Jay Miller

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2008  –  Morocco
  • 2009  –  Bolivia
  • 2010  –  Thailand

Coach Miller is the Executive Director of Coaching for the Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association, a club with over 4,000 members. He also serves as the head coach of the Region III boys Olympic Development Program (ODP)
Coach Miller was the head soccer coach at the University of Tampa, where he won six consecutive conference titles and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II National Championship in 1981. He also coached the University of South Florida Men’s Program to four conference titles.

Coach Miller has over 20 years of international coaching, training and scouting experience, including the position of the USA Under-17 National Team Coach, USA U-23 National Team Coach and the interim coach of the full USA National World Cup team.

He has served as the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National Coaching Coordinator 1994-2001 and has been instructing on the National Staff since 1978. Coach Miller holds a USSF National “A” Coaching License.

Jay earned a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education from East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Barbara Chilcoat

Volleyball

Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Bolivia

Barbara Chilcoat played volleyball at Lynchburg College, and then after graduating, on a USVBA Women’s A team until she started her family. Barbara is a 5th grade teacher at Lakeside Elementary School, in Henrico County, near Richmond, Virginia. She has taught children from 5th – 8th grade for thirty years. She is married with two children who both play volleyball on national travel teams at the Richmond Volleyball Club. (RVC)

Barbara has been coaching volleyball on and off for 30 years. When volleyball was in it’s infancy in the Richmond area, she was at the forefront in developing her high school teams, running volleyball camps for all players in the area, and coaches clinics, to bring up the level of play in the area. Then she developed the boy’s side of the RVC youth program.

Barbara enjoys camping with her family in the summers. She enjoys cooking, reading, photography, and gardening. She looks forward to retirement to spend more time traveling around the world to meet more wonderful people.

John Kessel

Volleyball

Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Bolivia
  • 2021  –  United Arab Emirates

Since 1985 John has been working for the National Governing Body of the sport, USA Volleyball (USAV), now as Director of Sport Development. He has been coaching since 1971 at the collegiate level or above, including Women’s U.S. Open titles in 1986 & 1987. A sought after international lecturer, he has conducted seminars in all 50 states, and in over 60 nations. He has been part of every summer Olympics or Paralympics but two starting in 1984 and many Beach and ParaVolley Volleyball World Championships. He is currently Secretary of the NORCECA Development Commission, and Director of Development for World ParaVolley, and part of the national staff of Beach Nation.

In 1995, Volleyball Magazine’s special Centennial issue named him one of the 50 most important people in the world within the sport in the past 100 years.

In 2013 the American Volleyball Coaches Association inducted him as their 60th ever member of the AVCA Coaches Hall of Fame.

In 2019 he became the 50th recipient in history of USAV’s highest award for a lifetime of service, the “Frier Award”-named in 1965 in honor of Dr. Harold T. “Frier” Friermood, the second President of the USVBA (1952-1955) and one of the principal individuals responsible for volleyball in the Olympic Games.

Also in 2019, Colorado College, his alma mater, awarded him the school’s highest honor, the Louis Benzet award in recognition of his influence in shaping the lives of players and coaches around the world and his achievements in advancing and elevating the science of teaching and coaching.

He is a busy author, with over half a dozen USAV books, including the IMPACT coaching manual, the Jr. Olympic Volleyball Program Guide, and more recently the Minivolley 4 Youth , Youth Coloring Book, STEM Volleyball program and countless articles. His blog called “Growing the Game Together” is the second most popular blog of the hundreds found on the US Olympic Committee’s Team USA website and he promotes the “Grassroots” Button on the USAV website with material, mobile coach apps, videos, posters, and information for clubs, schools, coaches, parents, players, and officials. He pioneered USA Volleyball on the Internet, helping the late Tom Jack develop the original site, one of the first 1,000 websites listed on Yahoo. He is an administrator of over 21,000 closed membership Facebook page “Volleyball Coaches & Trainers” and his Twitter account @JohnKesselUSAV has over 5,000 followers while following less than 100.

He has received many other awards, including USA Volleyball’s Honorable Mention in 1978 and 1986, the Harry Wilson Distinguished International Service in 2004, the George Fisher Leader in Volleyball in 2006 and in 2007 was named a Sport Ethics Fellow by the Institute for International Sport. His work in breaking down the silos of learning between sports has seen him keynote speaking for USA Hockey, USA Shooting, USA Sailing, USA Synchronized Swimming, USA Swimming, USA Polevaulting, the American Hockey Coaches Association, US Olympic Committee & US Paralympics, FIVB, IOC and IPC and several Major League Baseball teams.

