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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Jordan Ingram is the King of McKale Center

Layla+Nicks+%2F++The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ARick+McCollum+drives+students+around+the+Outer+Campus+Loop+on+the+Cat+Tran+Friday+Oct.+17%2C+2014.+Rick+usually+works+Thursdays+and+Fridays.
Tyler Baker
Layla Nicks / The Daily Wildcat Rick McCollum drives students around the Outer Campus Loop on the Cat Tran Friday Oct. 17, 2014. Rick usually works Thursdays and Fridays.

When attending any sporting event in McKale Center, it’s almost impossible not to notice, let alone hear, the UA Pep Band. One student in particular stands out from the rest of the band. He has become a staple in McKale Center and one of the biggest celebrities on campus. He has appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post and national blogs like SB Nation. Meet 6-foot-5 communications senior and trombone player Jordan Ingram.

“It’s something that I never thought would happen,” Ingram said. “When I first got into band, I was kind of quiet. I didn’t even want to join band; my parents made me do it. I’m so glad I did it because it’s just a once in a lifetime experience.”

The Flagstaff native has been a part of the Pep Band for four years and the Pride of Arizona marching band for five years. One way Ingram has garnered so much attention is through his dance moves that constantly appear on the Jumbotron scoreboard during the games.

“I like to dance,” Ingram said. “My biggest influences are today’s pop stars like [Arizona] Pom Line [and] Beyoncé, and I do guiltily listen to Britney Spears sometimes.”

Ingram said his favorite song to dance to is “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and Lil John, a favorite in McKale Center. The band looks to him not only as its leader, but also as the lead dancer.

“He is a senior, and he has done a great job of encouraging the students around him to be as energetic, excited and willing to do what it takes,” said Alli Howard, interim director of Athletic Bands. “When he misses games, it’s noticeable, but after a few minutes, the other students step up.”

McKale Center has had its fan celebrities over the years, including the super-fan Grandma Phyllis and the Ooh Ahh Man. But Ingram is one of the first students to gain attention in the Tucson community, even being called the “King of McKale.”

“He is definitely willing to do whatever it takes to get the crowd into the game,” Howard said. “I love that his moves are so completely over the top and he is just cool with being ‘that guy’ on TV. The crowd loves that. So does the rest of the band.”

Ingram has had quite the ride in the Arizona band, even once winning a $50 gift certificate for his dance moves in Las Vegas and appearing on Vines and YouTube videos. The band is already preparing its dance moves for March Madness 2015, which will be Ingram’s final moments at the school he has been so heralded at.

“I’m just excited for the journey and hopefully we will make it all the way to Indianapolis,” Ingram said. “The farthest I have ever been was the Elite Eight, so I’m just hoping that the team makes it to the Final Four.”

During the exhibition game against Cal Poly Pomona, Ingram was absent because he had to be at work. Ingram will be attending every game for the rest of the season, however.

With Ingram graduating at the end of this year, he said he hopes the Pep Band will be able to find someone to replace him, but he is not so confident.

“I don’t know if there is going to be another Jordan Ingram honestly,” Ingram said. “That’s going to be a real tough find.”

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Follow Matt Wall on Twitter.

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