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 teamwork. 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 freshmen 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 one of the high schools in the Chicagoland area coaching both boys and girls. After 7 years being an assistant coach, I took over as the Boys Varsity coach at another high school. However, I stepped down after 4 seasons (in 2017) for family and as Lebron said, took my talents to Charleston, SC (relocating in August 2018), where I am currently the head Varsity coach at James Island Charter High school. This is a new chapter in life and plan to take all I have learned from my days in the Chicagoland area and apply those with the athletes that I am lucky enough to coach down in the Charleston area.

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 to 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

Club Director (South Carolina)
 

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 (Illinois, Georgia & South Carolina)

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 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 that can be used beyond athletics and something I believe needs to be taught. They are the intangibles that sometimes help 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 (Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina)

We would like to welcome Chas Kennedy to the Top Flight staff. Chas brings over 27 years of coaching and playing knowledge. In addition, he has several National Open Championship Wins and even more top 5 finishes. He has lived his entire coaching career with this motto:

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.” – Ara Parasheghian

He believes athletes need to have two things every day, effort and fun! Keep reading for more information on Chas’s coaching philosophy as well as his volleyball bio.

“To me that means providing the players the technique and movements needed but, more importantly, allowing that player to find the confidence and belief within themselves to be the best volleyball player and person they can be. To achieve this player belief, a point of focus on oneself and many confident correct reps are needed. I believe when a player is moving confidently and in control of themselves, then they can truly understand ball control and, because the “Ball Never Lies,” this is key to winning points on the court.”

“I ask my players for two things in this process: Effort and Fun”

“If you can give it all you’ve got and enjoy the process, then once all players are moving with this confidence within a team, they can finally see what kind of legacy they can leave.”

“I look forward to bringing my passion for volleyball to the coaches, players and families at Top Flight VBC.”

Personal Bio:

  • Career Club Volleyball Coach (Juniors 10-18’s)
  • Played Collegiate and Club Volleyball
  • Head/Assistant Coach, 3 Open Division AAU National Championships.
  • Head/Assistant Coach, Final Four US National teams.
  • 6X Head Coach, AAU/US National Elite 8 Open Division teams.
  • 5X Head Coach, USA National Open Division Qualifying teams.
  • 13X Head Coach, USA National Qualifying teams. (All divisions)

Help us in welcoming Chas to the Top Flight Family!

Club Manager

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

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

 

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

Contact Information (Full Staff)

   Cindy Gritzman
Chas Kennedy
  Jake Mattern
   Jason Yeates
  Meaghan Yeates
  Meghan Blahnik
 Mike Euliano
  Sean Gritzman