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Seattle Coaches

NPJ Staff


The North Pacific Juniors Volleyball Club is Adam Ellis’ dream come true. Coaching in the CEVA region since 2004, he always wanted to create a nationally recognized volleyball club and the last 3 seasons he achieved that goal leading NPJ 18-1 Forefront to a CEVA Regional Championship and a Top 20 Open finish at the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships. But bigger than that, is his love for the game at all levels. So NPJ hosts non-travel teams for 10s and 12s and club-level teams for girls that just want to play.

Adam recognizes talent and has a vast network of college coaches to call upon. Every NPJ girl that wants to play college volleyball has found an opportunity to do so. With his energy level and commitment, former NPJ players now want to come back and coach for the club.

His experience coaching high school, collegiate and beach volleyball make him a sought-after coach on the West Coast. He grew up playing in California as a setter, finishing 3rd in USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships. And he’s won a few dollars playing professional beach volleyball. Married to Katie Brewington, the couple reside in Sherwood with their fur babies Sadie and Rosie.

Paula Schwan - NPJ Seattle Director & 17 National Head Coach

Paula newly took on the exciting challenge of being the director of former club Kent Juniors, now NPJ-Seattle.  Paula has coached club for the past 26 year, the last 14 years with Kent Juniors where she played a significant role of leading our program to great heights as one of the region's premier coaches.  In addition to coaching at high levels in club, Paula has coached the past 16 years with USA Volleyball and in 2018 was the Head of Delegation for the Men's Junior National Team competing in Peru. For the past 5 years, Paula has served as the Director of the PSR High Performance program and served as the Head Coach of the PSR Semi-Pro Team through its tenure. Traveling around the country with these programs has allowed Paula to continue to increase her VB network and gain relationships with college coaches.  

Paula played college volleyball before she got into coaching where she coached 3 seasons at a local college. Paula has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (specializing in forensic psychology).

In Paula's successful tenure, she has led teams to numerous regional championships, tournament wins, and several earned bids to the National Championships in all divisions. This success includes one championship win at the GJNC (Patriot Division). Paula's love and knowledge of the game is infectious, and she loves to share it with all those who are present in the gym with her. Her preparation, practice structure, and game plans help every student-athlete strive to be better and gain the ability to compete at the next level. 


Courtney Shaffer - Assistant Club Director & NPJ Bend Director

Last coached 2020 - 16 National Bend &  18 National Bend 

Courtney has been coaching with NPJ since November of 2014. She has coached at all levels from our developmental program to the 18s division. 

Her passion for volleyball started at a young age and has had a growing love for it ever since. In 2013 she graduated from West Salem High school leaving with a 4 year varsity letter as a setter/hitter & captain for her team.

She  continued her volleyball career and ran a 5-1 as a setter/captain for Chemeketa Community College where they finished top 5 in the NWAC conference.

In 2017, Courtney was the Assistant Coach at Chemeketa Community College when they won the NWAC championship. 

Courtney moved to Bend in June of 2018 and she lives there with her husband, Brenden, and their dog, Axel.

"My goal as a coach is to have my athletes walk away with knowledge, technique and passion for the game while having a fun and memorable experience."

Nate Gorman - Director of Operations & NPJ Portland Director

Nate started his volleyball career by playing internationally in Europe as a junior, and continued that love for the sport playing as an adult in both the Seattle and Portland areas until his body failed him, and he turned to coaching to fill that hole in his heart.

Nate joins the NPJ family as both the Director of Operations and the Club Director for NPJ Portland.  He brings with him vast experience directing both youth development and club programs as a co-director for YVBA (Youth Volleyball Association). During his 12 years at YVBA, Nate helped grow their club program to one of the CEVA region's top clubs, coaching multiple teams into the top tier (gold), across multiple age groups.

Nate is a avid competitor and a lifelong student of the game.  Constant evaluation and improvement of one's skills and knowledge is something he tries to implement in his daily life, and instill in the players and coaches around him.  He lives in Beaverton with is girlfriend Sarah, daughter Oakley and dog Grayson.

