Learn About Our Staff

Read through our management staff bios. Why did we start coaching? How long have we been involved in the sport? Looking for an email or phone number for our coaches? Look no further! Everyone on staff is listed below.
Contact Info
All those shirts that read “volleyball is life”… Well I believe it. I’ve been playing volleyball since I was in 5th grade and am a firm believer of how important sports are in life.

My husband and I started top flight with the fundamental principles of providing the best for our athletes and their families. We understand that by having children in club sports it takes dedication from the whole family. We teach athletes life lessons through sports and create a true bonding experience with members of our club.

I coach to make a difference. I expect my athletes to work hard on and off the court. I encourage them to try new things and push themselves to be their best. I love the people that I meet, the lives that I help make a difference, and the career that I have.

Certifications
Member of AVCA, USAV, JVA & AAU
PCA Certified (Positive Coaching Alliance)
Impact Certified
ASEP IHSA Certified (Coaching Principles, Sports First Aid & IHSA By-Laws)
CPR Certified
AED Certified
Awards
2017 JVA Club of the Month Award
2017 JVA Junior Club Service Award
Community Improvement Award
Community Development Service Award
Athletics in the Community Service Award
Leading By Example Entrepreneurial Achievement
100+ tournament victories as a player & coach
Multiple AAU, AJN & USA National Championship Appearances – Coaching Girls & Boys
Won AJN National Championships – Coaching Girls & Boys
Club Director
1-630-606-1342
CindyGritzman@TopFlightVbc.com
I feel coaching is a way of giving back to the sport which I am so passionate. I have been playing volleyball since I was 15 years old. As I got older I decided to become a coach to help pass along the skills, knowledge and life lessons I have learned through my playing career. Over the past 20+ years I have done just that.

I am a true believer you need to teach the “game” of volleyball along with the technical skills required to play. I spend time with my athletes teaching the tactical aspects of the game in an effort to increase their overall volleyball IQ. Understanding the game makes the game easier to play as it slows it down to a manageable pace. This becomes crucial as players become older and start playing at the higher levels.

Along with tactical and technical skill development I push the athletes to learn how to self-motivate, control their emotions, manage their time and put the team before themselves. These are lifelong skills which can be used beyond athletics and something I believe needs to be taught. They are the intangibles which sometimes helps you not only achieve your goals but look beyond them and continue setting new ones.

I coach both boys and girls of all ages. I’ve coached beginner level players through top level Division I recruits. I’ve coached teams to undefeated seasons and national championships. It doesn’t matter who you are or what level you play I will spend the time with you to help develop in a sport you enjoy playing.

Certifications
Member of AVCA, USAV, JVA & AAU
PCA Certified (Positive Coaching Alliance)
Impact certified (USA Volleyball)
ASEP IHSA Certified (Coaching Principles, Sports First Aid & IHSA By-Laws)
Certified USAV, NCAA I/II/III, NCJAA & NAIA Referee
Tournament Seeding Chair
CPR Certified
AED Certified
Awards
2017 JVA Club of the Month Award
2017 JVA Junior Club Service Award
Meritorious Service Award for Outstanding Achievements
Community Improvement Award
Community Development Service Award
Athletics in the Community Service Award
Leading By Example Entrepreneurial Achievement
Gold medal at USAV Adult Nationals as a player
100+ tournament victories as a player & coach
Multiple AAU, AJN & USA National Championship Appearances – Coaching Girls & Boys
Won AJN National Championships – Coaching Girls & Boys
Owner
1-847-212-8205
SeanGritzman@TopFlightVbc.com
Growing up, I watched my sister, who was six years older than me, play volleyball. We lived in St. Charles, Illinois, where volleyball is a huge industry for young women. I would watch her play and then I would attempt to practice against my garage. When I finally entered middle school, there was a program that I joined in order to learn the basics of the game. From then on, volleyball became a part of life, or better yet, passion that would only positively impact my life.

Starting in 6th grade, I played middle school volleyball and club volleyball. With that being said, I played volleyball from August to June every year until I graduated high school. I played for Haines Middle School, St. Charles North High School, Fusion Club Volleyball – Elgin, Illinois Heat Volleyball Club, and Top Flight Volleyball Club. It wasn’t until I played for Top Flight that I realized how impactful volleyball was going to be on my life. Throughout the two years of playing for Top Flight I learned that volleyball wasn’t just a game, but rather it was about learning respect, perseverance, diversity, and gaining friendships.

