CSS VARSITY COACHES
McQella Adams, Head Varsity Boys’ Volleyball and Assistant Varsity Girls’ Volleyball
Coach Adams is a Colorado native who grew up in the Springs where she began her volleyball career at Doherty High School and with the club team, Colorado Springs Altitude. She graduated from Colorado College in 2016 and played four years as a Tiger, earning a degree in Organismal Biology and Ecology. Coach Adams began her coaching career working volleyball camps at CC with both skills camps and prospective-student camps. She continued as an assistant coach for the CSS Boys’ Volleyball program in 2016 and the head coach of the boys’ team in 2017. This will be her second year as an assistant coach for the CSS Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team. Her coaching strategies revolve around building players’ individual confidence both on and off the court, as well as developing an understanding of the importance of being an exceptional teammate.
Kimball Bayles, Head Varsity Mountain Biking
Coach Bayles joined the coaching staff at CSS in 2010, and he helped to establish the first Kodiak Mountain Biking Team (2015). He is a familiar face on campus as he enjoys substitute teaching and keeping tabs on his daughter, Marina ’23. Coach Bayles is an ex-elite triathlete and marathoner and has been racing and coaching the sport of mountain biking since 1988. This year marks his 3rd year of coaching the CSS team, which includes both middle school and varsity riders. His experience and confident riding skills is the perfect blend for teaching our athletes how to become more comfortable in the saddle.
David Benson, Assistant Varsity Cross-Country
Coach Benson began coaching cross-country at CSS in 2014 where he also teaches political science at the high school. He also coaches the CSS 3-time state champion Knowledge Bowl team as well as the competitive Model United Nations team. Coach Benson has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in History and French, and an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In high school and college, he was an avid epee fence, competing in three Junior Olympics. He began competing in cross-country races while living in Central Africa, running races in Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Madagascar. He loves the 5K and long distance running, which is where he offers his expertise with the CSS runners. Coach Benson is an outdoor enthusiast who leads wilderness canoe expeditions and loves to hike and camp with his wife, Jess, and four boys.
Cathy Boswell, Assistant Boys’ Varsity Soccer
Coach Boswell initiated her coaching career for the Kodiaks this year as an assistant boys’ varsity soccer coach. Coach “Bos” has been a familiar figure on the CSS campus as a basketball camp counselor and clinician over the years, and she returns this year as a full-time coach. Coach Boswell is an Olympic gold medalist from the 1984 USA Women’s Basketball Team that was led by Hall of Fame legendary coach, Pat Summitt. While playing and coaching professional basketball overseas for 30 years, Bos taught and coached youth sports, including soccer and basketball, for Casa Azul School and Adeje School of English in the Canary Islands. While competing in basketball at Illinois State University, where she was a teammate of Vicki Vaughan, Boswell was an All-American and Missouri Valley Conference “Player of the Year.” Today her jersey adorns rafters of the Redbird Arena and she is a proud member of the ISU Hall of Fame. Boswell is excited to share her passion for all sports with the Kodiaks this season, and she is an asset to the CSS community.
Jolly Burke, Head Varsity Cross-Country
Coach Burke began coaching cross country at CSS in the fall of 2014 where she also teaches elementary school. She graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Psychology and Sociology, and from CU-Denver with a M.S. in Educational Psychology. While at Iowa, Burke was captain of the cross-country and track and field teams. As a member of the U.S. Junior National Cross-Country team, she took pride in representing the U.S. in international competition and qualifying for the World Championships. Coach Burke enjoys coaching the varsity cross-country team and helping each athlete develop as both a person and runner. She is able to transfer her own experiences as a runner in helping the Kodiaks maximize their potential on the trails while finding a joy for movement.
Tim Ferguson, Assistant Varsity Mountain Biking
Coach Ferguson joined the coaching staff this year (2017) and is excited to share his passion for cycling with the team. He enjoys both mountain biking and road biking, and living in Cheyenne Canyon provides quick access to excellent single track mountain biking trails, as well as steep roads to climb with his road bike. Recently, he and his wife Sarah embarked on a long-distance bike trip that started in Salida, CO, and concluded in Taos, NM. This past summer, they participated in the Subaru Elephant Rock Cycle Series and completed the 40-mile loop around the area of Castle Rock. As a 5th-grade classroom teacher, Mr. Ferguson established after-school bike clubs that motivated students to ride their bikes around the streets of their neighborhood. He graduated from UCCS and Colorado College MAT.
