Tamika Catchings

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Thailand
  • 2014  –  United Arab Emirates

Tamika Catchings began her basketball career as a Forward at the University of Tennessee. During her four years at Tennessee, UT posted a 134-10 overall record (.931), collected four Southeastern Conference regular season crowns, three SEC Tournament titles, competed in four NCAA Tournaments, won the NCAA title in 1998, advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 2000 and made the 1999 Elite Eight and 2001 Sweet Sixteen.

Drafted No. 3 in 2001 by the Indiana Fever, Catchings helped the Indiana Fever advance to the playoffs 13 times in 15 seasons, while capturing the WNBA title in 2012 and advancing to the WNBA Finals in 2009 and 2015. In 2010 became the first player to earn a fourth Defensive Player of the Year award and is the only player to be named to the All-Defensive first team all eight years.

Internationally, Catchings honed her game internationally in China, South Korea, Russia and Turkey and won four Korean titles with Woori Bank Hansae (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007). Since joining the USA National Team in 2002, Catchings has aided the USA to a combined 58-1 record in major international events, winning four-straight Olympic golds, two FIBA World Championship golds, and one World Championship bronze medal.

Outside of basketball, in addition to hosting camps and clinics and raising money to enable disadvantaged youths to attend basketball camps, Catchings created the Catch the Stars Foundation in 2004. Taking advice from Dawn Staley, the foundation is targeted towards at-risk youths, and its goal is to provide both academics and athletics programs. In 2008 Catchings was awarded the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award.

Kayla Jeter

Volleyball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  United Arab Emirates

Beginning her volleyball career at Solon Highschool in Ohio, Kayla Jeter was rated No. 67 on the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Aces list and was named to the AVCA High School Senior All-America Team. During her four years at Solon, the team reached the playoffs in all four seasons, nabbing district championship crowns each year, conference titles in the final three and a trip to the state tournament as regional champions in 2006.

Jeter went on to a play as a Lady Vol at the University of Tennessee from 2008-2012. During her career at UT, Jeter accumulated numerous honors and awards, including 2011 Preseason All-SEC Team, 2011 SEC Community Service Award, 2010 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, 2010 AVCA All-South Region, 2010 First Team All-SEC, and 2009 Second Team All-SEC.

In 2012, Jeter graduated from UT with a major in Sociology and a minor in Gerontology.

Katie Charles

Volleyball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  United Arab Emirates

Hired in January 2008, Katie Charles took over as the Kenyon Ladies’ head coach after spending one year as the director of volleyball operations at the University of Georgia. Prior to that, she worked as an assistant coach at Dartmouth College for one season (2006-07) and as an assistant coach with both the men’s and women’s teams at Endicott College for one season (2005-06).

Charged with rebuilding the program, Charles laid the foundation over her first two seasons during which began to pay off in 2010 when Kenyon posted a 13-win season — its best mark in six years. At the conclusion of the season, three members of the 2010 recruiting class received All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors marking the first time since 2000 multiple Ladies claimed the accolade. The Ladies built upon that success in 2011 with a 14-win campaign that included eight NCAC victories — the most ever by a Kenyon team.

To date, she has developed players that have totaled eight all-conference selections and one NCAC Newcomer of the Year honoree.

A native of Lancaster, Pa., Charles is a 2005 graduate of Juniata College with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace Studies, Politics, and Economics. While at Juniata, she played four seasons of volleyball for the Eagles, who made three final four appearances during her time and captured the 2004 NCAA national championship. Charles was a two-time all-conference selection and was named both an all-region and All-America player in 2003. She finished her collegiate career with 888 kills, a hitting percentage of .302, 450 digs, and 130 blocks in 100 matches played.

Lillian Narvaez

Special Olympics

Served as envoy

  • 2020  –  United Arab Emirates

Lillian Narvaez is a coach for the Special Olympics. In 1987, she was chosen to coach the women’s basketball team that went to the World Summer Games in Indiana and after joined the Special Olympics New Jersey staff as a Program Representative. In 1989, she became the training director and the 1995 became VP of Sports.