My 18’s year with Top Flight ended at Nationals that year, the first Top Flight team to qualify and attend. Just two short months later I was attending the University of Georgia and was on their club volleyball team. Wearing red and black with the name Georgia across my back is where I spent the next four years of my volleyball career. In college, the club season is from August to April; therefore, I found myself still playing almost year round. When I was a junior, I was elected team captain. Because we didn’t have a coach, I was in charge of practice plans, scheduling tournament, fundraising, spirit wear, team bondings, etc. It was a tough job, but it was well worth it when we won our first home tournament in eight years spring of my senior year.

When graduation came, it was time to decide how I would keep volleyball playing a role in my life. That’s when I decided to become the club coach for the UGA team. I spent one season with them doing the things I did as a captain while allowing the girls to focus on playing. When the season was over, I was offered a job as a head JV coach at Cedar Shoals High School along with being an 18’s club coach at Classic City Volleyball. I spent one season at Cedar Shoals  and one season at Classic City before I landed my dream job as a Head Varsity Volleyball coach at East Jackson Comprehensive High School.

This year, my assistant, Milan Juliano, and I led our team to a winning season and to the Sweet 16. Our middle hitter, Sydney Mathis, was named All-State and AVCA GA Player of Week 2017. Our setter and outside hitter were awarded 2nd-Team in our region.

I have fallen in love with coaching for more than one reason, the most important being a positive impact on an athlete’s life. I want to teach more than just volleyball skills, but also life skills. I want my players to love the game, but to love taking risks, dreaming big, and reaching goals. I love watching athletes progress in their skill level along with progressing in their life dreams and goals. I hope to make a lifelong positive impact on all the athletes I coach, just the way my coaches did for me.

Certifications
AED Certified
CPR Certified
First Aid Certified
SRVA
GHSA
Awards
2nd Place in Region 2017
SeQueena Baldwin recruited 2016
Sydney Mathis All-State and AVCA GA Player of Week 2017
Tournament Championships
Club Director (Georgia)
1-630-723-4921
KortneyKurtz@TopFlightVbc.com
My volleyball career began over 30 years ago when I was introduced to the sport during high school. While also involved in soccer and tennis, I developed a stronger passion for volleyball and pursued it as my main sport. Volleyball quickly became an essential part of my life, teaching me countless lessons about life and team work. I have continued to play since, both at the college and adult level.  After high school, I attended the University of Kansas and played men’s club volleyball, as one of the only freshman to be placed on the team. During my time at the University of Kansas, I also worked with the women’s volleyball team for three years. Working under two tremendous coaches, I was allowed to be involved in drills and coordinate some of the practices for the team.  Learning from coaches at the college level was a great experience, because I saw firsthand what it took for someone to play at the collegiate level.  This was incorporated into my style of coaching, knowing what it takes to make it to the next level, but also realizing that the sport of volleyball is just a game, we play not only to compete but to have FUN.   It has equipped me with the capability to prepare athletes with the necessary techniques to excel not only in high school, but also to exceed and play post high school. I have used this experience and incorporated it into my style of coaching, to train the younger athletes I have coached in both high school and club.

In 2003 I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity that allowed me to get back into the coaching realm at St. Charles North High School coaching both boys and girls. I was also the head varsity coach for Larkin High School. I’ve been coaching at the club level since 2007, working with both boys and girls from ages 13-18. I have enjoyed every year thus far and look forward to every future team I’ll have the opportunity to coach as I am able share my knowledge and passion for volleyball allowing me to give back to the sport that has given me so much.

Certifications
Member of AVCA, USAV, JVA & AAU
PCA Certified (Positive Coaching Alliance)
Impact Certified
ASEP IHSA Certified (Coaching Principles, Sports First Aid & IHSA By-Laws)
CPR Certified
AED Certified
Program Manager
1-224-600-0359
JasonYeates@TopFlightVbc.com

As a boy with no sisters, volleyball was not something I was exposed to on a regular basis. However, back in grade school my gym teacher introduced us to volleyball in gym class with a plastic beach ball, and a very torn up, loose, drooping net. He taught us some very basic skills, and the concept of three contacts and that was it, but I had a blast. It was at that point in third grade that whenever I had a chance to play volleyball for fun, I did.