In 1975-79 he served at Outdoor Volleyball Director for Colorado Volleyball Association and assisted its transition from USVBA Region 8 to stand alone USAV Rocky Mountain Region. From 1982 to 1990 he was Director and Coaches’ Coach of the Albuquerque Junior Olympic Volleyball Program. For a month in the summer of 1991, he was one of four featured speakers at the first ever International Youth Volleyball Coaches Symposium in Olympia, Greece, attended by over 50 nations, and he repeated that role in the International Volleyball in the Schools Seminar in Canada in 1995 and 2007 and in Thailand and Vietnam in 2013 and 2014. During the Centennial year of volleyball he was the principal speaker at the Centennial Advanced Teaching and Coaching Seminar in Beijing, China. He was on staff for both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics and served as producer for both the 1996 Centennial Olympics for indoor volleyball in Atlanta, and subsequently producer and announcer for the 1996 Paralympics in Sitting and Standing volleyball. For 1999-2000 he was director of the U.S. Olympic Challenge Series, the Olympic qualifying series, which included an FIVB World Tour Grand Slam stop in Chicago with $400,000 in prize money for that one stop alone. He also served as head coach/team leader for the 1999 and 2003 USA Pan Am Games Beach teams, with a silver medal, and 4th and 5th place finishes in the four events. In 2004 and 2005, he directed the

National High Performance Beach Camp, worked his 10th US Jr. Olympic Beach Volleyball Championships for USA Volleyball in Hermosa Beach, an event he started in 1994 with Dale Hoffman of the California Beach Volleyball Association, and worked with the AVP.

For over a decade he served as one of 8 members of the International Volleyball Federation’s Technical Commission, as Secretary, and he remains a FIVB Level IV Instructor, beginning in 1988. Since 2001 to 2016 he served as Secretary on the NORCECA Technical and Coaches Commission, and for 2016-2020 is Secretary of the Development Commission, developing clinics and the “Leave a Ball Behind” Program to enhance zonal volleyball growth, and directed a two year State Department Sports United Grant to assist coaches in six NORCECA nations in 2011-12. He helped run the World Sitting Volleyball Championships in 2010, and the Director of Development for the World Organization of Volleyball for the Disabled (WOVD – now known as World ParaVolley or WPV) for 2012-2020.

He was Team Leader for the 2000 USA Olympic Beach Volleyball Teams in Sydney, which brought home one gold medal, and for the 2004 USA Paralympic Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team in Athens, which came home with the bronze medal. For over a decade he served as one of 8 members of the International Volleyball Federation’s Technical Commission, as Secretary, and he remains a FIVB Level IV Instructor. He served on Jury at the London 2012 Paralympics for Sitting Volleyball, in 2014 and 2018 for the ParaVolley World Championships, 2016 and 2019 for the WPV Intercontinental (the final Rio qualifier) and in 2016 Rio Paralympics where the USA women won the gold medal and will be on jury in 2020 for the last qualifier for the Tokyo Paralympics.

As a player he has participated in 16 U.S. Open Championships and was a 7 time Regional Champion. He also has played professionally with the Denver Comets in the old International Volleyball Association, and a year in Italy for the Alessandria Volleyball Club. Recently he competed for the Time Lords in the 55 & over division, 36 years after his first US Open in 1973.

His son Cody was a three time All American and four year starter at Princeton leading the nation as a freshman and senior in kills per set. For the past five years Cody has been a starting outside hitter in the top German professional league – currently for Berlin Recyling, the top team in the Bundesliga – after captaining the USA World University Games team and playing for the USA Men in the two PanAmCups and other international events. Five summers ago Cody also become the youngest doubles player in 42 years to win the Aspen “MotherLode” men’s Open, and Atlantic City “Big Shot” Open, plus 10 other Beach Open events in the west. His daughter was a member of Cheyenne Mountain HS, which won four straight state titles in volleyball, and played for Bowdoin College, graduating Cum Laude in Neuroscience. She has guided climbs up Kilimanjaro and in Patagonia, Chile, taught two years at the Asian Pacific School in Hawaii, and after a gap year traveling the world she is a TA getting her masters in Speech Pathology at CU Boulder. He is married to Lily Fernandez, who has 3 kids, Jose, Dan and Elysse – and Elysse is the assistant women’s volleyball coach at the US Air Force Academy.