Scott Weaver

Special Olympics

Served as envoy

  • 2020  –  United Arab Emirates

Scott Weaver is the Senior Manager of Unified Sports and Sports Education for Special Olympics North America. His primary focus in this position is to support further development of Unified Sports and Sports Education (Coaches, Games Management, Competition Management, etc.) throughout the United States, Canada and Caribbean.

Scott’s entire career has been in the non-profit industry, spending 21 years in Special Olympics and the past 11 years as the CEO of the Arthritis Foundation’s Great West Region based in Seattle. His Special Olympics experience began in college as a fundraising and event management volunteer at Slippery Rock University. His college experience included an internship with Special Olympics Massachusetts where upon graduating he returned to work for the Northshore Arc and Special Olympics Massachusetts as the Area Training Director for Essex County.

After 4 years in New England, Scott was drawn to west and took a position as the Director of Sports and Training for Special Olympics Colorado before moving even further west to work for Special Olympics Washington. In 1995 Scott return to Colorado were he became the President/CEO of Special Olympics Colorado. During his tenure with Special Olympics, Scott was involved with the start of Unified Sports in Massachusetts as a coach and partner, developing Unified Sports in Washington and Colorado, implementing coaches training programs, developing innovative community-based sport programs, organizing events, volunteer management, participated on Special Olympics USA, was a technical delegate for snowshoeing at the World Winter Games in Anchorage and served on the International Sports Rules Committee.

In 2005 Scott left Special Olympics and continued his non-profit career with the Arthritis Foundation. As the CEO Scott led a staff of 52 in providing community-based programs and raising funds in support of research and clinical fellowship trainings in a nine state region. After 11 years with the Arthritis Foundation Scott and his wife Mary were drawn to Charlotte, NC to be closer to their three granddaughters. They made the move back east in August 2016 and Scott reconnected with Special Olympics North America in his new role on October 1, 2016.

Danielle Scott-Arruda

Volleyball

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Fiji
  • 2021  –  United Arab Emirates

Danielle was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is a single mother of her daughter Juliánne. She attended the University of California at Long Beach and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Sociology. After competing in five Olympic Games, she became the USA Indoor Volleyball Olympic appearance record holder, Danielle has now touched and inspired thousands of boys and girls, women and men, teams and corporations around the nation by sharing the same methods she used to win two silver Olympic medals, and become inducted in multiple Halls of Fame. Danielle is also a crusader for financial literacy and helping families make and save money. She has spoken at women’s leadership conferences, empowering girls programs, schools, churches, athletic events and fundraisers. Since 2014, Danielle has been working with USA Volleyball’s High Performance Program.

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.

Alyssa Andreno

Volleyball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  United Arab Emirates

Alyssa Andreno Attended Brooke Point High School and competed as a part of Metro Volleyball Club, coached by Silvia Johnson. She holds the single-season kill and ace records at Brooke Point. As a junior in HS, she had 253 kills, 151 digs and 106 blocks. As a senior, she served as team captain as a senior and broke her junior records; she was also named second-team all-state, the Conference 15 Player of the Year and All-Regional 5A North. As a 16-year-old playing for the Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club, she was named an AAU All-American as her team placed fifth at AAU nationals.

Beginning her collegiate career, she played in 30 matches as a freshman, starting 18 of them at right side hitter. Recorded at least 10 kills in four matches and finished the year with 1.64 K/S while hitting .265. Also contributed in Tennessee’s blocking game with 69 total blocks, good for 0.75 a set. Started her career at the DISH Tennessee Classic. She led the team with 11 kills against ULM and had 6 blocks against Middle Tennessee. Tallied 16 kills against Eastern Michigan with a .467 hitting percentage. Totaled 11 kills against Western Michigan at the Holiday Inn West Invitational hosted by Western Michigan. In the Tennessee Classic, she tallied three kills on a .429 hitting percentage in the win over ETSU (9/20).

Had five block assists and a service ace in the loss to No. 5 Baylor (9/14). In the win over Houston on Sept. 13, Andreno recorded seven kills on 16 attacks while tallying seven block assists. Finished with six kills on 12 attacks in the loss to Cincinnati (9/6). Recorded a career-high three service aces against Miami (OH), after previously not recording one in her career, at the Spartan Invitational. Hit .250 against No. 6 Illinois and recorded five block assists. Finished with 11 kills on 34 attacks in a loss to No. 6 Illinois.