COACHING STAFF - click for Coaching Bios
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NC ELITE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Title: Administrative Director
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John has over 25 years of volleyball experience both as a player and as a coach. John is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he played varsity volleyball for legendary coach Bob Bertucci. After West Point, John continued playing Adult USVBA (Now USAV) and became involved with coaching various junior camps/ clinics/ teams with former coach Bob Bertucci. John is currently the Owner/ CEO of Keystone Transport.
Title: Founder, Executive Director
Phone: (919) 264-7492
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Gary is one of the founding members of NC Elite Volleyball Club and has been the acting Executive Director since the club’s inception in 2007. Gary will continue in his role for upcoming season and provide leadership, vision and oversight to ensure NC Elite Volleyball Club has a bright future by building on to the club’s existing foundation. Gary’s intent is for NC Elite to provide a learning atmosphere that is positive, fun, motivating, and will continue to encourage our student-athletes to excel and reach their true potential. Gary has been involved in coaching club volleyball in the Carolina Region since 2001. During which time he coached his teams to 9 Carolina Region Championships victories, competed in 10 USAV National Championships and once in the USAV National Invitational. Gary has also coached at numerous high schools in NC including : Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh (3 seasons), Sanderson High School in Raleigh (3 seasons), Broughton (1 season) and Cresset Christian Academy in Durham (1 season). Honors included: Cap-6 Conference Coach of the Year in 2003 (Sanderson) and Carolina Christian Conference Coach of the Year in 1998(Cresset) . Before moving to the Carolinas, Gary coached boys’ high school and JO volleyball in Buffalo New York. Gary is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo where he finished with a B.S. in Health and Wellness and a minor in Coaching and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (Certifications: NASM -National Academy of Sports Medicine). Currently, Gary works for Becton Dickinson Diagnostics as the Point of Care Sales Manager.
Sandra Merkel DeJames
Title: Founder and Chair, Board of Directors
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Sandy is one of the founding members of NC Elite Volleyball Club and has served as Board Director since the club’s inception in 2007. She has been involved with club volleyball in the Raleigh area since 2003. While coaching, Sandy successfully lead all of her teams to qualify for the Junior Olympic National Championships in every season she coached (2003 - 2007). Prior to moving to Raleigh, Sandy coached and was an administrative assistant with Charlotte Elite Volleyball Club, from 2000-2002, also leading her teams to the Junior Olympic National Championships. In addition to her club volleyball coaching experience, Sandy has coached numerous camps throughout Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and coached junior high school volleyball in her hometown, Cincinnati OH. Sandy was a 3 sport varsity standout at UNC Charlotte. She was a 4-year letter winner and two-time all-conference setter and MVP with the Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team, MVP of the Women’s Varsity Track Team (heptathalon, 4×1 and 4×4 relays), and helped the UNC Charlotte Women’s Varsity Soccer Team win the Conference USA Championship in 1995. Sandy holds a BA in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sandy is currently the Director of Commercial Strategy for Metabolon, and serves on numerous boards and councils, including the NCSU Institute for Emerging Issues National Advisory Board and the North Carolina Center of Innovation Board.
Title: Director of Operations
Phone: (336) 583-5823
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Micholene began her volleyball coaching career 12 years ago. She has just wrapped up an undefeated middle school season as the head coach of the 2013 Roxboro Community School Bulldogs. In the 2013 Carolina Region season, her 13 Black team finished Regional Champions. She has also led Northern Middle School Volleyball Team to back-to-back conference championships having only one loss during her two year tenure. She has coached high school at Roxboro Community School as well as coaching at Person High School. She coached JV as well as serving as an assistant to the Varsity squad (2006 & 2007 4A State Champions). In 2011, Micholene helped coach her team to a 16U AAU National Title in 2011 in Orlando, FL (one of three national titles brought home to the Carolina Region in it’s thirty year history) . She has coached 13s-18s as well as 7-10U. She was the assistant coach for the Carolina Region’s 18 Platinum Runner-Up team that earned a bid to compete in the USAV JO National Championships in 2007. During NC Elite’s inaugural season (2008), her 13 Gold team finished runner up in the region. She has also worked as a program instructor for a local club’s Youth Volleyball Program. In addition to coaching volleyball, Micholene has coached basketball from recreation level through middle school.