CSRA Heat Junior Olympic Volleyball Club: Coaches

Saturday, November 3
2007 - 2008 Coaching Staff
The CSRA Heat is pleased to announce a fantastic slate of coaches for the 2007-2008 season, which we firmly believe are the best in the area.

Diana Amick
Diana holds a unique position in our club. She is the only person that has been a player, an assistant coach, and head coach for the CSRA Heat. The 2006-2007 season will be her third year coaching with the CSRA Heat.

Rich Bland

As a player, Rich was a member of the Division I National Championship team in 1989 and 1993 with UCLA, where he was a 4 year letterman. He was a member of 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival East team as one of only 3 high school players. Coming out of high school, he was the number 2 recruit in the country in 1988 according to "Volleyball Monthly's Fab 50" list.    As a Coach: Coached at Al Scates UCLA volleyball camps for four years of college (national camp). The Columbia County News Times 2004, 2005, and 2006 Volleyball Coach of the year. The GISA East Region coach of the year 2006 & 2007.  A lifetime high school record of 126-26 at Augusta Prep, where his teams have earned 4 GISA east regional championships, State Champs 2007 and have GISA State Tournament finishes of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd & 4th. His Augusta Prep team won the 2006 Georgia Independent School Association state championship and 3rd place finish in the Open Division @ regional's last year.


Chris Emerling

Chris Emerling is the Varsity volleyball coach at North Augusta High School.  He has coached the Jackets for 6 years and the team's record has improved every year.  The team finished the '07 year with a 14-6 record.  The Jackets have made the playoffs for three straight years and advanced to the Sweet 16 this year after beating TL Hanna in the first round of the South Carolina state playoffs.  This is Chris' 6th year with the club where he has coached both power and club teams to high regional finishes. 

Ron Cupp
Ron has played for 40 years in all levels of competition. He has coached 10 years for a traveling men’s open team, has played on a Masters traveling team and won divisions Open, A,B. and BB. The Masters team he played on came in 3rd on the National level. His YMCA recreational league team he plays in has won first place 12 plus times.   Ron has coached juniors for 5 years and has won 4 State Regionals on the 18 year old level and came in second place in Power the other year. He has run camps in the area and travels to various high schools to help out at varying levels. He is a regional Referee and now is among one of the raters for the Palmetto Region.

Danielle Gonzalez
Danielle has 10 years of playing experience....lettered three years for Sarasota High School (Sarasota, Florida)...2001 District Champions and Regional Final appearance...earned 2001 6A Third Team as well as Team MVP...played for Whitesands Volleyball Club and helped the squad to the Florida Regional 2001 and 2002...participated in the Junior National Olympics in 2001 and 2002, placing 24th in 2001...played for Georgia State University and helped squad to conference tournament all four years...finished 2004 and 2005 with team high hitting percentage and fifth highest in conference...summer camp coach at University of Tampa and Emory University...2003 and 2004 Assistant Coach for North Atlanta 15's...2007 Assistant Coach for A5 15-1 which placed 9th at AAU Nationals and 34th at Nationals...current Varsity Head Coach at Lakeside High School. 

Emily Hutter
Emily has 12 years of playing experience. She played two years of high school varsity volleyball (Quince Orchard High School, Maryland) where her team competed in the state tournament both years and was runner up her junior year. She played one year of club volleyball with Metro Volleyball Club in Maryland where her team won the silver division at the East Coast Volleyball Regional Championships. She played four years club volleyball at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN where she was the co-captain for three years. She has played in a variety of recreational leagues in Wisconsin and Georgia.
As a coach, she served as the assistant coach for the Oshkosh North girls varsity volleyball team for one season before relocating to Georgia. She has assisted coaches at at Midland Valley High School and most recently at Merriweather Middle School. She has been as assistant coach with the CSRA Heat for the past four years.

Michael Johnson

Michael has 18 years of playing experience, including indoors, outdoors, co-ed 6’s USVBA 6 man, outdoor triples and quads, and his team won the USVBA Men's Club Regional's in 2000.   He has coached Club Volleyball for 5 years at both the Club and Power level.    His Club team place 3rd Regional competition in 2004 and won the Silver bracket at Regional competition in 2005.  He has been a high school volleyball official for 4 years and is a regional referee in the Palmetto region.