His main goal is to help make coaches more efficient, positive and creative, no matter what level – 7 year olds in an elementary school program or National team players and programs. He challenges old ways of thinking and help coaches create what they need, while having fun in the process. John has a BA in Biology and Economics received from The Colorado College in 1974, and from 1996- 2015 he was a single dad. His pastimes beside volleyball include fly-fishing, writing, skiing, lacrosse, mountaineering, upland game hunting, deep-sea fishing and travel. John can be reached at USA Volleyball.

Amanda Cromwell

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2009  –  Bolivia
  • 2011  –  Germany
  • 2012  –  Argentina
  • 2013  –  Costa Rica
  • 2015  –  Bolivia
  • 2019  –  Costa Rica

One would be hard-pressed to find a coach who made as big of an impact in her first season as Amanda Cromwell. Eight months after being hired on Apr. 12, 2013 as the fifth head coach in UCLA women’s soccer history, Cromwell led her team to the program’s first-ever NCAA Championship, and she took her Bruins to a second championship game appearance four years later in 2017.

In six seasons as UCLA head coach, she has taken her teams to two College Cups, four quarterfinals and five Round of 16 appearances, along with two Pac-12 team titles. On Oct. 5, 2017, she earned her 300th career victory. Academically, her teams have earned the United Soccer Coaches College Team Academic Award in each of her seasons at UCLA. Additionally, the 2018 Bruins won the Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award, and the 2017 squad received a Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award from the United Soccer Coaches. Six Cromwell-coached Bruins participated in the 2019 World Cup, including three – Abby Dahlkemper, Sam Mewis and Mal Pugh – from the winning U.S. squad.

Cromwell’s 2013 Bruins finished the season with a 22-1-3 record and went unbeaten over their last 21 games. They gave up just one goal during the NCAA Tournament and only eight goals all season, leading the nation in goals against average (0.296). In addition to winning the national championship, the team won the Pac-12 title and tied the school record for most victories in a season. Dahlkemper won the Honda Award, and three Bruins earned All-America honors, with five receiving first-team NSCAA All-Region honors. Cromwell herself was named Soccer America’s Coach of the Year, the first-such honor for a UCLA women’s soccer coach.

Year two of the Cromwell era was nearly as successful, as the Bruins went undefeated in their first 23 games before falling to Virginia in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Still, the Bruins earned a 21-1-2 record, won a second-straight Pac-12 title, set multiple school records, and accumulated a plethora of awards, including the Honda Award for Mewis and a school-record four NSCAA All-America honors. Cromwell earned NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year honors.

Although the 2015 Bruins went 8-10-1 after losing nine starters, Cromwell quickly put the pieces in place to rebuild, signing a blockbuster recruiting class in February 2016 that included three Top 10 players, led by U.S. National Team starter Pugh, Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Jessie Fleming and U.S. Under-20 National Team standout Marley Canales. Although Pugh and Canales sat out the 2016 season while with the U-20s, Fleming and her freshman teammates, six of whom were in the starting lineup in the postseason, led the Bruins to a 15-5-2 record and to the NCAA Round of 16, where they were eliminated on penalty kicks to the No. 1 overall seed West Virginia. Fleming went on to earn NSCAA All-America honors, and senior Darian Jenkins, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in early October, earned NSCAA All-Region acclaim.

The 2017 season started out with seven-straight victories and a six-week run at the No. 1 national ranking. UCLA set school and national attendance records, drawing a NCAA regular season all-time record 11,925 fans to their home regular season finale against USC. The Bruins treated the record-setting crowd to a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over their crosstown rivals. UCLA finished the season with a 19-3-3 record and earned its second College Cup appearance under Cromwell.

Cromwell led the 2018 Bruins to a 17-3-2 record and a 13-game unbeaten streak to end the season. UCLA advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals but fell in penalty kicks at North Carolina. Cromwell’s Bruins led the nation in points per game (8.36) and assists per game (2.82) and were tied for first in total goals (61).

In addition to coaching, Cromwell was also instrumental in securing a $5-million dollar donation for the transformation of the North Athletic Field into the new home for UCLA Soccer, Wallis Annenberg Stadium.

Cromwell came to UCLA in 2013 after 14 years as head coach at the University of Central Florida. From 1999-2012, she guided the Knights to a 203-83-26 record, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, four Atlantic Sun Tournament championships, four Conference USA regular-season titles and the 2012 C-USA tournament title. Cromwell’s Knights made a NCAA Elite Eight run in 2011 that included a defeat of North Carolina in the third round. Cromwell’s UCF players earned 96 all-conference honors and 38 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region selections. They also amassed nearly 300 conference academic awards during her 14 years in Orlando, including 10 NSCAA Women’s Collegiate Scholar All-American awards and one Senior CLASS Award.

