Our Coaches

Marc Ayotte

Marc Ayotte is in his 3rd year of coaching at HSC. In that time, he has co-coached U10 and U13 Boys’ Basketball, as well as U16 Girls’ Basketball. Marc has coached hockey, rugby, baseball, soccer, basketball and golf at four different CAIS schools and has coached in CAIS National tournaments in rugby, soccer and basketball. Certified to coach at Level 1 in Rugby and Hockey, and Level 2 in Basketball, Marc also enjoys coaching hockey outside of HSC.


Ryan Baker

In his 5th year coaching at HSC, Ryan Baker currently coaches the 1st Boys' Hockey team. Ryan has taken teams to Western New York, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and throughout Southern Ontario to compete. He has his Coaching Certification at Level D1 in ice hockey and has also coached at the AA level outside of HSC. Ryan played an integral part in the resurgence of the HSC Ice Hockey program four years ago, along with Kris Zelinsky, and is looking forward to continuing to develop the sport at HSC.


Jeff Bera

Jeff Bera has been coaching for 13 years, 10 of which have been spent at HSC. While at HSC, he has coached basketball for boys from ages 11-18. Most of his time was spent coaching U13 and U14 Boys Basketball in the Middle School, but more recently he has spent the last two seasons coaching the Junior and Senior Boys’ Basketball teams. He also spent a year coaching a Junior Mens’ Rep team for Ancaster, and was part of the BDP program for Ontario Basketball. In addition, he has coached the U11, U12, and U13 Boys’ Soccer teams and is currently the coach of the U14 Boys’ Soccer team.


Martin Birthelmer

Martin Birthelmer is in his 10th year of coaching at HSC. During this time, he has coached soccer at the U10, U12 levels and has been an assistant coach of the CAIS U13 National team. Martin’s first love is coaching rugby and he has coached the U14 Boy’s Rugby program for the last four years. During this time, the team has captured the Division 1 U14 Boy’s Rugby Championship two years running.  He has also helped several of his players take their skills to the provincial level as they made the U14 Ontario Rugby Squad.  Outside of the College, Martin has coached AA Girls’ and Boy’s Hockey, as well as House League Girls’ Soccer.  Presently, Martin is pursuing his rugby referee qualifications.


Aleecia Brunberg

In her 5 years of coaching at HSC, Aleecia has led the U12 Girls’ Soccer Team to two 1st place and one 2nd place CISAA Championship finishes. She also coaches the Middle School Swim Team and has taken teams to several locations throughout Southern Ontario to compete. Aleecia holds a diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion, and she is completing her Level 1 Coaching Certifications in both soccer and swimming.


Lara De Lazzari

Lara De Lazzari is a Senior School science teacher who loves the outdoors. She enjoys running and has already participated in many 10K runs and some half-marathons. She ran the Weight Training Program in fall of 2013 and is co-coach for the Track and Field team.


Cheryl Diefenbacher

Veteran HSC faculty member Cheryl Diefenbacher has coached over 50 CISAA teams during her time at Independent Schools. A highlight of her coaching career was travelling to Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand with her field hockey teams. Coach “Dief” currently coaches field hockey and volleyball at HSC, and continues to be excited to watch athletes grow both in skill and character. In addition to her physical education degree, Cheryl is a certified Level 2 coach in field hockey, volleyball and track and field. Healthy, active living is a daily mantra for Cheryl, and her personal running program has provided much health and fulfillment over the last 30 years.


Christine Ellis

In high school, Christine experienced first-hand the thrill and excitement of competing at OFSAA in both basketball and soccer, and later went on to play varsity basketball at Queen’s University. For the past 19 years she has shared her time and her love of sport with HSC students. A Level 1 certified basketball coach, , she has taken seven HSC Girls’ Basketball teams to OFSAA, brought back five OFSAA medals and received the OFSAA leadership award for girls basketball in 2006. Christine has also coached Senior Track and Field for 19 years. In 2009, Christine helped resurrect the Senior Swim Team, which has had tremendous success qualifying swimmers for OFSAA every year since.


