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Staff


Chris Brazelton

President of Basketball Operations


Chris Brazelton, AKA “Coach Braz,” originally from San Bernardino, CA, has 9 years of Division 1 Coaching experience and 3 years of Division 1 playing experience. Coach Braz concluded his playing career at Fresno State University, earning the scholar-athlete award in 2005. Upon graduation from Fresno State in 2006, Brazelton started Collegiate Coaching Summer 2006 at the University of New Orleans. Following a year at UNO, summer 2007 he was hired as an Assistant Coach at the University of California, Riverside. During a five year span at UC Riverside, Coach Braz developed both guards, as well as big men in the BIG WEST Conference. Spring 2012 he was hired as an Assistant Coach at Drake University in the Missouri Valley Conference. Following completion of a year at Drake, Brazelton was hired in Spring 2013 as the Associate Head Coach at San Jose State University. Concluding the 2014-15 season, Brazelton decided it was time to pursue his dream of creating his own company and pouring into the lives of young people around the Bay Area; BMG.

Following five years as CEO/Director of BMG Academy, the merge in 2021 with Nike EYBL Oakland Soldiers organization, put Coach Braz at the helm of the Silicon Valley Chapter and EYBL coaching.

Off the basketball court, Braz was recruited to be a part of Pepsi Cola’s college recruitment, business internship program in 2006. He then went on to complete a year of M.A. work at the University of New Orleans, and became an M.A. Strategic Communications Honors Graduate from National University in 2009


Paul Simpson

COO


paul Paul Simpson originally from Oakland, California is an experienced professional, both within business as well as the basketball realm. Paul played at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) from 1997-2000. As a freshman, he was voted Most Improved Player. From 2001-2003, he served as Assistant Coach, responsible for individual player development, recruiting, and operations management. Off the court at UCSC, Paul’s accomplishments included: • Serving as Chapter President of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) • Participating as a member of the Black Men’s Alliance (BMA) • Being an INROADS scholar working for Hitachi Data Systems Paul graduated UCSC with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management/Economics.

In 2005, he founded SageTel Solutions, which later grew into SageTel International, a boutique international wireless consulting firm. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of SageTel International, which specializes in mobile network deployments/ managements and valueadded services including location-based services for wireless carriers across the globe. In 2007, Paul was recognized in the Cambridge Who’s Who of Technology for excellence in the wireless industry. That year, he also cofounded WiBlaze India Pvt Ltd, which is a metropolitan internet service provider (ISP) offering WiFi connectivity at affordable prices. In addition, Paul is on the Marin Academy Board of Trustees, and is an active member of both the Marin Academy and UCSC Alumni Associations. Paul’s experiences in both basketball and business allow him to effectively help student athletes achieve success on and off the court.


Mullissa Willette

Director of Administration/Logistics


mattMullissa Willette is a long-time South Bay resident, with a long history of civic engagement and a demonstrated commitment to the community, with considerable experience working with community-based organizations. Mullissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and has served others for the entirety of her career, for many years in nonprofit organizations and nearly a decade as a public servant. She serves on various local boards and commissions and is currently an elected officer representing a very diverse 50,000 workers throughout 17 counties in the Bay Area and Central Valley. Mullissa has an excellent track record strategizing, organizing and leading campaigns, as well as organizational and financial planning and administration.


Elijah Rodriquez

Director of Player Development/Elite Camps Coordinator


Elijah

Coach Elijah’s roots are in Sacramento and Folsom, CA, he moved to the Bay Area six years ago for college. He comes to the Soldiers after playing basketball throughout K-12 and at the AAU level where he played for numerous elite programs. With a wide range of playing experience, he brings an understanding of player development at the highest level focusing on players growing individual skills that translate to a team format. While playing for a range of seasoned, skilled, and enigmatic coaches who used unique coaching philosophies, he learned a variety of teaching styles and strategies of the game.

Primarily used as a point guard and team leader during his playing career, he learned the value of having a high basketball IQ. He projects an energetic teaching style for the young players. As the Soldiers’ youngest coach, he is able to relate and build strong relationships with individual players and strives to always improve team chemistry. He values defense, hustle, effort, heart, and selflessness.

Since joining the Soldiers’ coaching staff in the summer of 2017, Coach Elijah has participated in all Soldiers’ Elite camps. He’s led many teams to win multiple championships at the 11U, 12U, 13U, 14U, & 15U levels. He also has been extensively involved in player recruitment at all levels, bringing numerous players to the program.