Mike Gee - Director of Volleyball

This is my 19th year coaching volleyball and my 6th year at NPJ.

I have dedicated my life to helping young people succeed and look forward helping you find the success that you’re looking for.

I love coaching volleyball and have a passion for learning. Growing up I wasn’t the best student, but I worked hard at it and eventually earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Berkeley. I attended a two-year community college prior to transferring, and I owe everything to my friends and family who supported me throughout the way. It’s because of their love, support, and encouragement that I was able to graduate from my dream school.

Whether you’re looking to make your school team, hoping to play in the Olympics, or just want to improve your game, I am here to help you. I look forward to learning about you and your interests and can’t wait to be a part of your support system.

I have been a coach with USA Volleyball’s national team pipeline since 2005 and have served as an assistant coach and technical coordinator with the Youth National Team since 2010. I am also a technical coordinator for both the men’s and women’s senior national team programs. I also coached NCAA Division I women’s volleyball from 2011-2016. My favorite collegiate coaching achievement was winning the American Athletic Conference in 2014.

My personal coaching goals include wining all age division regional championships in the same year and an 18 Open national championship. I know that winning isn’t everything, so I place greater importance on the value of working hard and giving maximal effort. And so, my philosophy is this: life doesn’t require that you always win at everything to be successful; it simply asks that you always give your best.

Major coaching achievements

FIVB Girls U18 World Championships – 2 Medals (1) Gold (0) Silver (1) Bronze. NORCECA - 2 Medals (1) Gold (1) Silver (0) Bronze. USAV Girls Junior National Championships – 4 Medals (0) Gold (2) Silver (2) Bronze. Regional Championships – 5 Titles (3) NPJ Volleyball (2) Golden Bear VBC. State Championships – 1 Title (1) Campolindo High School. Coach of the Year – 1 Award (1) Contra Costa Times Coach of the Year. Top 10 National Finishes – 8 Top 10’s (7) GJNC’s (1) AAU’s. Qualified in Open Division – 7 Open Bids (3) NPJ Volleyball (4) Golden Bear VBC

NPJ Coaches

Kurt Schwan - 17 National Assistant

Kurt has been a force in our program for over a dozen years. He spent a decade as an involved parent of two daughters who excelled in our program. In addition, Kurt assisted with oversight of our team reps, chaperones, player guidelines, tournament director, tourney registration, and team travel.   The past couple seasons, Kurt has assisted with our 17s & 18s teams. 

Paula, Kurt's wife, runs the Puget Sound Region HP Program. Kurt has watched his two daughters compete in the regional and national programs, in college, and one is currently a professional athlete. Kurt works with HP National teams in which he became involved in as an Assistant Coach the past few seasons. In addition to his strong organizational skills and on-court training, Kurt's extensive use of statistical and video analysis helps our teams evaluate and improve in an objective way. Our training methods rely on this important feedback.

Kurt is a Police Commander and carries a strong commitment to safety within our program. He comes from a competitive background in basketball having played in college. In his free time Kurt spends time with family and travels around to support two of his daughters still competing at high levels.

Kurt looks forward to his role as an Assistant Coach and continuing to learn from the excellent coaches in the NPJ-Seattle program.

Megan Birch- 18 National Head Coach

Madison Campbell - 15 National Head Coach

Abby Salmon - 15 National Assistant Coach

Caroline Meines - 14 National Head Coach

Caroline has been a staple within our club for over a decade. She has consistently developed the fundamentals of athletes in their volleyball skills, presence on the court, and their ability to work together in a team setting. We have had Caroline coaching our top age groups and more recently focusing on the younger ages to help us create a strong foundation of skills in our successful tradition of training the Gold Medal Squared system we believe in. 

Caroline grew up in Western Washington, attending college at Central Washington University where she competed on the volleyball team. Following college, she returned to the west to raise their two daughters (who have competed in our club) and coach at her alma mater, Bellarmine Prep. Since 2003, she has successfully assisted the program in earning multiple league and district titles as well as three 4A State Championships. Caroline has been a significant contributor to helping many of their HS student-athletes earn college volleyball scholarships and successfully compete all over the county. 