Mark Jones
Mark has 12 years of playing experience, including playing in 6 man coed leagues, outdoors triples & co-ed doubles. He teaches special education at Greenbrier Middle. He was a volunteer with the CSRA Heat last year and is moving up to coaching this year.

Kristen Larcher

Kristen has twelve years of playing experience. She played four years of select volleyball, NKJV (Northern Kentucky Junior Volleyball) as setter, left and right side defense, four years in high school (Covington Latin School), as setter, outside hitter, right and left side defense, where she was named "all- tournament team player" and "MVP" all four years  She continued to play 2 years club volleyball at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio as libero and setter.  Since her move to Georgia she plays USAV indoor and has played along the east coast in AVP Next and Ease End Volleyball  beach tournaments.   As a coach, Kristen served as an assistant for Varsity and JV at Covington Latin School in Covington, Ky in 2004.  She now is currently the head coach at Aquinas High School where she has lead the Lady Irish to placing first in the "All City tournament" for 2005 and 2006.  This past season they finished 1st in the silver bracket in the "Lady Hornets Classic".  She also lead her team to their first appearance at state last year, finishing in the top 16.   This will be the third year Kristen has coached for the Heat.  Her 17's team ended last season finishing 1st in Club Division at regional's. 

Rachel Marcy

Brooke Point High School (Stafford, VA):

-1st team all-district

-2nd team all-region

-MVP senior  year

-4 year letterwinner

-played 4 years of club ball (Fredericksburg Juniors and Clash Volleyball Club)


Augusta State University:

-4 year letterwinner

-outside hitter

-Public Relations Major



-Assistant coach for CSRA 16s team last year (2006)

Pat Nakagawa
Pat has played for 28 years, including 3 years high school and 2 years men's club at Purdue. He has played 6-man indoor, 3-man outdoor, co-ed outdoor, and recreational volleyball.   He has coached 9 years of Junior Olympic Volleyball, and has coached at Middle School, High School and College levels. He has also been a nationally certified referee and scorekeeper, has officiated at the college level for 8 years, and has attended IMPACT training.

Diane Pepple

Coached 6 years varsity high school volleyball at Bedford, MA (1998-2004) one year 9th volleyball at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School (2006). Played high school volleyball and college Div III at UMass Boston 4 years. Played 4 years women's Yankee Volleyball with Greater Boston Volleyball Club and 2 years outdoor coed at Nashoba Valley, MA.

Connie Spearman
Connie has more than 15 years of playing experience, including playing in coed leagues, women's USAV, outdoors triples & doubles. She has coached at the high school level for 4 years and has coached 5 years of Club Volleyball. Her Club team placed 3rd in the Regional competition in ’05 and was the top Club team in the region in ‘06. She is a regional referee and has attended IMPACT training. She was an assistant coach on the Augusta Prep team which won the 2006 and 2007 Georgia Independent School Association state championship.  She continues her education and training in Volleyball attending the Dinosaur Clinic and other events. 

Steffanie Starceski
Steffanie has more than 15 years of playing experience, including playing in coed leagues, women's USAV, outdoors triples & doubles. She is a past Coach with the Augusta Juniors and CSRA Heat

James “Buz” Thompson
Buz has been involved in volleyball for 28 years and involved with Junior National volleyball for 6 years as an official. He is also a college ref for the ACC and a former chair of officials for the Palmetto Region. The 2006-2007 season will be his first coaching with the CSRA Heat.

Christie Warnken
As a player, Christie has 4 years high school Varsity Volleyball at Fillmore Central School in Fillmore New York. Team Captain,   All-County Team, Section V All Star Team, Section V Team Champions 1989.  4 Years NAIA volleyball at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. Team Captain 1992-93.   Team MVP, District 18 All Star 1992-93.   Christie coached the past 10 years for middle school, high school, and USAV club teams in the Tampa, FL area, and this year at Fox Creek High School in North Augusta. Her teams have won several district and regional titles including two consecutive region titles at Fox Creek High School for the past two years. She started a USAV club in Brandon Florida (Brandon Sparks Volleyball, which grew from 3 to 10 teams in her 3 years as club director. She has attended IMPACT training and has received CAP I certification through USAV in the FL region.