Elijah has coached at the highest level of high school basketball in the Bay Area. He is currently the Head Varsity Assistant Coach at Valley Christian High School (VCHS) in San Jose, CA, and is the former Junior Varsity Head Coach at VCHS. Coach Elijah has assisted in the advancement of VCHS players to their fullest potential while coaching in the Western Catholic Athletic League, considered one of the most competitive conferences in Northern California.

Coach Elijah often speaks of his mentor, Todd Purves, who currently coaches professionally overseas. Purves was named Coach of the Year in the professional Philippines and Indonesia leagues, and is a former NBA assistant coach. Coach Purves is someone he admires due to his passion for the game and who lives by the phrase: "There is no substitution for hard work!"

Elijah is a graduate of San Jose State University with a B.S. in Business Marketing. Outside of basketball, you’ll find Coach Elijah working out in the gym or spending time with his family, including his older brother and sister, parents, and dog Stella.


Phillip White

VP Coaching Development/Operations


mattPhillip White comes to Silicon Valley Soldiers as a Senior Leader/Coach, having known Coach Braz for 10 years, both connecting as Collegiate Coaches. Coach White brings 25 years of Coaching experience and is an incredible teacher. Most notably eight years as a Collegiate Coach at Menlo College and DeAnza College, along with eight years as a varsity Head Coach. Having won 200+ games as a Head Coach, a lot of knowledge and quality teaching/coaching will be provided at the highest level.

Not only is Coach White an incredible basketball Coach, but he is an amazing person with high values, standards, and character. We are excited and honored to have Coach White on board, we look forward to great things happening with his leadership in the organization.


Eddy Mangonon

Senior Head Coach


mattEddy Mangonon comes to Silicon Valley Soldiers with an incredible skillset, along with a ton of experience. Coach Eddy has over twenty years of Coaching experience, formerly a Collegiate Assistant Coach at Menlo College and San Jose City College. In addition, he spent four years as the Head Coach at Arroyo High School, four years as an Assistant Coach at Washington High School, and ten years at James Logan High School. While at Washington, they won the MVAL league reaching incredibly new heights within the program.

Coach Eddy is a family man who enjoys outdoor activities and has extremely high character. We are excited to add him to the Silicon Valley Soldiers coaching staff.


Roland Narciso

Assistant Coach


roland

Roland comes to Silicon Valley Soldiers with a passion for the game. Born and raised in the Newark/Fremont/Union City area, Coach Roland brings 25+ years of playing and coaching experience. He played three years on Varsity at Newark Memorial High School and two years at the JUCO level, making it to the Elite 8 with Chabot College. Coach Roland has coached at numerous levels from CYO, AAU, to the high school level, both JV and Varsity. Coming into his seventh season as part of the Washington Boys High School program in Fremont, Coach Roland is currently the associated varsity head coach in which he helped lead the team to their first league Championship in over 20 years in 2020.

Professionally, Coach Roland works as an IT Manager at Stanford Health Care. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, going for long walks/hikes with his dogs, and spending time with family and friends.


Jesse Moreno

Head Coach


JesseJesse Moreno, aka “Coach Moreno” is originally from Salinas, CA. He is entering his first season with Soldiers Academy. For the past three years he was coaching with a local AAU program, Silicon Valley Stars. Coach Moreno was the starting point guard for Palma High School, a top program in the Central Coast.

Professionally, Coach Moreno works at Santa Clara University in their Athletic Department. He oversees all aspects of ticket sales and operations for their Division 1 sports. Coach Jesse obtains a B.A. in Communications and M.A.in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Management from Saint Mary’s College of California.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, Crossfit, attending sporting events, and traveling.


Daron Burgess

Head Coach


DaronDaRon Jacques Burgess born and raised in San Francisco,Ca comes to Soldiers as a talented student-athlete with a passion for the game and people. A Mountain View High School 3 year varsity player, Coach Daron competed at a high high school level, and played with the Oakland Rebels and Bay Area Ballers AAU organizations. After played one season at San Jose City College, Daron currently is competing at De Anza college for the 2019-2020 season.

Coach Daron educationally is working towards his psychology degree, with a vision of one day having his own sports psychology clinic. This clinic would deal with athletes who suffers from depression and anxiety, helping them to overcome life challenges and adversities.


