Brian Kim

The 2020 season will be Brian's 12th year as a coach for AAU / USAV volleyball. During his high school coaching career  he was the head varsity coach at Bishop Foley High School from 2010-2013. In three seasons the Ventures won a Catholic League championship, Catholic League runner-up, one Regional championships, and two District championships. He is currently the head Varsity coach at Oxford entering his third season!

 

Jason Gambone

Jason is a former collegiate club athlete with an extensive background in coaching club and high school. He has coached countless athletes who have continued their career at the collegiate level. He has been coaching at the National Level for Club the past 14 years and has been the Varsity Assistant Coach at Seaholm High School for 12 years. In 2012, Seaholm reached the MHSAA State Quarterfinals and in 2014 the Regional Finals. In his spare time Jason does some web design, cooks for Heather, changes diapers and tries to teach Summer why daddy is cooler than mommy.

 

Samantha Aliah Kim

By day, Sam works full-time as a Scent Detection Dog Handler Supervisor, hunting bed bugs with the help of her dog, Vernor.  By night, Sam is a dedicated volleyball coach, and has coached 10 AAU/USAV club teams over her coaching career.  She is currently the Varsity Assistant coach at Oxford HS.  In high school Sam was a stand-out athlete, not only leading her high school team to their first League Championship (and an undefeated season) in 28 years in 2005, but was also recognized with awards such as All-Tournament, All-Region, Dream Team, MVP, and Michigan’s top 100 players. After high school, Sam pursued a degree in Zoology as a Spartan at Michigan State University, where she competed on the "A/Green" Club Volleyball team as a freshman.  As an adult, despite her knack for getting injured, she still competes competitively both indoor and outdoor, including playing semi-pro beach volleyball.

 

Heather Gambone

Heather graduated from Walled Lake Central in 2001, playing twice in the State Semifinals. She played two years at Western Michigan and three years at Oakland University. At Oakland she set records in blocking and kills for both a single season and for her career. Heather has coached for 15 years at multiple levels and has coached her 11th season of Varsity at Seaholm with Jason Gambone. Heather has had many players go on to play indoor and sand volleyball at the collegiate level. In 2012, Seaholm reached the MHSAA State Quarterfinals and in 2014 the Regional Finals. She is also a 7th grade Math teacher and mother of Summer and Bryn Gambone.

 

Rick Wootten-Smith

Rick grew up in Florida & Michigan but spent much of the last decade outside of the US in Canada, Australia, and Britain. He was first exposed to volleyball while doing his Bachelors in International Relations at the University of Exeter. In his senior year, he captained his program (4 teams) to finishing 3rd overall in the United Kingdom, with the men’s team taking 7th place in the UK and the women’s 1st team taking 3.  Back in the US, he went on to coach at SuperNOVA, having successful seasons at both the 14u and 15u level. Rick was the Varsity coach at Brandon High School, which in his inaugural year helped to turn around a historically struggling program into a very competitive program, going 28-6-5. He recently won the AVCA Thirty-Under-30 High School Coach award for rising high school coaches across the country. Currently, Rick is the assistant Varsity coach at Oxford High School. Professionally, Rick works in pharmaceutical market research, and lives in Clarkston with his husband, 2 dogs and 2 cats, and tries to get in the gym to play volleyball as much as possible.

 

Greg Brandon

Greg has been the Assistant Varsity,  JV, and 7th and 8th Grade Volleyball Coach for the last four years at Lake Orion Schools. Greg has over 20 years of volleyball experience both playing and coaching, including 2 years playing beach volleyball on the Midwest Professional Volleyball Association Tour. Greg graduated from Holy Rosary High School in Flint. He is a Master Electrician and Electrical Contractor who owns his own business, and enjoys spending time with his daughter, Megan.

 

Deena Maher

Deena grew up playing volleyball in Jackson, Michigan and played varsity for a very successful Hanover-Horton High School program.  She also played AAU in Jackson and Hillsdale area clubs.  Deena has been the varsity coach at Holly High School since 2016.  She also coaches middle school volleyball at Holly Middle School and Waldon Middle School.  This will be her third year with Unified, having coached the 17's and 16's age groups previously. Outside of coaching, Deena works as a database administrator and mom to Elsie and Jude, and plays volleyball whenever she can!

 

Amanda Swann

Amanda was a four-year varsity starter at Rochester High School and played AAU volleyball growing up.  She earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Minnesota, Crookston to play volleyball. While in Minnesota, she completed her Bachelors of Health Science degree. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, she moved to Florida to pursue her Doctorate of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic. In Florida she coached AAU volleyball for two years. Amanda is currently a Chiropractor in Rochester Hills. When she is not working she enjoys playing volleyball and spending time with her dog, Bruno.

