Aggies Make Updates to Coaching Staff – Texas A&M Athletics

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M equestrian head coach Tana McKay has updated her coaching staff for the upcoming 2023-24 season, with the elevation of Kalee McCann Cypher to assistant coach and the addition of Rachael Hake as an assistant coach.
Cypher will be an assistant on the Western side while Hake will assume assistant duties with Jumping Seat.
“Kalee brings invaluable knowledge and experience to this side of the program and will be a great addition to our coaching staff.”

Cypher joined the staff as Director of Operations in July 2022 and oversaw those duties for the 2022-23 season before moving into her current role as assistant coach. A member of the Aggie equestrian team from 2015-19, she made her return to Aggieland after spending the previous two seasons as an agriculture instructor for Forest-Scott County Career & Technology Center in Forest, Miss. There she was named the 2020-21 Central Mississippi Rookie Ag Teacher of the Year and the Mississippi Rookie Ag Teacher of the Year.
Prior to her time in Mississippi, Cypher was a member of the equestrian team from 2015-19. During her collegiate career, she garnered two All-SEC Reining Team mentions and was honored with the Aggie equestrian Iron Horse Award as a senior. Cypher earned honorable mention All-America honors as a junior while helping lead the Reining squad to the 2017 National Collegiate Equestrian Association Reining National Championship and was named the NCEA National Championship Most Outstanding Performer.

Cypher graduated with her bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2018 and earned a Master of Agriculture in animal science in 2020.


Hake comes back to Aggieland after most working for Louise Serio at Derbydown in Spring of 2019. A four-year rider for A&M, she also served a season as a student assistant with the team for the 2018-19 season before finishing her degree in 2019.


“I’m so excited to have Rachael joining us on staff,” Texas A&M associate head coach Abby O’Mara said about Hake’s hire. “She brings a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge from our industry after having worked as a professional rider and trainer for the last five years and being a decorated graduate of the Texas A&M Equestrian team. She will be a huge addition to our team and really helpful in assisting with the jumping seat squad.”


While at Derbydown, Hake received enormous opportunities that led to many successes such as showing in the professional green hunter divisions as well as the High Performance Hunters at a National level.


Hake was able to compete at prestigious events such as indoors, Devon, and incentive finals with multiple horses. She received multiple top ribbons at these events but her greatest achievement was scoring a 90 in the high performance stake class at Devon in 2023, ultimately leading her to a top-3 finish.


Outside of showing, Hake was able to help with rescue horses through Derbydown, which proved extremely rewarding in her growth. She rode three young thoroughbreds, ultimately teaching them to jump and be ridable so that they could find new forever homes. Similarly, Derbydown held young horse camps where young horses were brought in for a week for training. She was able to ride and work with them to help them reach their fullest potential.


While riding at A&M Hake was twice named an NCEA First Team All-America selection and to the All-SEC team in Fence, finishing a combined 32-6-1 in those seasons. That includes a program-best 16-2 mark in 2016-17.


“I met top professionals throughout the industry and learn the ins and outs to this sport through many different perspectives,” Hake said. “I am extremely grateful to my time a Derbydown and to Louise Serio. I look forward to this new chapter at A&M to help young women succeed at the college level of riding. Being able to ride in college made me the most confident version of myself on and off a horse, and I hope to encourage these young ladies to reach their fullest potential at Texas A&M.


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