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Portland 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.

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.

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."

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

Eric Leibbrandt - 18 National Head Coach

Eric Leibbrandt spent multiple season as a full-time assistant coach at Portland State University. 
During his time as an assistant coach, Leibbrandt and the Vikings’ staff have led the Vikings to three 20-win seasons (2012, 2013, and 2017) and a pair of Big Sky Conference regular season championships (2012, 2013). 
Prior to his elevation to assistant coach, Leibbrandt, spent several years with the Vikings as a student assistant. In all, he has been a part of the program for all five regular season championships under Head Coach Michael Seemann as well as a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.  
Leibbrandt graduated from Portland State with a degree in Political Science in 2011.

Aquiles Montoya - Assistant Coach

Aquiles Montoya enters his second year on the Park Blocks ahead of the Vikings' 2021 season.

Montoya helped lead the Vikings to a strong finish to their unique 2021 winter season. The Vikings were the last team within the Big Sky Conference to return to full training due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but ended the season with five wins in their last six matches. Additionally, Ellie Snook was named the Big Sky Libero of the Year at the end of the season, while she made the All-Big Sky second team for the second straight season.
Montoya spent the previous three seasons as the lead assistant coach of the Pacific Boxers’ varsity team, where he helped the Boxers set program records for wins in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018. The Boxers went 17-7 overall and 10-6 in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference (NWC) in 2017, then topped that the following year while going 18-8 overall and 11-5 in NWC play.
The Boxers placed second in the NWC in 2017 and 2019, and never finished worse than third in any year Montoya was on staff.
“We are pleased to have Aquiles join our program,” Seemann said of Montoya’s hire. “He is a tireless worker who brings passion and energy to our program. He is a proven recruiter, as he has worked his way through the Division III coaching system, filling a huge roster requirement with quality student-athletes. I like that he is well rounded when it comes to his experiences as a D1 player, a D3 coach/recruiter, and club coach. He will have a tremendous, positive influence on our program.”
Montoya helped lead a number of Boxers to individual success. Eleven Boxers received All-NWC recognition in Montoya’s time with the school, including the 2017 NWC Libero of the Year (Anna VanderWeyst) and the 2018 NWC Freshman of the Year (Haley Walz).
The 2018 Boxers delivered a signature win for the program when they defeated a nationally ranked Pacific Lutheran squad, 3-1, for their first win against PLU in over 15 years.
“I am ecstatic for the opportunity to be a part of the Portland State volleyball program,” Montoya said at the time of his hire. “Michael’s commitment and vision to compete for conference championships immediately, while assisting these student-athletes to become strong women drew me to the position. I want to thank Valerie Cleary, Trinity Gibbons and the whole athletic department for being so welcoming to my family and I to Portland State. It’s a great time to be a Viking.”
Besides his role at Pacific, Montoya also served as the technical coordinator at the University of Portland in 2017. While there, Montoya learned under head coach Brent Crouch – the current head coach at Auburn – while overseeing the program’s pre- and post-practice video set up.
Montoya served as the head coach for the NCVA Boys Indoor High Performance team in 2017, and was the program’s lead assistant from 2014-16. In four years with the club, Montoya helped lead the team to a 25-7 overall record while numerous players went on to play collegiately.
Additionally, Montoya is the current 18 National head coach for the North Pacific Juniors Volleyball Club. He also served as the head assistant coach for the NCVA Girls Beach High Performance club team from 2015-16, and has experience working for the Oregon Juniors Volleyball Academy, Core Volleyball Club, Sand Legs Volleyball Club and Renegades Volleyball Club.
As a player, Montoya began his collegiate career at Santa Barbara City College, where he was a two-year starter (2011-12) at middle blocker and was voted MVP of the Western State Conference North Division as a sophomore. Montoya went on to be a two-year letterwinner at Grand Canyon University (2013-14).
Montoya also played for various adult teams after college, spending time with Stump Town Volleyball, the Orange County Volleyball Club and the Blizzard Volleyball Club.
Montoya and his wife, Alix, reside in Lake Oswego with their children Leighton and Aquiles IV.

Austin Tieu - 16 National Head Coach

Austin is entering his second year at NPJ Portland. In his first season, the Portland 16-1 team ended as the most improved team in CEVA, jumping from 47th to 19th and moving up every power league. Before NPJ, Austin first started coaching for CYO's Valley Catholic team. He then became Wave VBC's 16-3 head coach for two years before moving to YVBA and head coaching the 16-1's team.

As a player, he started playing for the Oregon State club team and was libero/setter for four years. In 2013, the team won gold at NCVF Nationals. He continues to play recreationally around the Portland area.

Austin strives to create an inclusive and competitive environment, where every player is given the opportunities to grow and work towards becoming better players and people outside of volleyball.

Laurel Fink - 16 Elite Head Coach

Laurel has been coaching since 2015 both in the USA and Australia. She has coached every age from primary school to varsity high school.

She began her coaching career in Brisbane, Queensland as an assistant coach for a juniors skill camp at Brisbane Volleyball Club. She later moved on to coach girls at Brigidine College and Somerville House and boys at Marist College, Ashgrove. Additionally, she was head coach of the U17 women’s club team at Dragon’s Volleyball Club in Brisbane, Australia where she guided the team to a bronze medal in the JPVL league. Through Dragons, she was an assistant coach for SpikeZone (primary school) and the junior training camp (middle / high school development).  

In the USA, Laurel began coaching as an assistant coach for Riverdale HS under NPJ coach Kendall Bergsten and head coach of the Riverdale MS program. She then coached two seasons as a 16s and 14s level coach for YVBA. Her 16s team finished second in their bracket at the 2019 CEVA Regional tournament and her 14s team won their respective bracket at the 2020 CEVA President’s Day Tournament before the season was suspended. She coached 12s at Athena VBC during the shortened 2020/2021 club volleyball season. 

Laurel began playing volleyball for Horizon Honors in Phoenix, AZ in 7th grade and hasn’t taken a season off since. Some of her accolades include a state championship for her club (East Valley Juniors), a top 5 state finish for Horizon Honors High School, 3 Arizona State University intramural championships in both Coed and women’s division, and was the captain for the DIV 1 women’s PVL team at Dragon’s Volleyball Club. 

She also plays Aussie rules football (AFL) for Portland Australian Football Club (go Sockeyes!) and is an avid Brisbane Lions fan.  

Jenette Brotnov - 14 Black Head Coach

Sherwood High School Head Coach - Bio Coming Soon

Emilie Wilmes -12 National Head Coach

Emilie Wilmes graduated from Canby High School in 2013, as a four-year varsity player and three years of being team captain. Emilie decided to continue her volleyball career in college, she played one season at Long Beach state before transferring and finishing out her college career with three years at Oregon State.

Emilie has been coaching for West Linn High School since 2017. In 2019 she became the Head coach of West Linn High School. Since being a part of the school, the program has made it to 3 state appearances, Prior to coaching at NPJ Emilie coached three years at Portland Volleyball Club.