Andrew Julian, Head Varsity Boys’ Soccer and Assistant Varsity Girls’ Soccer
Coach Julian began coaching at CSS upon his arrival in 2015, and he took over the boys’ varsity program in 2016 after assisting the boys’ and girls’ varsity tennis teams for a year. Starting at an early age, he gained a passion for soccer and played all throughout his years in middle school and high school. While he pursued different sports at the collegiate level, his interest in the globe’s favorite sport persisted, and he brings that enthusiasm to the pitch. Mr. Julian is the Technology Integrator and MS/US science teacher on campus where his innovation has been instrumental in various new seminar and course offerings.
Robb Kelley, Assistant Varsity Girls’ Basketball
Coach Kelley has been actively involved with basketball for over 50 years. He was an All-State performer in Track & Field and won a team state championship in track while also being All-Conference in football on an undefeated team his senior year. He was asked to play basketball at a DI university but declined to pursue a Pre-Med education. Coach Kelley was mentored by Basketball Hall of Fame member Robert Hughes, the all-time winningest high school boys’ basketball coach in the nation. Coach Kelley is a life-long student of the game who has interacted in depth with numerous college, NBA, and WNBA players and coaches. He has coached 21 boys and girls teams in his coaching career spanning three sports, which includes a previous role as the head boys’ basketball coach at CSS for 4 years and an assistant for the girls’ team. Coach Kelley led the James Irwin girls for 5 years before returning to once again assist with the girls’ program at CSS in 2017. He is also a young adult pastor, mentor, author, and filmmaker, and he resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Shiloh, who enjoys watching games from the sidelines.
Marc Knutila, Head Varsity Boys’ Tennis
Coach Knutila joined the Kodiak coaching staff for boys’ tennis in 2015. He has been the Director of Tennis for the City of Colorado Springs for 3 years, which includes running all the junior and adult programs, directing USTA tournaments and running USTA Adult Leagues. He is also a USPTA Certified Tennis Teaching Professional. Coach Knutila was a Cum Laude graduate from UCCS, where he was a letterman on the men’s tennis team. While competing collegiately, he earned All-RMAC honors in singles, doubles, and academically. He was also a coach at the world famous IMG’s Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is the youngest of three children. Coach Knutila is currently rated a 5.5 player, making him one of the highest rated players in the city. Before becoming a tennis pro full-time, he spent time as an associate at the financial firm T. Rowe Price and was also a newspaper reporter in Minnesota. His calm demeanor on the tennis court, along with his investment in the development of young people, make him a good fit for the Kodiaks.
Kyong Lee, Head Varsity Girls’ Volleyball
Coach Lee has been playing volleyball for more than 25 years and coaching on and off for ten years. Since moving to Colorado Springs in 2001, she coached Club Stellar teams to qualify for three straight National Championship tournaments (2006, 2007, 2008). She has also coached at the collegiate level at Colorado College (2006) as the head junior varsity coach. In her first year as the CSS head coach, Lee led the varsity girls to their first League and District Championship and second place at the State Championships (2008). The Kodiaks went on to earn a berth for the state tournament for 4 consecutive seasons, and have earned numerous League, District, and Regional Championships. In 2007, Coach Lee earned the (1A-3A) Coach of the Year title from the Gazette Telegraph. Her attributes include a passion for the game, a wealth of experience, and the need for mental and physical discipline. Her coaching philosophy is based upon providing the necessary skills and knowledge to the players, and allowing them to learn to be good decision makers and team players on the court. Coach Lee went to high school in Southern California where she graduated as valedictorian in 1987. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1991 with Bachelor of Science in Economics with dual concentrations in Finance and Multinational Management.
Vanessa Leeper Jones, Assistant Varsity Girls’ Basketball
Coach Jones ’08, a CSS alum who played basketball, volleyball, and soccer for the Kodiaks from 5th through 12th grade, began making her mark on campus as an inquisitive preschooler. In basketball, this All-State guard was named the Colorado 2A Player of the Year, and also the Gazette’s 1A-3A Player of the Year her senior season. She went on to be a starter all four years at University of Nebraska-Kearney, where she earned First-Team Academic All-American, RMAC Academic Player of the Year, Kearney’s Student-Athlete of the Year, and other honors. Jones was also the goalkeeper on the women’s soccer team at UNK. She graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration and a B.S. in Sports Administration and went on to receive a Masters in Marketing from the University of Denver. In 2015, Jones played for the National Chilean Basketball team and was the leading scorer in an Olympic qualifier tournament in Canada. She and her husband Josh have a son, Elijah, and they both love investing time with empowering teens. Jones enjoys giving back to the CSS community through coaching and mentoring students, and her presence on campus is always welcome.
