Meet Our Team
We’ve assembled a talented team of recruiting experts who excelled as college athletes, and continued their success after their playing days ended. They have first-hand knowledge of how the recruiting process works, and they’re here to help make it easier for you and your coaching staff.
Adams brings 23 years of experience covering high school athletes who achieved their dreams of playing college sports. He was an award-winning sportscaster at television stations in South Bend (Ind.), Bakersfield (Calif.), Meridian (Miss.) and New Orleans.
Adams covered and interviewed over 2,000 athletes who went on to play at the college level in football, basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, baseball, golf, swimming, cross country and other sports. He also observed countless quality student-athletes that didn’t reach the next level because they and their families didn’t know how to navigate the recruiting trail.
Adams has a passion for inspiring and educating athletes to succeed in finding the perfect match in college sports. As a sports anchor across America, he covered every level of college sports and saw what a remarkable experience college athletics can be.
Adams is the author of Stoke the Fire Within. And as a sportscaster, he has interviewed high achievers like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Pat Summitt, Larry Bird, Jerome Bettis, and Olympic gold medal swimmer Lindsay Benko.
Bob Chmiel brings more than 20 years of experience in recruiting, coaching and personnel development to NCSA. And he’s worked under famed coaches like Lou Holtz, Bo Schembechler and Lee Corso.
Chmiel spent seven years as Notre Dame's director of football operations and recruiting coordinator/assistant coach. Before that, Chmiel was the University of Michigan's football recruiting coordinator from 1988 to 1993. He also served as an assistant coach for the Wolverines under Schembechler in the mid-80s. Chmiel spent time at Northwestern and Northern Illinois and was the head football coach for Fenwick High School (Oak Park, Ill.) from 1972 to 1979.
After completing his coaching career, Chmiel worked as a college football analyst for ESPN and also provided commentary for Comcast Sports. He was named one of the "Top 11 Recruiting Coordinators of All-Time" in Tom Lemming's book Football's Second Season: Scouting High School Game Breakers.
Chmiel delivers educational recruiting talks to student-athletes, families and high school coaches nationwide. His enthusiasm for high school athletics is infectious and he’s a valuable asset to NCSA.
Henshaw is a 20-year NFL coaching veteran. He began his NFL coaching career as the offensive line coach for the Denver Broncos from 1988 to 1990. He moved to coaching the wide receivers in 1991, and in 1992 took on the responsibilities of the offensive coordinator. He served as the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1993 to 1996, and was on the Tennessee Titans’ staff from 1997 to 2005. From 2006 to 2007, George was the senior offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints. He has coached every offensive position, been a member of nine playoff teams, coached in the Pro Bowl three times and he’s served on the sidelines of the Super Bowl twice.
In 2009, Henshaw evaluated draft eligible players for DraftNasty.com by attending college games and watching tapes. In 2010, he worked for Under Armour-IMG and helped organize 19 football combines throughout the country.
Prior to his NFL experience, Henshaw coached 18 years in college at West Virginia, Florida State, Alabama, and was the head coach at Tulsa. He played collegiately at West Virginia and was selected as a member of the all-1960s WVU football team. In 2006, he was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Jai Hill is able to offer a unique perspective on the recruiting process. Not only did he reach the NFL despite not playing at an NCAA Division I college, he also has more than seven years of college coaching experience.
After a successful high school career in western Pennsylvania, Jai chose Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Division II school that proved to be the right fit. Jai went on to become a four-year letterman, a Harlon Hill finalist (given to the best player in DII), and a Kodak All-American.
NFL scouts noticed his talent and he spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers and had stints in the AFL and CFL. After his playing days were over, Jai entered the coaching profession. From 2001 to 2008, he coached and recruited for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Widener University, and Geneva College.
Julian has never had a problem balancing his athletic and academic success. During his high school career in Georgia, Julian earned almost every possible honor that can be given to a student-athlete. Off the field, Julian was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated with honors. On the field, Julian started in four varsity sports for four years. As a high school football player, he was recognized as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia, named to the Sports Illustrated and Rivals top 100 , and was a first-team All-American.
Realizing the importance of his education, Julian wanted to attend the right collegiate fit academically and athletically. He chose Stanford University, where he was a three-year starter, two-year captain, second-team All-Pac Ten honoree and named the team’s MVP in 2006. Julian’s outstanding collegiate career made him a fifth-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After two seasons with the Bucs, Julian played for the Denver Broncos and finished his professional career in the CFL with the Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders.
Cecil was a starting fullback for the Philadelphia Eagles and a sixth-round draft pick. He was instrumental in the Eagles’ three playoff berths and appearances in the NFC Championship two years in a row. While with the Eagles, Cecil was named to John Madden’s All Madden Team. He went on to play for the Oakland Raiders, and finished his career in 2003 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cecil’s efforts in the community earned him the NFL Unsung Hero Award two years in a Martin was a four-year starter for the Wisconsin Badgers, and helped lead the team to four college bowl appearances. During his co-MVP senior year, Cecil was captain of the 1998 Big Ten and 1999 Rose Bowl championship teams. While at the Wisconsin, Cecil Martin studied communications and was twice named to the NCAA Good Works Team for community service.
Brittany graduated from the University of Nebraska with a major in communication and a minor in sociology and coaching. Brittany played softball for the Cornhuskers and lettered all four years. She was the team captain her junior and senior years.
After wrapping up her playing career at Nebraska, Brittany served as an assistant softball coach at Lincoln Southwest High School in Lincoln (Neb.) where she helped guide the team to its second consecutive state title. Brittany moved back to Chicago to be the assistant softball coach for Loyola University and she helped lead the Ramblers to a Horizon League Conference championship in 2011.
Brittany grew up in Frankfort (Ill.). She lettered all four years in high school and helped Lincoln Way East win a state softball championship in 2002.
During an NFL career spanning seven years, Izell spent the majority of his NFL experience with the Dallas Cowboys, but also played with the Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills before retiring in 2005.
Reese understands the recruiting process at many levels. He had aspirations of playing at the college level but that college experience almost didn’t happen. As a senior, Reese waited to be discovered by college coaches but the opportunities he expected did not surface. He walked on at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he became a four-year varsity starter and earned a full scholarship after his freshman year. In 1998, Reese became just the second UAB player to be drafted by the NFL.
Success on the volleyball court as both a player and coach makes Matt Sonnichsen a valuable asset to NCSA. The Texas native was a four-year letterwinning setter for UCLA where he earned three All-America honors and helped lead the Bruins to NCAA championships in 1987 and 1989. Sonnichsen was named the MVP of the 1989 national championship.
He competed professionally before beginning his coaching career. Sonnichsen’s extensive coaching resume includes head coaching stints at Iowa, Tulsa, Newberry College, and most recently, Louisiana Tech. He served as an assistant coach at Clemson, Iowa and UC Santa Barbara.
Ellen Sawin is a recent graduate from the University of Evansville, where she was a 4 year starter and 2 year team captain of the University’s volleyball team. As a volleyball player she was named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team. She was UE’s 2012 Female Student-Athlete of the year. Originally from New Lenox, IL, where she attended Lincoln-Way Central and played volleyball, basketball and badminton. Ellen serves as the marketing coordinator at NCSA.
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