Sylvia Griffin

Sylvia Griffin is in her 26th year of coaching at HSC. Over the years, she has coached Junior and Senior Girls’ Basketball, U15 Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Volleyball, Track and Field, and her passion, Rowing. Sylvia, a former National Team oarswoman, has seen the rowing program grow and prosper with HSC being the proud owner of five racing shells. Sylvia takes pride in the fact that many of our rowers have gone on to row in university and beyond.


John Hannah

John Hannah is in his 10th year of coaching at HSC. In that time, he has coached U11 to U13 Boys' Soccer (including the CAIS National Tournament team) and U11 to U13 Girls’ Volleyball. He is currently the coach of the Boys’ U12 Volleyball team. John has taken teams to several locations throughout Ontario to compete. He believes in providing positive feedback and endless encouragement to these Middle School athletes, developing their life-long connection to team sports.


Danielle Hourigan

Danielle Hourigan is in her 17th year of coaching at HSC. Her first coaching experiences involved founding soccer and field hockey programs at an independent school in South Carolina. At HSC, she coaches U10 and U9 soccer and basketball, and holds coaching certification at Level 1 in both those sports. In addition to her involvement in sports at HSC through coaching, Danielle works with other HSC athletic staff members in designing and running the Trojan Sports Camps as Summer Camp Director.


Wendy Jones

Wendy Jones hails from Paris, Ontario. She studied at McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, before teaching at Paris District High School, in addition to Taylor’s College, in Malaysia, and the International School of Brussels in Belgium. Wendy is thrilled to be a part of the HSC coaching team. She is an avid jogger and enjoys coaching young athletes. She has 20 years of experience coaching cross country, track and badminton at various schools around the world.


Melissa Mancini

Melissa Mancini is an active member of the HSC athletic community. She coaches, is involved with House Games and teaches physical education classes. With a passion for contact sports, she coaches the Senior Girls’ Rugby team and the co-ed Wrestling team, which is made up of students from Grade 5 through 12.

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Outside of HSC, she plays and is the Assistant Coach for the Hamilton Hornets Rugby Football Club and plays in a co-ed competitive soccer league. Melissa has also coached swimming, field hockey, basketball, track and field, and soccer. She is currently the head coach of the Sparta U11 Rep Girls' Soccer team. She is NCAA Soccer, Rugby, Wrestling and Field Hockey certified and is a Can Fit Pro certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. Additionally she is a yoga instructor for Steps to Health, the Good Shepherd Mental Health program. Melissa has an Honours Kinesiology Degree, Bachelor of Science and an Honour Specialist for Physical Education. She also leads an Honour Specialist Program, which takes teachers on a four-week course to Greece.


Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell has coached school sports teams during his entire 18 year teaching career, including eight with HSC. He is a certified NCCP level 1 basketball coach . Throughout his coaching career, Markhas coached football, basketball, track and field, softball and volleyball with a variety of age groups. Mark was an involved member of a number of high school teams and enjoyed softball as a player and coach. He enjoys running, skiing, and watersports, and is the Middle School coach of the U14 Volleyball team and Middle School Track and Field team.


Mike Moore

Mike Moore has coached at HSC for five years and, in that time, has worked with different levels of volleyball at the College including 1st Boys’, U16 Boys’, and U16 Girls’ teams. He also revived the school's Slow Pitch baseball program, winning two CISAA silver medals in the past four years. Last year, Mike ran HSC's Developmental Hockey program and coached the first ever HSC Girls’ Hockey team in an exhibition game against McNabb. He is currently coaching the U16 Boys’ Hockey team with Kris Zelinsky.