In addition to teaching and being the Head Volleyball Coach at Bellarmine, she coaches in their tennis program as well. Her commitment to engage and support all students to achieve their goals is evident in her approach on and off the court. Growing our club members to bring out the best in themselves and gain high levels of confidence is one of Caroline's biggest strengths.


Megan Dymerski - 14 National Assistant Coach

Chad Roberts - 13 National Head Coach

Chad loves teaching the game of volleyball. He is passionate about helping players operate at the edge of their abilities and seeks constant growth from his teams. He received his Bachelor's degree and teaching credential from San Diego State University and after teaching for three years, changed to a career with Costco Wholesale. He has worked for Costco for more than 20 years and has spent much of his career in staff development, training, and leadership. His background in teaching and training allows him to deliver technical instruction in a clear and understandable way for players. 

Chad coached for Boost VBC for the past six years and regularly competed in the top flights of Puget Sound Region’s power league, battled in tournaments up and down the west coast, and led his U14s team to PSR’s National bid in 2018. 

In addition to the indoor game, he has coached beach for six years. He has taken great joy watching his teams win local tournaments at Alki, compete and win at Seaside numerous years, and earn a bid to compete at the AVP Beach Nationals in Hermosa Beach. 

As a dad of two girls, Chad is committed to helping girls discover a confidence in who they are which extends to the court and beyond.

Josie Dalrymple- 13 National Assistant Coach

Maria Bahlenhorst - 12 National Assistant


Maria is a KJ alum who always gives back to the community and our KJ family. She currently is a 3rd grade teacher in the Kent School District as well as the Head Coach of Washington 4A state champion Tahoma High School.  

Prior to Tahoma, Maria was an assistant at her alma mater Kentlake HS. She coaches track and volleyball in the Kent community as well. Maria has been coaching some of the top volleyball players within the region under the PSR High Performance program for the past 5 years.  

When we got Maria back into our program (this time as a coach), she continued to drive excellence in everything we do. She is a positive force and molded well into our coaching staff as a trainer who ensured we did everything to continue to stay competitive while keeping every student-athlete's well-being first. She helps us in building players’ confidence and maintaining strong character. 

Maria graduated with a Bachelor’s in Education from WSU as well as a Masters in Learning and Technology with a Physical Education endorsement. We are so excited to have this incredible, talented, and giving coach in our program for her 4th season.   

Her coaching philosophy: “My coaching style is a lot like my teaching. Build relationships, instill confidence, and help players reach their goals on and off the court.”

Scott Behrbaum- Boys 14 National Head Coach

Mikaela Ballou

Mikaela is an incredible example of "athlete turned coach". As a young athlete she was a fierce competitor, on and off the court.  She was a dynamic outside hitter who was smart, dependable, and could always be relied on to be a strong leader, teammate, and terminator on the court. Mikaela helped lead her HS team to multiple state tournaments, including a championship match in her senior year at Kentwood HS. 


Following HS Mikaela continued her playing career at Highline College where she started to coach with Kent Juniors. We are blessed to have had her coaching in our club since 2011. She has coached many ages as head coach and assistant from U13s through U17s. All but one of her teams competed at the Girl’s Junior National Championships. She has coached many teams to the top of the Power League ranks as well as PS Regional Championships. She also led her team to earn the PSR Qualifier when coaching 15s.

Mikaela is a driven competitor, and she works hard to pass along that drive to those she gets to coach on the court.

Maile (Golden) Toeaina

Maile played club volleyball for Kaumali’i Manaloa Volleyball Club (Honolulu), Ho’o Ikaika Volleyball Club (Kauai), and Kamehameha Volleyball Club (Honolulu) from 1983-1988. She graduated from Waimea High School on the Island of Kauai in 1988, where she participated in volleyball, basketball, swimming and track & field. Maile was inducted into the 1988 Nissan High School Hall of Honor and Honolulu Advertiser Player of the Year. She was recruited by the University of Hawaii at Manoa under the coaching of Dave Shoji where she played from 1988-1991.