Fast forward to high school, I was finally able to join a team, and even though it was a spring sport and matched up with baseball, a sport I had been playing for 10 years already, I dropped baseball and started to play volleyball with my high school team at Naperville North High School, and in club. I moved on to play collegiate club for the University of Iowa for a little while, but then took a brief break from the sport to explore all my passions equally. Shortly after I came back to play competitively at the adult level both on the indoor court and the sand court.

All this time I was constantly learning the skills for the court, but also skills that applied outside of the sport. I realized along the way I wanted to make a career out of what I loved, and volleyball was just that. So while playing after college I started coaching. Coaching started out by helping with North Central College’s women’s program as a volunteer for two years. Then I added multiple years at the youth level with different clubs in the area as a coach and as a program director, and then made the official move to coaching at the collegiate level. I spent seven years coaching at Northern Illinois University and Graceland University, and have learned so much, but I’ve come to realize it is at the youth level that I enjoy it the most and can make the biggest impact on someone’s life.

In my career as a player, I placed third at the 2003 high school state championship with my school. I twice earned a bid in 2002 and 2003 to play in the open division of nationals with my club team. I traveled across the country and internationally in 2002 and 2003 to compete against other top programs.

On the coaching side, I’ve sent multiple youth players on to play in from NCAA DIII up to NCAA DI. I’ve been part of programs with multiple All Americans, I’ve taken a team to Puerto Rico to compete and I attended the NCAA DI Women’s National Championships in 2011. NAIA men’s volleyball in 2016 and took fifth. Players in my programs have earned Defensive Player of the Week, Attacker of the Week, Setter of the Week, First Team All-American, Honorable Mention All-American, First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Conference, Honorable Mention All-Conference, and Academic All-Conference awards in both the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HEART) for NAIA men’s volleyball, and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) for NCAA DI women’s volleyball.

I teach volleyball. I teach the skills involved, I teach the mind to think and strategize. I have very high expectations of my athletes, I have had a lot of success and know they can too if they work for it. I push athletes to be their best, to be comfortable being uncomfortable because that’s where they truly learn and grow in the sport. I help them learn the skills needed beyond the sport, as this sport is a great vehicle for exactly that, and it is there that I measure my success. I want players to be successful in their lives, in school, in society, in their jobs, in their relationships, as a husband or wife, as a father or mother.

If you want to know if this year has been a success for myself and my team, come back and ask me that question 10 years from now when my players have grown up and gone on to accomplish great things, then I’ll be able to give you an answer.

Certifications
Member of AVCA, USAV, JVA & AAU
PCA Certified (Positive Coaching Alliance)
Impact Certified
CPR Certified
AED Certified
Program Manager | College Liaison
1-641-455-2566
JakeMattern@TopFlightVbc.com
I started playing volleyball when I was 12 years old and have been playing ever since. My playing experience consists of middle school, high school, club, college and playing at the adult level. I knew right away volleyball would have a special place in my life and my love for the game only grew once I started coaching over 17 years ago. I love being able to share my passion for the sport with young athletes and see it bring so much to their lives as it has my own. I believe that as a coach it is my job to not only teach my athletes about the technical skills of volleyball but also about being disciplined, time management skills, being good teammates and putting the team’s needs first. I’ve coached ages preschool through 18 year olds throughout my coaching career. I look forward to each team and group I coach as they each bring different challenges. In addition to coaching teams at the club level, I have also been a high school coach for 10 years. As well as coaching at Top Flight I am in charge of our Camps, Clinics, Leagues and co-ordinate all Travel for our Travel teams. I consider it an honor and a privilege to do what I love each and every day!
Certifications
Member of AVCA, USAV, JVA & AAU
PCA Certified (Positive Coaching Alliance)
Impact Certified
ASEP IHSA Certified (Coaching Principles, Sports First Aid & IHSA By-Laws)
CPR Certified
AED Certified
Awards
Academic All-American at College of DuPage
Conference championship – Aurora University
Won AJN Championships – Coaching Girls
Multiple tournament championships
Program Manager | Travel Coordinator
1-630-244-0180
MeghanBlahnik@TopFlightVbc.com
I love encouraging, teaching, and mentoring those around me. Coupled with my passion for strength training, biomechanics, and nutrition, it only made sense to become a Personal Trainer.