Sharon Neibert

Sharon is in her 5th year of coaching at HSC. She is currently the coach of both the U12 Girls’ Basketball Team and the U12 Girls Volleyball Team. Previously, Sharon worked at another independent school and in the Catholic School system, where she coached Cross Country Running, U14 Girls’ Basketball, U14 Girls’ Volleyball, U12 Field Hockey, Intermediate Boys’ Basketball, and Track and Field. Sharon has her Level 1 Certification in Volleyball. She loves the opportunity to spend time with students outside the classroom and tries her hardest to develop both skills and the love of sport in her players.


Mark Ryall

Mark Ryall currently coaches Cross Country Running and Track and Field at HSC, and has coached students and teams in the independent school system in many other sports including hockey and golf. He enjoys applying his Kinesiology background to biomechanical analyses, such as in golf technique and running style. He is the former convenor of the CISAA Golf league and has National Coaching Certification Level 1. An avid runner, Mark captured the Canadian Masters 5000m Track Championship for his age group in 2011.


Tom Stanton

Tom is in his 16th year of teaching and coaching at HSC, and is currently the Instructional Leader for basketball. Tom is the coach of the U13 Boys’ Basketball Team and also co-coaches the Senior Girls’ Basketball team. During his tenure at HSC, Tom has coached girls and boys basketball teams at all levels, from U10 up to and including High School Senior teams.

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His teams have participated in six OFSAA appearances, two U13 National Tournament Championships, and many 2nd place finishes at CISAA Championships. Over the past 30 years, Tom has been heavily involved in training basketball players through his involvement at many camps and clinics in Ontario and New York State. While his passion is basketball, Tom has also been a member of the coaching staff for HSC’s Track and Field program for the past 16 years. Many of his high jump athletes have been successful at CISAA track meets. Tom has a Bachelor of Science in Education, is a Primary /Junior Physical Education Specialist and is NCCP Level 2 Basketball Coach. As a sports enthusiast, he is always promoting the value of exposing children to athletic experiences as a part of a well-rounded education.


Martin Ward-Doran

Martin Ward-Doran has coached both soccer and basketball at many different levels. In the Middle School, he coached soccer, basketball and rugby, and had the opportunity to coach 1st Boys’ and 1st Girls’ Soccer teams in the Senior School. Martin has visited many different CAIS schools across the country for National CAIS tournaments.

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As the HSC Soccer Camp Skills Director, Martin created a summer program that allows soccer enthusiasts to spend a week on campus developing their skills and enjoying friendly competition in a fun and challenging environment. Also a community coach, Martin volunteered with the Ontario Soccer Association and worked in the Regional program with boys and girls at the under 14 level. As an assistant, he helped train, evaluate and coach these young athletes in their pursuit of provincial selection. Currently, he volunteers his time as a head coach at the Ancaster Soccer Club. In 2009 and 2012, Martin was honoured as the Club Coach of the Year, and recently the club achieved promotion to the highest level of soccer in the province and will compete in the OYSL in 2013. As the Instructional Leader for soccer at the college, Martin uses his knowledge base and resources to assist and guide other faculty members in their pursuit of excellence.


Kris Zelinsky

Kris Zelinsky is in his 8th year of coaching at HSC. In that time, he has coached U16 and 1st Boys' Basketball, U16 and 1st Boys' Hockey, 1st Boys' Rugby and 1st Boys' Slow Pitch. He is currently head coach of the U16 Boys' Hockey team and assistant coach of the 1st Boys' Rugby team. Kris has taken teams to Bermuda, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Jamestown and throughout Southern Ontario to compete. He has his Level D1 coaching certification in Ice Hockey and Rugby, and has been involved in coaching at the AA level outside of HSC. Kris played an integral role in the resurgence and growth of the HSC Ice Hockey program in 2009, along with Ryan Baker, and is looking forward to continuing to develop the sport at HSC.


Hillfield Strathallan College. 299 Fennell Avenue West, Hamilton, ON L9C 1G3 | Tel: (905) 389-1367