Under the tutelage of Richard “Longy” Okamoto, Maile began coaching club volleyball for Kaumali’i Manaloa Volleyball Club in 1990-1993. In 1994, she married herhusband, Andrew Toeaina, and they moved away from Hawaii to be a part of Soul’d Out Christian Center in San Francisco. In 1997, theymoved to Kent, Washington and have served faithfully for 20 years in ministry. They have 3 daughters, Alyx (UW track & field), Sarah (UH basketball), and Kendyl (undecided 10 yr old).In 2017, Maile’s family stepped out in faith and birthed The HotSpot Church in Kent, WA.

Maile has coached volleyball for over 12 years in the Kent area. She started coaching in 2006-2009 for Kent Meridian HS, where she was the JV and Assistant Varsity Coach. After taking some time off of coaching, due to a new daughter, she returned to coaching at Kentwood HS as the Freshman Team Coach and JV Coach. She is currently in her 3rd year of club coaching here in the State of Washington.

Maile has a passion for teaching volleyball and creating players who want to learn and grow as players and young adults. She brings an incredible combination of enthusiasm, fun, and skill development to her coaching style.


Mikayla McClain

Mikayla has been working with students and student athletes in the area for the last five years and is passionate about helping youth find their purpose. Mikayla works as a youth pastor in the community and has been active in the Tahoma School District as an advocate for high school and middle school students. Working with the Tahoma Volleyball program over the past four seasons, Mikayla has been a part of the coaching staff that has led to four consecutive state placings, claiming the state title in 2019. Mikayla’s ambition has been to see every player develop their competitive edge, grow as a teammate, and perform at their highest capability. Mikayla’s head coaching record stands at 32-1.

Brianna Bautista

Bri graduated from Bethel HS in 2008, where she started all four years as a defensive specialist. She continued her volleyball career in the competitive GNAC conference at Saint Martin’s University, starting all four years as a defensive specialist.  

Throughout her career at SMU, Bri was fortunate enough to assist alongside her former coaches at Puget Sound Volleyball Academy in the U16, U17, and U18 age groups.

After graduating from Saint Martin’s University, she joined Graham Kapowsin High School Volleyball program where she coached for three years. Eager to become a head coach, Bri made a transition to Reach Volleyball Club where she coached the U17/U18 team for four years. In her 8th year of coaching club volleyball, Bri is enthusiastic about teaching the game and building relationships with her athletes.

Bri believes in individually developing and challenging every athlete in a way that brings out their own abilities and talents. As a coach, her job is to teach the technical and fundamental elements of the sport with consistency. She believes through volleyball we develop life skills that can be applied long after the game is over. Bri hopes to share with young females the life lessons the sport has given to her over the years.

When Bri is not teaching the game of volleyball, she is in her classroom teaching a class of 5th graders!

Kelsie Cornett

Kelsie’s love and passion for volleyball quickly grew when she began playing in elementary school, and that passion continued as she played club throughout the Puget Sound region. After graduating from Sumner HS in 2015, she continued her playing career at Green River College where she was a two-year setter and captain. Kelsie was honored with MVP her sophomore year in 2017. While playing collegiately, she began her coaching career. Kelsie finds much joy in passing on her passion for the game to the younger generation of players. She has coached club teams between the ages of 14s to18s. After graduating from GRC, Kelsie returned to the program as the Assistant Coach where she is beginning her fifth season in the coaching role.

 After completing two years at GRC as a student athlete, Kelsie transferred to PLU and graduated with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She is now a special education teacher and will be creating and implementing an elementary program within her school! This holds a special place in her heart as it is where her volleyball career began.

Kelsie is looking forward to being a part of this new journey while instilling confidence, drive, and carrying on the passion of the game. 

Kyle Densley

Kasey Yost

Annie Meines