Kailey Ackermann

Cheerleader of the week

Senior Kailey Ackermann might be in her last year as a Fighting Illini cheerleader, but she’ll always have the memories of game days and the numerous bus rides they took to get there. As one of the Seniors on the squad, she’s had a handful of experiences most college students would jump at, including unforgettable trips to bowl games and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Since Kailey’s a Senior, it’s a safe bet that she’ll be at their big game against Ohio State on Saturday. Just another reason to root against The Buckeyes this weekend.

connect with University of Illinois Cheerleaders


  • College:
    University of Illionois
  • Year:
  • Graduating Class:
  • Major:
  • Hometown:
    Belleville, IL




What’s life like at the University of Illinois?
I think it’s a great college atmosphere. We’ve got the perfect balance of the college atmosphere like tailgating and big events and all that, plus we’ve got the academics. We are a smart school but there are still plenty of fun things to do on campus.
Is there much of an off-campus life at Urbana-Champaign?
We normally try and stay on campus but we do have a mall, so that’s nice to be able to go to. Chicago’s also not that far away so sometimes we’ll take trips up there and see the sights there.
You prefer to stay on campus?
Yeah. I mean there’s lots of different places. We’ve got really good bar and grill restaurants, also sports bars where you can watch games. We’ll go there a lot to watch away basketball games that we’re not traveling to.
Any favorite classes you’re taking that don’t apply to your major?
Definitely “Severe and Hazardous Weather” is everyone’s favorite class on campus and the teacher is just great. It’s a lot of fun. The whole class is about learning about weather disasters and severe weather such as tornadoes.
Does your interest in sports go beyond cheerleading at Illinois?
I don’t have time to play any sports now, but I love to watch basketball and I love to watch baseball. I’m a huge St. Louis Cardinal fans so I watch them all the time.
What eventually made you decide to cheerlead at University of Illinois.
I was a gymnast for a long time, so when I quit I still had all the tumbling skills so I tried out cheerleading and I really liked it. Throughout high school I was torn between doing track and cheerleading in college and I could have done either. I was a little burnt out with track, so I went with cheerleading instead. It was a great decision.
When you’re done with cheerleading, what are you going to remember most?
My teammates. The times we have on the field and off is just the best part of it, but I also think the traveling to the NCAA tournament and a bowl game–those experiences are things I would have never gotten to do if I wasn’t part of this program.