Head Coach Announcements


Tara Allen
Head Coach, Cross Country

Tara has coached cross country and track and field at Darien High School for the last twelve years. In her role at DHS, she also taught Spanish of all levels and helped to coordinate the school’s successful accreditation process. Prior to her time at Darien, Tara taught and coached at high schools in Connecticut and Rhode Island. She also spent two years in Guatemala serving in the Peace Corps. Tara earned her M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury and her B.S. in dietetics from the University of Rhode Island.

Jordan Alper
Head Coach, Softball

Jordan comes to us from New Canaan Country School, where she is the head varsity softball coach, as well as a head math teacher and life skills teacher. Before her current role, Jordan served as varsity softball coach, Dean of Students, and head math teacher for grades 7 - 11 for ten years at the Stanwich School. Jordan received her M.A. in teaching from Manhattanville and her B.A. in geology and environmental science from Bowdoin.

Laura Brantley
Head Coach, Tennis

For the past three years, Laura has coached Upper School tennis at GCDS in addition to her role as Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. Prior to GCDS, she coached girls varsity tennis and squash at Blair Academy. Laura received her M.A. in private school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in mathematics and economics from Hamilton College, where she captained the women’s tennis team.

Elisa Brown
Head Coach, Girls Basketball

Elisa is currently the varsity head girls basketball coach at Henry Snyder High School in New Jersey and a physical education and health teacher at George Washington Elementary. She received her B.S. in kinesiology from William Paterson University, where she played varsity basketball and was a two-year captain. Elisa brings with her a wealth of high-level experience, having coached in independent and public schools, AAU, and college over the last decade.

Katline Cauwels
Head Coach, Squash

Katline is a co-founder and coach at MSQUASH Accelerator and has a special focus on the development of junior athletes. Katline was one of the first women on the pro tour, ranking #42 in the world. She is a 3x Belgian National Women’s Champion and represented her country over 40 times. Katline holds an M.S. in communication sciences from University of Antwerp and an M.S. in global management from University of Antwerp Business School. Having successfully combined academics and athletics, she is passionate about creating growth and optimizing performance in order to help create leaders.

Rick Columbo
Head Coach, Boys Hockey

Currently serving as assistant head of Upper School, Rick has helped to shape an outstanding student experience and school culture—both on and off the ice—throughout his more than 20 years at GCDS. He has been the head coach for the GCDS girls hockey team since it was established over a decade ago. Prior to GCDS, he coached the boys team at Allen-Stevenson (NYC) for 8 years. Rick’s coaching career began at the college level when he was an assistant coach at SUNY Binghamton. During his playing years at Binghamton, Rick was a three-year captain and is the all-time goals, assists, and points leader. He looks forward to bringing out the best in our young players as we develop a powerful hockey program at GCDS.

Andrew Copelan
Head Coach, Boys Lacrosse

Andy just finished his 11th year as the head men’s lacrosse coach at Fairfield University. During his successful run at Fairfield, the Stags notched four wins against teams ranked in the top ten nationally and were league champion three times--and Andy was named CAA Coach of the Year in 2015. Prior to his time at Fairfield, Andy was offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at the University of Maryland, where his teams played in the NCAA tournament all three of his seasons there and earned a Final Four berth. Andy started his coaching career at Marist College as the youngest head coach in Division I lacrosse. While at Marist, Andy earned MAAC Coach of the Year honors, and his teams earned two MAAC championships and the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Andy will also serve as a major gifts officer in Country Day’s Development Office, focusing on Athletic Advancement. In 2010, Andy founded the “Friends of Fairfield Lacrosse” booster group, whose work allowed the school to renovate their field and locker room facilities. Andy has his B.A. in economics from Bucknell University, where he was a four-year starter and four-year Patriot League champion on the men’s lacrosse team.

Caitlin Copelan
Head Coach, Girls Lacrosse

Caitlin is the director, founder, and recruiting coordinator of the Sound Lacrosse Girls Program. Caitlin founded the program in 2014 and the teams quickly became some of the top in the area, winning national honors and regularly sending girls on to play collegiately. Caitlin has also coached at St. Luke’s School, Greenwich High School, New Canaan High School, and was the Lacrosse Director at Chelsea Piers. Caitlin earned her M.A. from Fairfield University, where she was an All MAAC player and a graduate assistant, and her B.S. from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she played varsity lacrosse and competed in the National Championship game her senior season.