 

Laura Kragh

Laura was a three year Varsity volleyball and four year Varsity basketball player, leading Seaholm to a district title in her senior year. She received an athletic scholarship to Schoolcraft college and led her team to a 7th place finish in NJCAA. Laura has coached club volleyball over the past 11 years and was the head coach at Waterford Mott between 2010-2012. In 2016, Laura was the JV and assistant Varsity coach at Oxford High School. Lastly, she loves playing Volleyball and loves to coach. She plays co-ed and women’s as much as possible (and also play soccer and softball).  Laura has a 3 year old daughter named Kennedy and a baby boy, Kenneth, Jr.; they are the best things in the world to her!

 

Susan Weatherford

This is Coach Susan's fourth season with Unified, and eighth year coaching. She played at Marian back in the day, and then played libero for U of M's club volleyball team.  She is currently a Spanish teacher at Guardian Angels Catholic School in Clawson, MI.  Susan has coached Varsity at Sacred Heart HS, Regina HS, and is currently the JV coach at Seaholm HS.  When she isn't doing homework she is planning her next trip abroad, cooking, or playing with her cat, Bandit. Her husband, Pete, is pretty cool too.

 

Danielle Partyka

Danielle was a four-year Varsity starting outside at Bishop Foley and played at the AAU National Level. During her high school career, Danielle received the All-Catholic and All Region awards, and was recruited to play in college. She played at Alma briefly before moving back closer to home to finish her studies at OU. For the past two high school seasons, she coached the freshman team at Bishop Foley and has prior coaching experience at Michigan Elite. Most importantly, she's got a really cute dog (maybe cuter than Sam's Vernor), but her #1 love is her shoes!

 

Annie Schmidt

Annie is entering her fourth season coaching with Unified, and is the Varsity Assistant Coach at Bishop Foley.  She was a four-year starting Varsity setter at Bishop Foley set the school record for assists. During her high school career, Annie received All-League, All-Catholic honors and All-Region honors for Class C.  Annie is currently in nursing school, and works in the ER at Beaumont Hospital.  Last but not least, Annie enjoys rooting on the Spartans during their quest to win the national championship!

 

Allison Winiarski

This is Allison's third year coaching AAU volleyball. Allison is the head freshman coach at Lake Orion High School, and the 7th grade coach for Oakview Middle School. Allison has over 10 years of volleyball experience both playing and coaching. Allison is a graduate from Lake Orion High School, and Central Michigan University. Outside of volleyball, Allison is a middle school teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, sitting by the pool, and walking her dog, Morgan.

 

Madison Close

Madison is starting her third year coaching, and this will be her second year as a travel coach. Volleyball has always been a passion of hers and since she was young she knew she wanted to be a volleyball coach. During her first year of coaching, she was offered a position coaching both the Freshman team at Holly High School and the 8th Grade team at Holly Middle School. Madison will be the JV coach at Seaholm High School. Madison recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Secondary Education and a specialization in Mathematics. She currently teaches 7th and 8th grade math at Birmingham Covington School in Birmingham, MI. When Madison is not teaching you can usually find her cheering on her favorite MSU Spartans or spending time with her boyfriend and family.

 

Ashley Moon

Ashley is starting her third year coaching, and this will be her second year with Unified. She was the Freshman and assistant Varsity volleyball coach at Regina High School, and is currently the Freshman coach at Seaholm High School. Ashley recently received her Master’s in Math and is currently teaching AP Calculus AB at Groves High School in Birmingham, MI. Outside of coaching, Ashley enjoys playing recreational volleyball, traveling, scuba diving, spending time with her dog, Cooper, and visiting her parents in Northern Michigan.

 

Kelly Darcy

Kelly is a Grand Valley State University alumna currently working as a digital marketing specialist in Troy. She played volleyball competitively for 9 years, primarily as a setter but for club volleyball she played everything from a middle to libero. Kelly played high school ball for Notre Dame Prep and coached volleyball for 2 years at Marist Academy. She currently plays in women’s leagues on and off for the past 4 years and am happy to be coaching again and teaching proper techniques to the next generation!

 

Christine Wulf

This is Christine’s third season of coaching, the second with Unified. Christine also coached for Buckeye Volleyball Club in Columbus Ohio. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in welding engineering and is working for General Motors. Christine played competitively for 10 years as both a libero and setter. She was a four-year varsity volleyball setter and went on to play setter for Ohio State’s club team. Christine enjoys watching Buckeye football and traveling to Florida to see her family.