While attending school to study nutrition, I became a nationally accredited personal trainer through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine).  I am also a certified Fitness Nutritional Specialist (NASM FNS).

I highly value education and I am constantly taking my understanding of the field to the next level. I try to instill this hunger for knowledge in all of my athletes. I want to challenge them on more levels than only strength.

Although, I began my career specializing in weight loss, I always desired to break into the field of Strength and Conditioning. Over the years I have trained athletes in preparation for an array of sports; soccer, hockey, basketball, wrestling, football, and marathon runners.

I never order my athletes or clients around; I always guide them through the programming. My number one goal is for each of my athletes to understand why we are doing the exercises we are doing. I want them to do it, not because I barked an order, but because they understand the importance it holds for them as an athlete.

What makes this career worth every minute?

The athletes.

To watch all of their hard work pay off on the court. Those are the moments I know I am in the right career.

Also, volleyball has the greatest athletes. Fact!

Certifications
ISSA Certified Personal Trainer (International Sports Sciences Association)
NASM Certified Personal Trainer (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
NASM Fitness Nutritional Specialist
NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (National Strength and Conditioning Association)
CPR/AED Red Cross Certified
Marketing | Fitness
1-630-666-4318
MikeEuliano@TopFlightVbc.com
My parents named me after a beach volleyball player so whether it was by destiny or by choice, volleyball became a large part of my life. I started officially playing volleyball the summer before 7th grade and never looked back.

I started playing volleyball in Korea as a setter and fell in love with the sport. In my volleyball career, I played in Korea, all over Germany, and all over Italy on high school and club teams. In college, I decided to try something new and rowed for the Crew team at the University of Georgia. I couldn’t give up volleyball in my life though so I helped out with the UGA Men’s Club Team.

I believe as a coach it is my job to not only teach the athletes about the technical aspects of volleyball, but also about life and how to be a successful citizen. It is my job to instill in them characteristics such as responsibility, effort, determination, dedication, good sportsmanship, and discipline.  I enjoy and am blessed to coach and spread my passion to the athletes.

Certifications
AED Certified
CPR Certified
First Aid Certified
SRVA
GHSA
Awards
2nd Place in Region 2017
SeQueena Baldwin recruited 2016
Sydney Mathis All-State and AVCA GA Player of Week 2017
All-Europe Setter 2x

Program Manager
770-687-4335
MilanJuliano@TopFlightVbc.com

Contact Information (Full Staff)
Cindy Gritzman
(IL & GA) Club Director
1-630-606-1342
cindygritzman@topflightvbc.com
Sean Gritzman
(IL & GA) Owner
1-847-212-8205
seangritzman@topflightvbc.com
Kortney Kurtz
(GA) Club Director
1-630-723-4921
kortneykurtz@topflightvbc.com
Akua Nelson
(GA) Coach
1-912-401-1883
akuanelson@topflightvbc.com
Alexis Thelen
(IL) Coach
1-630-927-5700
alexisthelen@topflightvbc.com
Alyssa Funke
(IL) Coach
1-847-648-2124
alyssafunke@topflightvbc.com
Amy Zapata
(IL) Coach
1-224-650-0123
amyzapata@topflightvbc.com
Bob Jones
(IL) Coach
1-630-846-4193
bobjones@topflightvbc.com
Brian Coffman
(IL ) Coach
1-847-873-9067
briancoffman@topflightvbc.com