Patrick Curry
Head Athletic Trainer

Since 2013, Patrick has served as the head athletic trainer at GCDS. A certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Patrick specializes in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries, as well as the overall safety and well-being of our student athletes. Since his graduate work at the University of Georgia, Patrick has been on the forefront of research and work with athletes and concussions. He uses this expertise to help keep GCDS athletes safe and to implement preventive strategies and detection technology. Patrick holds an M.S. in kinesiology and exercise science from University of Georgia and a B.S. in kinesiology and athletic training from University of Connecticut, Storrs.

Shannon Doyle
Head Coach, Girls Hockey

We welcome Shannon back to GCDS as the varsity girls hockey coach and Middle School English teacher. After three years teaching and coaching here on Old Church Road, Shannon has taught English and coached Upper School soccer and hockey at the Trinity Pawling School. During that time, Shannon has also had a successful professional hockey career with the NWHL, captaining her team and earning the title of Connecticut’s top scoring defender. Shannon received her B.A. and M.A. from Boston University.

Steve Feder
Head Coach, Tennis

Steve coaches tennis and basketball and teaches Upper School math at the Stanwich School. He began his teaching and coaching career in urban Philadelphia as part of Teach for America and earned his master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education during that time. Steve received his B.S. in economics from Haverford College, where he captained the men’s tennis team.

David Flower
Head Coach, Girls Soccer

Since 2005, David has been the head girls soccer coach at Westhill High School, where he won a state championship and cultivated a tradition of excellence. He has experience building an elite-level program from the ground up as the founding soccer director at Chelsea Piers, where he also serves as coaching director and head coach of two girls premier teams. Through his work at Westhill and Chelsea Piers Connecticut, David has developed players who have found success in collegiate and national development programs. David graduated from Oxpens College, UK.

James Gussis
Head Coach, Football

James brings great experience as both a player and coach. Having played Sprint Football with Rutgers University and coached Middle School, JV, and Varsity levels at Newark Academy (NJ) and Greenhill School (Dallas, TX), James has an understanding of the game and the various systems needed to be competitive at all levels. James has put together an incredible coaching staff that brings extensive knowledge, experience, and technology to the team. From top-of-the-line helmets with computer chips in them to assess impact and correct tackling technique to online platforms for playbooks and film assessment, the football team will be trained and ready to compete at the highest level.

Thomas Hart
Head Coach, Baseball

Tom brings 24 years of coaching experience to the Upper School. For the last 14 years, in addition to serving at Director of Technology, he has coached Upper School baseball at GCDS. Tom is also a coach and instructor for Cobras Baseball Academy. Prior to GCDS, he served as Westchester Crusaders head coach, WPLL tournament team head coach, Harrison High School varsity coach, Horace Mann varsity coach, and Manhattan College assistant coach. Tom received his B.S. in business administration from Manhattan College, where he played Division I baseball.

Joe Helpern
Head Coach, Cross Country

Joe comes to us from the Brunswick School, where he teaches science, coaches fencing, and has coached the cross country team an FAA Championship. Prior to his time at Brunswick, Joe taught environmental science, biology, and chemistry at Friends Academy in New York. In addition to teaching and coaching in public and independent schools, Joe served as a STEM consultant for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, designing program, building partnerships, and training faculty. He received his B.A. in biology from Case Western Reserve University, where he was a member of the varsity track and field and varsity cross country teams, and M.S. in middle and high school education from Lehman College.

Tim Helstein
Athletic Director

Tim was named GCDS's first Athletic Director in April 2018. Tim brings a wealth of experience to this new position. He has served as Director of Physical Education at GCDS for the past nine years and prior to that was head coach for girls varsitiy soccer at St. Luke's School, where he led the team to both a NEPSAC Championship and FAA Tournament Championship. He also coached the St. Luke's girls varsity lacrosse team to a top WNEPSA Small School ranking, as well as coached the CP LAX 2015 Club Team from 2012-2015. While coaching high school and club athletics, he worked with numerous college coaches to assist athletes and families in the recruiting process for Division I and Division III program. This year he has been a leader in the design of our Upper School program. He received his B.A. from Eastern University, where he played lacrosse, and M.A. in biobehavioral sciences from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Alan Marsh
Head Coach, Boys Soccer

Alan is the Director of Boys Travel Soccer program for Greenwich Soccer Association. In this role, he oversees nine teams and their coaches. He also directs GSA’s 350-player Kickers program and is the owner and founder of All Star FC. Alan has trained many of the area varsity teams, including Greenwich High School and Darien High School. Alan played semi-professionally and at University in England. He graduated from Purbeck 6th Form College, Wareham, Dorset, UK.

