taken seriously, he emphasized the athletics behind it. As such, he expected a lot from his cheerleaders and has been considered tough. This led to fantastic results for Tracey and the squad. Following these methods, they went on to win every Canadian championship since 1985 (apart from 2007). He also emphasized American events for the squad because the competition was fiercer and pushed them to be better.
Tracey also created JW, the university's furry purple and white mascot after his character was chosen by a 1984 campus wide contest.