UConn Home University Spirit, Pride, Tradition!

Coaches and Staff


Ms. Toya Ambrose

Coach Cheerleading/Dance Team

Toya Ambrose

Toya comes to UConn most recently from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) where she was the head coach for their dance team for the past five years. In addition to her responsibilities at UIC, Toya is a choreographer who has led programs such as UIC, Lindenwood University (in Missouri), Saint Xavier University (Chicago), and Lake Central High School (Indiana) to state and national championships. Holding a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Memphis, where she also danced, Toya is a freelance dance instructor, judge, and also danced/cheered for the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association. Complementing an outstanding set of experiences and accomplishments, Toya brings to the program a sound understanding of, and vision for college cheer, dance, and mascot programs. She also has a realistic appreciation for the challenges and exciting opportunities associated with further developing these programs individually and collectively to enhance the sense of spirit, pride, and tradition associated with the University.

Ms. Rachel Macri

Assistant Coach- Cheerleading Team

No Photo

(Photo and bio coming soon)

Ms. Kristen Schmalbach

Assistant Coach- Dance Team

No Photo

(Photo and bio coming soon)

Dr. David Mills

Band Director

David Mills

Under the direction of the Band Director, the University of Connecticut Marching Band leads and represents the University at numerous athletic events, parades, convocation, commencement, and other University events throughout the year.

Dr. Mills, Professor of Music and Director of Bands joined the University of Connecticut Music Faculty in 1990 as the assistant director of bands. He directs the Marching Band, Pep Bands, Symphonic Band and the Concert Band and teaches courses in music education. Dr. Mills received a bachelor of science in music and a master of music education degree from Western Carolina University, and earned a doctor of philosophy degree in music education from the University of Miami.

Marvin McNeill

Assistant Band Director

Marvin McNeill

Marvin McNeill serves as assistant director of athletic bands at the University of Connecticut and earned his bachelor of arts degree in music education from Virginia Polytechnic and State University and his master of music degree in trombone performance from the University of Connecticut.

In addition to being the Assistant Director of the University of Connecticut Marching Band and Varsity Pep Bands, Marvin also conducts the University Concert Band, teaches brass techniques, and organizes and instructs the marching percussion program.

Alpha Phi Omega

Jonathan Handlers


Jonathan, the University’s official Mascot, can be seen at numerous athletic and University-wide events and occasionally makes an appearance on campus on a nice Autumn afternoon. This beautiful, white 100% pure-bred Siberian Husky is recognizable to anyone with a hint of Husky pride. Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a national, co-ed, service fraternity. For over seventy-five years, APO has set the standard for college campus-based volunteerism. Alpha Phi Omega strives to help each member develop leadership skills, secure lasting friendships and provide service. APO has served as the care-takers of Jonathan since the 1970’s and proudly demonstrates their pride and spirit in the University in this role.