On the eve of MLK weekend, 93 volleyball teams from seven surrounding cities and states gathered to sign in to compete at the Sweet Tea
Take a look at the Hype Nation Team: the people who have made all these events possible.
Coach Troy Helton has been tremendously successful in coaching the sport of volleyball both at the High School and Club Levels. Not only has he built winning (and enduring) programs at each of the 4 High Schools he has been associated with over the past 12 years, but he also serves as director of the 3rd largest club in the Southern Region – Ethos Volleyball Club – a club that he founded in 2010 while teaching High School Math.
Coach Helton’s love for the game is evident in the way he coaches. He is meticulous about practice preparation, scouting, and seeks to learn everything about the sport of volleyball. Not only does he serve as Director of Ethos Volleyball Club but he is also the founder & current Director of the Tennessee Volleyball Association – an organization that provides coaching clinics, skills camps, and satellite camps across the State of Tennessee.
Troy has been running tournaments now for the past 10 years and partners with clubs all over the country. He prides himself on doing right by the clubs he works with, the players, coaches, referees, and spectators who attend the events. He works hard to ensure that the facility staff always enjoys having his tournament staff on-site as well.
Andy has been coaching collegiately for 12 years. Most recently Andy has been the Head Coach at Navarro College in Corsicana, TX. The Bulldogs won the 2019 NJCAA Division 1 National Championship with a 31-0 record. Cavins was NJCAA Division 1 National Coach of the Year and also recruited and coached the NJCAA National Player of the Year.
Prior to Navarro, Andy was the Head Coach at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky for eight seasons. He is the all-time winningest LWC and during his 8yrs had a record of 272-38 including 8 consecutive NAIA National Tournament appearances with two NAIA Fab Fours, four straight national quarterfinal appearances, and one National Championship in 2017.
In addition to LWC, Cavins has coached for Dallas Summit & Union Volleyball Club for the last eight seasons and has consistently coached Top 50 nationally-ranked teams according to PrepVolleyball. His 2012 (17 open), 2014 (17 open), 2015 (17 open), and 2016 (18 open) all qualified for the USAV National Championship.
Cavins has been running and assisting with sanctioned USAV and JVA events since 2009 throughout the country including events in the North Texas Region, Pioneer Region, Southern Region, Carolina Region, Ohio Valley Region, and So Cal Region.
Justin joined SFM in February of 2020 serving as the National Director – Events & Entertainment. With extensive experience in the sports tourism industry and having held director positions in several organizations, he has a proven track record of entrepreneurial success in rapidly growing companies. As a life-long competitor and sports tourism enthusiast, he has a deep appreciation for the economic, social and community-based benefits sports provide.
Prior to joining SFM, he spent three years representing the $2.8 billion tourism industry of DuPage County, Illinois, as the Director of Business Development. In this role, he created and launched the DuPage Sports Commission to harness the power of sports tourism on behalf of the County’s 38 communities and nearly one million residents and numerous stakeholders. During this time, he orchestrated new event and entertainment partnerships with dozens of national governing bodies and rights-holders and led the creation of new grassroots events.
Ashley Whittaker has led a variety of sports, recreation, events and fitness branding and marketing campaigns, strategies, and special projects since 2008. Since joining the company in 2016, Ashley leads corporate marketing and business development for both SFA & SFM helping to achieve year-over-year sales goals and sustained growth for the firms. Ashley also leads the SFM Facility Marketing department which leads the brand development, marketing strategy, reporting and execution oversight, and graphic design for the SFM Network portfolio and limited-term marketing projects. This team’s experience spans 10 states in businesses ranging from small local aquatic facilities, to ninja gyms, public parks, and sports tourism destinations. In 2019, Ashley led the brand logo & identify, email nurture campaign development, and overall launch of the SFM Network identity and campaign.
With over ten years of experience in marketing and advertising management as well as event planning, Tracy brings in-depth knowledge of marketing best practices and project management to SFM. Her educational background includes a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she was an intern for the company managing marketing initiatives for all NCAA sports with the university. In this unique role, she was able to assist the sports marketing company with UTSA’s inaugural football season and gained invaluable experience working in the sports marketing industry. Since 2012, she has been a freelance marketing and social media advertising consultant working with a variety of clients and projects across multiple industries. Previous to her current role, Tracy worked for a large social media company where she led a team in Austin, Texas, and Dublin, Ireland, in advertising campaign management while also completing her MBA with Concordia University Texas in Austin.