Courtney Gnan
(IL) Coach
1-847-754-0827
courtneygnan@topflightvbc.com

Dana Pautsch
(IL) Coach
1-847-682-8962
danapautsch@topflightvbc.com

Deb Smits
(IL) Coach
‭1-825-703-7294‬
debsmits@topflightvbc.com

Emily Senne
(IL) Coach
‭1-630-254-3611‬
emilysenne@topflightvbc.com

Garrett Schrader
(IL) Coach
1-630-715-1582
garrettschrader@topflightvbc.com
Gracelyn Smith
(IL) Coach
1-509-591-2463
gracelynsmith@topflightvbc.com
Heide Obrzut-Hofmann
(IL) Coach
1-708-369-4982
heideobrzut-hofman@topflightvbc.com
Holly Lippold
(IL ) Coach
1-815-299-3662
hollylippold@topflightvbc.com
Jake Mattern
(IL ) Coach
1-641-455-2566
jakemattern@topflightvbc.com
Jake Mendel
(IL ) Coach
1-224-238-0260
jakemendel@topflightvbc.com
Jason Yeates
(IL ) Coach / Program Manger
1-224-600-0359
jasonyeates@topflightvbc.com
Jessica Vasalos
(IL) Coach
1-224-766-9038
jessicavasalos@topflightvbc.com
John Wiese
(IL) Coach
1-847-877-4514
johnwiese@topflightvbc.com
Karla Aguirre
(IL) Coach
1-847-757-9400
karlaaguirre@topflightvbc.com
Karrington Bell
(IL) Coach
1-224-622-9990
karringtonbell@topflightvbc.com
Katie Deans
(GA) Coach
1-706-614-3792
katiedeans@topflightvbc.com
Kelly Reid
(GA) Coach
1-404-563-5499
kellyreid@topflightvbc.com

Jesser Raton
(IL) Coach
1-224-374-4217
jesserraton@topflightvbc.com

Kim Floyd
(IL) Coach
1-847-431-3877
kimfloyd@topflightvbc.com
Kristen Peara
(IL) Coach / Fitness Trainer
1-847-361-3289
kristenpeara@topflightvbc.com
Kristy McIntyre
(IL) Coach
1-312-965-7303
kristymcintyre@topflightvbc.com
Lewis Gueco
(IL) Coach
1-847-830-0742
lewisgueco@topflightvbc.com
Liz Simonelli
(IL) Coach
1-630-401-9132
lizsimonelli@topflightvbc.com

Mackenzie Ebert
(IL) Coach
1-262-225-5612
mackenzieebert@topflightvbc.com

Mackenzie Mentink
(IL) Coach
1-224-522-9368
mackenziementink@topflightvbc.com
Meghan Blahnik
(IL) Coach / Travel Coordinator
1-630-244-0180
meghanblahnik@topflightvbc.com

Meghan Chartier
(IL) Coach
‭1-740-359-4346‬
meghanchartier@topflightvbc.com

Meaghan Yeates
(IL) Coach
1-847-287-4397
meaghanyeates@topflightvbc.com
Micheala Vasalos
Coach
1-224-616-8087
michaelavasalos@topflightvbc.com
Michelle Schrader
(IL) Coach
1-630-788-6537
michelleschrader@topflightvbc.com
Milan Juliano
(GA) Coach / Program Manager
1-770-687-4335
milanjuliano@topflightvbc.com
Mitch Wiskirchen
(IL) Coach
1-847-321-8868
mitchwiskirchen@topflightvbc.com
Natalie Freeman
(IL) Coach / Liaison
1-847-989-7780
nataliefreeman@topflightvbc.com
Nick Pawlowski
(IL) Coach
1-630-244-6672
nickpawlowski@topflightvbc.com
Nick Wiskirchen
(IL) Coach
1-847-321-1464
nickwiskirchen@topflightvbc.com
Paige Smith
(IL) Coach
1-847-609-5458
paigesmith@topflightvbc.com

Phoenix Smith
(IL) Coach
1-815-973-0156
phoenixsmith@topflightvbc.com

Rachael Hofmann
(IL) Coach
1-847-624-2208
rachaelhofmann@topflightvbc.com

Ryan VanThyne
(IL) Coach
1-630-746-5198
ryanvanthyne@topflightvbc.com

Sophia Robson
(IL) Coach
1-847-830-2014
sophiarobson@topflightvbc.com
Steven Kay
(IL) Coach
1-224-383-4529
stevenkay@topflightvbc.com
Teresa Krog
(IL) Coach
1-847-738-6522
teresakrog@topflightvbc.com
Tia Juliano
(GA) Coach
1-770-855-9523
tiajuliano@topflightvbc.com

Tiffany Clarke
(IL) Coach
1-571-485-5198
tiffanyclarke@topflightvbc.com

William Benenhaley
(IL) Coach
1-760-224-7691
williambenenhaley@topflightvbc.com
Zach Driscoll
(IL) Coach
‭1-847-222-3808‬
zachdriscoll@topflightvbc.com