Mark Perdew, Head Varsity Girls’ Soccer
Mark Perdew has been coaching soccer players professionally for over 30 years at the youth, high school, college and semi-pro levels. Since 1992, he has been the owner and director of the Rocky Mountain Soccer Camp, the longest running soccer camp in the nation. During this time, Coach Perdew spent almost 20 years as a youth club director in the Denver area. Prior to that, he coached at the high school level for seven years, where he garnered two Colorado State “High School Coach of the Year” awards in addition to being awarded two Jefferson County “Coach of the Year” honors. As a player, Mark played professional soccer for 3 years with the Colorado Comets, which won 2 outdoor titles and 1 indoor championship between 1989 and 1992. He was a USISL All-Star, achieved several Offensive MVP Awards and received a USISL Player of the Week Award. Coach Perdew brings a high level of soccer knowledge and experience to the CSS program and is looking forward to working with the players to help them improve their soccer abilities, achieve their goals, and enhance their lives, both on and off the field. His complete resume of soccer experience can be seen here: http://rockymountainsoccercamp.com/staff.
Paul Smith, Assistant Varsity Boys’ Basketball
Coach Paul Smith joined the CSS varsity boys’ basketball staff in 2016, taking on the role as JV coach and assistant varsity coach. He has been coaching on various levels, both boys’ and girls’ basketball, around the Colorado Springs area for 8 years. His coaching stints have included Sand Creek H.S., Mitchell H.S., and Cheyenne Mountain H.S. For 5 years, Coach Smith has also been involved with the AAU program, The Force, a traveling team for 15-year-old boys. For a short time in college, he competed in basketball for SUNY New Paltz in upstate New York. Coach Smith’s calm demeanor and passion for teaching the fundamentals both serve as assets for the Kodiak varsity basketball program. He now resides in Colorado Springs with his fiancé, and they are enjoying raising five children together.
Carley Starling, Assistant Varsity Girls’ Basketball
Coach Starling began her position as an assistant girls’ varsity coach in 2016. Both of her daughters, Jaydi ’17 and Blayse ’21, played basketball for the Kodiaks, and Jaydi is continuing her basketball career at Concordia University next year. Coach Starling, the daughter of a coach, has been involved in basketball throughout her life, either as a collegiate player in Missouri at William Woods University or serving as a coach. She was an assistant varsity coach at Woodland Park H.S. before moving to Colorado Springs. Coach Starling’s past experience provides an asset on the bench as she understands the game of basketball and the strategies needed in varying situations. She recently earned her Psy.D in psychology, and she and her husband Brad, a fire captain, have 3 daughters.
Rick Thompson, Assistant Varsity Girls’ Tennis
Coach Thompson moved to Colorado Springs this past fall, along with his daughter Jules and wife Joy, who is the Director of Admissions for CSS. He played tennis for Texas A &M and has been teaching tennis for 43 years. Thompson taught at the Wurzburg Tennis Camp in Germany, the Jack Kramer Club in Palos Verdes (CA), Memphis (TN), and Ojai, CA. He has worked with a number of players that found success on the pro circuit, including Melissa Gurney (reached #13 in the world), Kimberly Po (won Wimbledon mixed doubles), and Stella and Pete Sampras. Coach Thompson is also a Certified Personal Trainer and a competitive runner, and he is excited to bring his background in fitness and tennis to the girls’ tennis program this year.
Vicki Vaughan, Head Varsity Girls’ Basketball
Coach Vaughan has been coaching basketball for 30 years. Prior to joining the Kodiaks (2001), she was an assistant coach with the Air Force Academy women’s basketball program where she helped to recruit and to coordinate the Falcons’ summer basketball camps. Before moving to Colorado, Coach Vaughan served seven years as a head coach at Lincoln College in Illinois where her teams gained national NJCAA recognition, and she coached several All-Americans. She was the first American to coach professional basketball in Ireland, where her Blarney team won four titles, and she was named IBBA Coach of the Year. Coach Vaughan competed in basketball at Illinois State University, a Division I program, where she captained a team that reached post-season play all four seasons and won two MVC titles. At ISU, Vaughan completed her B.S. in English Education and M.S. in Physical Education. In 2013, she was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame for her All-State status and accolades at Lawrenceburg H.S. Her strengths as a coach include emphasizing fundamentals, defense, and shooting technique while her real passion involves teaching life lessons through sport and developing leaders.
Bryse Velasquez, Assistant Varsity Boys’ Basketball
Coach Velasquez started with the Kodiaks this season (2017-2018), and is at the helm for the JV team and assisting with varsity. Coach Velasquez attended Doherty H.S. (4A) where he led his team to 3 league championships, the Elite 8, and the Final Four as a point guard. For his abilities he earned All-Conference 3 years and was selected to play in The Show All-Star Game his senior season. He continued his playing career at CSU-Pueblo and earned All-RMAC and served as team captain. Currently Coach Velasquez is the Head Skills Trainer for TOTAL Basketball, and he is a head coach for The Force 16U boys’ club team when he is not working out with the Kodiaks. Player development is his specialty along with game situations.