Fired Estero cheer coach gets her revenge

Fired Estero cheer coach gets her revenge

By Matt Grant. CREATED Feb 28, 2012

BONITA SPRINGS - They say success is the best revenge.

The Hooter's waitress fired from her job as cheerleading coach at Estero High School is coaching again - but this time it's on her terms.

Zivich is now the co-owner of a Bonita Springs gym called Xtreme Air Sports. She will also be coaching her own all-start cheerleading team that will compete across the state.

"We have girls from Lee and Collier county that have signed up already," said Zivich. "I'm really excited."

Zivich was mysteriously fired from her Estero coaching job last November after a single parent bombarded the Lee County School District with complaints against her, criticizing the fact that she worked at Hooters.

"We certainly are sure that you'll get some answers," board member Mary Fischer told a dozen cheerleaders who spoke out in favor of Zivich.

But those answers never came. Zivich thought about suing the district but decided it was best to let it go.

"One door closed another one opens," said Zivich. "I'm just lucky enough to have this opportunity."

An opportunity that's also turning into a reunion.

"She was a really good coach," said Estero freshman Maddie Dawson. "Really inspirational. She really motivated us to do our best."

Many of the girls Zivich used to coach have quit Estero's cheer program and now want to cheer for her.

"I know a lot of girls especially the varsity girls are coming here instead of going to Estero," said Dawson. "Just because of Nicole being here."

"We love Nicole as a coach and as a person," Estero freshman Tyler Jones. "She's just near and dear to all of us."

"I don't really like Estero's cheer," said freshman Anna Lisa. "It was different when Nicole left."

For Zivich, that loyalty means everything.

"It's a good feeling knowing that they still support me and they love me as much as I love them," said Zivich, "to come and cheer for me here."

We asked her what she would like to say to the Lee County School District including board member Jeanne Dozier and Superintendent Joseph Burke for their role in her firing.

"I would say thank you," said Zivich.

Because if that never happened this new opportunity wouldn't be possible, she said.

Still, with success, comes a little revenge.

"On some level, do you feel like you're kind of sticking it to the Lee County School District?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"I sure hope so," said Zivich.

Zivich is holding an "open gym" this week and next week for anyone interested. She says nobody will be cut and everyone will be placed on teams according to their ability.

Tryouts are scheduled for March 11.

For more information contact the gym at (239) 676-7192.

Matt Grant