 

Megan Gignac

Megan was a four-year varsity volleyball player at Bishop Foley and played AAU volleyball as well. During her high school career, Megan received All Catholic and All Region honors.  She played at Albion College for one year before focusing on her career path in nursing.  Megan has been the varsity volleyball coach at Bishop Foley since 2015, leading the team to 2 Catholic League championships, a district title, and a trip to the regional finals this past year. She has previous coaching experience at Legacy from 2014-2016, Utica High School from 2012-2014, and St. Lawrence grade school from 2003-2006. In her spare time, Megan enjoys saving lives as an Emergency Nurse, running marathons, and spending time with her husband and puppy.

 

Anita Partyka

Anita played three years on Bishop Foley CHS's Varsity volleyball team, and two years for Albion College's Varsity team.  She decided to return to her high school in 2010 as Brian Kim's Varsity Assistant Coach for two years, while finishing her undergraduate degree at Oakland University.  In 2012, she moved into the head JV Coach position at Bishop Foley, where she continues to coach while working towards a Graduate degree in Community Development and Public Policy at Wayne State University.  Anita plays in indoor and sand volleyball leagues in Detroit with her sister Danielle, enjoys long walks on the beach, and is very passionate about coconut oil!

 

Kristin Swann

Kristin was a 3 year varsity player at Rochester high school and played AAU volleyball at the national level growing up. She received an athletic scholarship to Lake Erie College to play volleyball and completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology there. She then moved to Kent State University to receive her Master’s in Biology. Kristin loves animals and currently works at The Michigan Humane Society in Rochester Hills. She has coached girls ages 14-16 at the Regional-National level for the past 8 years in Ohio and Michigan. Kristin also loves playing volleyball in her spare time.

 

Cori Hazen

Cori grew up in Southern California and was a 3 year varsity volleyball player and played club volleyball with Cal Juniors for 6 years as a defensive specialist. She then started all 4 years at Austin Peay State University in the Ohio Valley Conference, first as an outside hitter and then back to defensive specialist. While at college, she set multiple records for service aces and digs. After graduating, she coached Memphis Juniors then met her husband Jeff and moved to Michigan. Cori currently works for an insurance company living in Lake Orion with her husband Jeff and her 2 girls Alexis and Dylan and their awesome dog Buckeye. When she's not coaching or watching her girls play volleyball and softball, she enjoys spending time up at their cottage on Lake Huron.

 

Chas Gwiazdowski

Chas is new to the Unified family. He has experience coaching middle school and high school teams. He is looking forward to sharing his love of volleyball and teaching on and off the court skills, while also lengthening his coaching resume. When he isn’t coaching, you would likely find him studying accounting at OU, or fulfilling his duties there as the president of the Men’s Club Volleyball team.

 

Colleen Szakacs

Colleen was a 3 year varsity player at Bishop Foley where she earned all league and all region honors. She was also a 4 year varsity basketball and softball player at Foley, earning all league, all Catholic, all region, and all state honors. She received an athletic and academic scholarship to Concordia University where she graduated with exercise science degree and biology degrees. She currently works at Beaumont Hospital. Colleen previously coached volleyball and basketball at Saint Catherine Academy. She is the current varsity volleyball head coach and JV basketball head coach at Bishop Foley. She enjoys playing in competitive volleyball, basketball, and softball leagues and tournaments whenever she can.

 

Christina Wilk

Christina joined the Unified family this season and is excited to share her passion, knowledge, and personal experiences, all while continuing her growth as a coach. She coached freshman volleyball at Seaholm High School for two years and just finished her second year as JV coach at Brandon High School. She keeps volleyball a priority in her life by competing on adult leagues, both women's and co-ed. Working with youth is her passion. Christina is a school counselor at Brandon High School where her main focus is academic success, student social / emotional well-being, and students reaching their postsecondary goals. When she isn't working or coaching, you'll find her on the soccer field or relaxing at the beach, reading a book or solving a SuDoKu puzzle. Christina got engaged to her fiancé Jason this September and is counting down the days to their wedding in May of 2021!

 

Phoebe Szakacs

This is Phoebe's first year coaching at Unified and she is extremely excited to do so! Phoebe graduated from Bishop Foley in 2016 where she played volleyball and softball for all four years. Currently, she is finishing up her last year at Wayne State University for Sociology and Criminal Justice and will be graduating in May 2020. She currently coaches the JV Volleyball team at Bishop Foley and continues to play volleyball and softball in her spare time. Coach Phoebe is looking forward to sharing my knowledge with young athletes and help them grow their skillsets for the future.