Prior to Central Florida, Cromwell was head coach at University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1996-97 and an assistant coach at the University of Virginia from 1992-94.

With 325 career victories and a .710 winning percentage at the close of the 2018 season, Cromwell currently ranks 15th in win percentage among active coaches and 16th all-time. Additionally, she ranks 18th among active coaches and 21st overall in total wins.

A native of Annandale, Va. and an inaugural member of the Annendale High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Cromwell attended the University of Virginia and was the captain of the 1991 Cavaliers team that advanced to the Final Four. She was a two-time All-America selection, a finalist for the 1991 Hermann Trophy and a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree.

Following her standout career in Charlottesville, Cromwell earned 55 caps while representing the U.S. Women’s National Team. She was a member of the United States’ 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup team and an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team in 1996. She later played professionally for the Washington Freedom, Atlanta Beat and the San Jose CyberRays of the Women’s United Soccer Association and was inducted into the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame.

Cromwell has served as a member of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee and U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, and from 2002 to 2006, she was a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is also a member of the coaching staff that the State Department sends as an envoy to other countries to empower girls and women through soccer.

Cromwell graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Tony Sanneh

Tony Sanneh

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Cyprus
  • 2012  –  Ethiopia
  • 2012  –  Malaysia
  • 2014  –  Bangladesh
  • 2014  –  Bolivia
  • 2018  –  Pakistan
  • 2019  –  Kenya
  • 2019  –  Bahrain
  • 2020  –  Virtual

Among the most successful American soccer players of his generation, Tony Sanneh enjoyed an impressive 17-year professional soccer career. Major career highlights include starring in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, two Major League Soccer championships with D.C. United, and participation in the UEFA Champions League with Hertha Berlin during his six years in the German Bundesliga. Sanneh’s impact on American soccer was recognized by his selection to the Soccer America U.S. Men’s National Team “All-Decade Team,” and he was a finalist for the United States Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

At the height of his playing career, he created The Sanneh Foundation (TSF) to leverage sport’s unique potential to create positive social change for under-served youth through relationships. Since retiring from professional soccer in 2010 and becoming the organization’s full-time CEO, TSF has evolved into one of Minnesota’s leading youth development organizations by serving the holistic youth development needs of increasingly diverse Twin Cities Metro, Central and Southeastern Minnesota.

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation recently recognized the organization’s work by awarding TSF their annual Sports Award, among the highest honors any organization in the field of health equity and community well-being can receive. The 2018 RWJF Sports award validates The Sanneh Foundation’s approach to creating a culture of community health by leveraging the universal appeal of sports to provide a range of holistic youth programs that address the social determinants that help diverse youth develop the skills to become productive adults

In addition to his executive leadership role with The Sanneh Foundation, Sanneh continues to serve the United States as a Sports Envoy on behalf of the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Zola Solamente

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Bolivia
  • 2016  –  Jordan
  • 2016  –  Netherlands
  • 2016  –  Senegal
  • 2017  –  Belarus
  • 2017  –  Albania
  • 2018  –  Tajikistan
  • 2019  –  Bahrain

Zola Solamente began playing soccer at the age of 5, with her older brother and his friends. She continued to play with boys until middle school, when she switched to a female club team. From ages 12 – 17 Zola was a captain of her club team, as well as with the Olympic Development Program, and was a member of the East Regional team, which competed internationally.

Zola played at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 1990-1993. She was a starter at UNC for all four years of her career. She won 4 National Championships, 4 ACC Championships, and was named All-American her senior year. She was invited to play on the US Women’s National team in 1993. She traveled with the team for 2.5 years participating in international tournaments.

In 1995 Zola retired from international soccer to become a mother and pursue a career in fine arts. She now owns Arden Gallery Ltd. in Boston, MA, which she has been directing for 18 years. She continues to share her passion for soccer by providing individual and small-group soccer clinics to female players ages 12 – 18 in the greater Boston area. The focus of these training sessions is to improve technical skills, increase tactical awareness, and deepen strength/fitness levels. Since the fall of 2014 she has been traveling with the US State Department as a Sorts Envoy coaching and mentoring children in under-served and at-risk environments in the Middle East, Africa, and South America.