Stephanie McDonald
Assistant Athletic Director
Head Coach, Field Hockey

Stephanie is the Assistant Athletic Director and head field hockey coach at Hopkins School in New Haven. Stephanie also serves as an academic advisor and formed a Captain’s Leadership group to help team leaders build their understanding of and role in program culture. Stephanie served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for field hockey at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) prior to her time at Hopkins. Stephanie earned her M.A. in American studies from Trinity and her B.A. in anthropology from Franklin and Marshall, where she captained the field hockey team and was selected as a Second-Team All-American.

Rose Moye
Head Coach, Dance

Rose started the GCDS dance program in 2011. Since then it has grown to include 8 dance companies and a dance team in all three athletics seasons. Rose made her broadway debut in The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Carrie the Musical, followed by numerous musicals—Oliver, Cats, Little Shop of Horrors, and more—as well as performances in the acclaimed film What’s Love Got to Do with It, and television shows such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Her emphasis on strength, conditioning, and hard work develops dancers who are athletes and artists committed to excellence.

Shaun Moxham
Head Coach, Squash

Shaun is one of a select number of squash coaches to have coached a World Champion, David Palmer. Shaun guided David to 2 World Championships, 4 British Open Titles, and 10 uninterrupted years ranked in World’s Top 10 players, ultimately achieving the ranking of World No. 1. Shaun has worked as a consultant to many national squash associations, has developed the game of aspiring junior and pro players worldwide, and is a co-founder of MSQUASH Accelerator. Prior to transitioning to coaching, Shaun placed 3rd in the World Junior Championships and achieved a Top-50 world ranking on the men’s professional tour.

Patrick Scanlon
Head Coach, Boys Basketball

This spring, Pat finished his 15th season as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Manhattanville College. He leaves his alma mater as the second winningest coach in program history. He was named Skyline Conference coach of the year in 2007—and led the Valiants to a league title and a spot in the Division III NCAA tournament the same season. While at Manhattanville, Pat also served as an adjunct professor in the school’s leadership program for first-year students, Assistant Athletic Director for Development, Director of the Student Fitness Center, and Interim Dean of Students. Pat earned a M.S. in sports business management and his B.A. in history from Manhattanville, where he was a standout four-year player on the varsity basketball team.

Justin Stangel
Head Coach, Crew

Justin comes to GCDS with experience developing athletes as the associate head coach for men’s rowing, as well as interim assistant coach for women’s rowing, at Syracuse University. Justin earned his M.S. in science and medicine of athletic performance from Oxford and B.S. in health and exercise science from Syracuse University, where he was co-captain of the varsity rowing team. He has served as the Oxford University Boat Club vice-president and competed in numerous World Championships as a member of the USA Rowing Senior National Team.

William Turner
Strength and Conditioning Coach

Will comes to us from Yale University where he is a strength and conditioning coach. In this role, he oversees, designs, and implements team and individual programs for athletes on the ice hockey, volleyball, and baseball teams. Will also worked with football, track and field, and the National Champion men’s lacrosse team. Prior to his four years at Yale, Will served as a strength and conditioning coach at Boston University and worked with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, varsity teams at Quinnipiac University, and the New York Jets. Will earned his M.S. in physical education and coaching from Boston University and his B.S. in science and sports performance from Springfield College.

Abigael Yotts
Athletic Trainer

Abigael is a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she leads coverage and care for water polo, women’s tennis, swimming and diving, cross country, and track and field. She has also led coverage for football and men’s lacrosse in her time at MIT. Abigael has worked with teams from Boston University, Harvard, Northeastern, and Milton Academy. She is a certified athletic trainer, earned her B.S. from Boston University in athletic training and will receive her M.S. in human physiology from BU this spring.