Brant Lake Sports Academy is very proud of its strong and highly motivated coaching staff.
Our lead coaches have both playing and coaching experience in their respective sports as well as strong communication skills and a genuine passion for working with young athletes.
Rachel Milim - Co-Director, BLSA, Lacrosse, Basketball
Rachel's first visit to Brant Lake was at six months old and has been a part of the Brant Lake family ever since.Rachel earned her BS in Sociology from Cornell University where she also excelled on the lacrosse Field. The team competed in the final four her junior year and was ranked as high as number three in the country. Rachel was named Captain of the team her senior year and was named to the All-Ivy and Regional All-America teams.
In high school, Rachel was a two-time captain of her varsity basketball team where she earned All-County honors and captained her Varsity lacrosse team as well, earning All-County and All-America honors.
For the last six years, Rachel has worked as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer taking on both adults and children as private clients. Rachel also taught fourth grade PE and coached tennis, swimming, basketball and lacrosse at The Dalton School.
Rachel's competitive edge has never left as she has completed marathons, triathlons and century rides. She is currently coaching middle school basketball and lacrosse at The Dalton School.
Rachel resides in New York City with her husband, Matt and two children, Ryan and Sam.
Ray Abellard - Basketball
Ray is a Co-Director of A+M Sports Skills Academy, in New York City and is a former Division I college basketball player as well as professional player in the ABA.
He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a BA in Psychology and was a standout on the basketball court, leading the nation in 3-point scoring in 2001-2002 . Ray has also participated in many tournaments in the USA and overseas including Universaire 2005 Olympics in Turkey, Reebok Sports Club, Nike Athletic in China, and Nike Elite (Jordan Breakfast Club). Ray attended Erasmus High School in Brooklyn New York where he was a 1st Team All Star guard.
In addition to his Sports Skills Academy, Ray is a sought-after personal basketball coach and fitness trainer working with many up-and-coming high school and college prospects in the New York area.
Nesta Felix -Basketball, Volleyball
Felix was a Division I student-athlete at Iona College, and has been involved in coaching basketball since her graduation from the New Rochelle, N.Y., school in 2001.
For the last four years, Felix has worked at NewFlex Youth Programs Inc., and currently serves as the company's executive director. The organization provides mentoring programs in Westchester County, and the Mt. Vernon, N.Y., resident is driven to serve youth through sports programs and by creating opportunities for the less privileged.
A native of St. Lucia, Felix served as an assistant coach for seven seasons (2002-09) at nearby Monroe College, where she helped mentor the Mustangs to a record of 194-40, four regional championships and three National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II titles. She also registered a 25-12 record in one-plus seasons as head coach of Woodlands High School (Hartsdale, N.Y.).
Felix was a two-sport student-athlete at Iona, competing as right side for head coach Linda Sagnelli's volleyball squad, while also playing one season as a power forward for head coach Michele Brusseau's Gaels. She graduated from Iona with a bachelor's degree in English/pre-law in 2001, before earning a master's in business administration from Monroe College in 2009.
Dave Haynes - All Sports
Dave was born and raised in England and did his undergraduate schooling at Loughborough University in the UK. He also received his Masters degree in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dave played basketball at the National level while in college and coached at the American Community School in Cobham England before moving to the US. He is currently the girls' high school varsity coach in volleyball and soccer, as well as boys' varsity soccer, at the Saint Andrews school in Boca Raton, Florida. Dave has also coached girls' basketball as well as lacrosse at the middle school level, and has worked at Brant Lake Camp for boys for many years where he has been a counselor and coach, as well as a camper favorite.
Althea White - Strength/Fitness Training
Althea is a life long athlete who has made this passion into a career. While studying Movement Science at Penn State University she discovered that being a personal trainer was her calling. In the last 9 years she has learned to design customized programs for her clients to meet their individual goals. Her fun, challenging workouts incorporate exercises traditional and functional strength training, TRX, yoga, and Pilates. This variety works to promote strength and flexibility and decrease the risk of injury.
Althea maintains an active life style as an organizer and player for Central Lacrosse NYC (a women's post collegiate team) and is an avid runner. In her free time she is a full time student at Hunter College studying biochemistry with the goal of becoming a sports medicine physician's assistant.
Brant Lake runs an exceptional tennis program and has 5 tennis Pros on its staff plus many tennis counselors who are excellent instructors as well as players. The following are the two lead Pros who work with our older campers including the Brant Lake Sports Academy girls.
Mark is one of our Senior Tennis Pros and instructors, who has worked at Brant Lake for the past 8 years. As a high school player, he was ranked number 1 in doubles in the state of Utah and earned a college scholarship to Snow Junior College, where he played number 1 in singles and doubles, won the conference championships 1985-1987 and qualified for the NJCAA Nationals in Ocala, Florida (both years). He then went on to play under scholarship at Mesa State University in Colorado, before transferring to the University of Utah to complete his studies.
Mark is also an experienced tennis coach having coached tennis at two public high schools, worked for the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Department in adapted sports programs and was the region chairperson of tennis while at a private Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has also been a teaching Tennis Pro at Peter Burwash International in Palm Desert, California. Mark was recently married in October of 2009 to another Brant Lake staff member from the country of Colombia, Leidy Marcela Escobar-Rake, and lives in the Salt Lake area.
Alejandro is a highly experienced and seasoned Tennis Pro in his second year at Brant Lake. Born in Uruguay, he played on the ATP tennis tour from 1982-1986 and has competed in Challengers and Futures Tournaments around the world. Alejandro has also served as the Davis Cup Assistant Captain for Uruguay.
He has been a Certified member of USPTA (National Coaches Association) since 1987 and the Director of Tennis at numerous clubs including Belmont Country Club, Boston, Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, West Palm Beach and the Banyan Golf Club, Wellington, FL. Alejandro was also the Tournament Coordinator in the Senior Tour in Marbella, Spain (2001-2006) with participants including John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Yannick Noah, Aaron Kricstein, Stefan Edberg, Emilio Sanchez and Thomas Muster.
Alejandro and his wife Evelyn have a daughter Gabriela and live in Florida.