Erick Kidd Jr

Head Coach/Skills Trainer


Erick

Erick Kidd Jr. AKA coach EJ was born in 29 palms, Ca and raised in Atlanta, Ga. He is a 3 time state champion for YBOA and AAU in Atlanta. In 2007 he moved to Minnesota and attended Eden Prairie High, playing varsity for 3 years there. 

EJ moved to the S. Bay, from Minnesota in 2012. Began to help his father Erick Kidd Sr. coach and train kids for basketball. In 2018 he started his semi-pro career with the San Jose Knights. Currently he is the head coach and skills trainer for the soldiers.


Jaston Rivera

Assistant Coach


Jaston

Coach Jay has been coaching youth basketball in the Bay Area since 2015. Getting his start as a coach at a local YMCA, Coach Jay developed a passion in teaching the game and helping the youth. Since the YMCA, Coach Jay has coached basketball competitively at the NJB, AAU, and high school level. Most recently, he served as the JV GBB assistant coach at Saratoga High School, helping a team of 9 freshmen and 1 sophomore win the De Anza league title in their first season. Coach Jay hopes to bring his enthusiasm and knowledge of the game to Soldiers.

Outside of basketball, Coach Jay has a passion for cars, music, and sneakers. Professionally, Coach Jay works for an alternative energy company in San Jose. In 2014, Coach Jay graduated from San Jose State University, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering.


Nomso Nwachukwu

Skills Specialist


nomsoCoach Nomso comes to Soldiers from Oakland, CA and carries an assertive mentality and passion for the game. Nomso played high school basketball at Mount Eden high, Hayward, ca and helped his team successfully capture a playoff berth; something that had not been done in roughly 30 years. Following his high school Nomso went on to compete at feather river college, playing two years at the junior college level.

Nomso brings energy and intensity to Soldiers and cares about helping youth. We are excited to have him on board, and allow him to share passion and enthusiasm with anyone he comes in contact with.


Ashton Pickens

Head Coach


ashtonCoach Ashton comes to Silicon Valley Soldiers as a well respected player and coach in the Bay Area.

Coach Ashton grew up in Oakland and now resides in Newark. Coach has played on multiple levels. From CYO, ONBL and other recreational leagues. As well as playing on multiple AAU teams. He graduated from John F Kennedy High School in Fremont, where he played 2 years of Varsity basketball. Not only was he a scholar athlete but was invited to the Cal Hi Sports Banquet for his multiple appearances and awards. He also played on elite AAU teams including a stint with the Oakland Soldiers. After high school Coach Ashton played two years at the JUCO level at West Valley College and San Jose City College.

After ending his career as a player Coach Ashton began coaching at HoopSphere in Fremont. Where he became one of the most respected skills trainers and AAU coaches in the area

Off the court Coach Ashton is a very charismatic family man. We’re excited to add him to the Silicon Valley Soldiers staff.


Caleb Sayre

Assistant Coach


CalebCoach Sayre was born in Eugene, OR and has been raised in San Jose Ca. He went to Leigh High school and graduated college from Grand Canyon University with a degree in applied business management. Coach Sayre has coached youth sports for over 7 years and loves playing and watching basketball. He is currently the coach for the boys basketball team at Dartmouth Middle School where he has been for multiple years.

Outside of Soldiers coach Sayre is a Youth Pastor at a local church in south San Jose where he teaches, supports and mentors kids of all ages. He has also worked as a lead teacher for multiple after school programs in the San Jose and Cupertino area at the elementary and Middle school level where he focused on sports and teaching the kids how to thrive on and off the court. With his free time coach Sayre enjoys spending time with his wife and his family, playing sports, kickboxing, playing guitar and taking his dog to the dog park and visiting other countries. Coach Sayre's joined Soldiers Spring 2020, we are excited to have him involved with the program.


Robert Passalacqua

Head Coach


Robert-PassalacquaRobert Passalacqua, aka "Coach P", returns to Soldiers Academy for his 3rd season total after missing a full year of action. He has 11 years of coaching experience; 4 as an assistant and 7 as a head coach at St. Lawrence Middle School. He has coached for 2 seasons with Soldiers previously in 2018.

He also has playing experience at Bellarmine College Preparatory and with a Foothill NJB team that made the national semi-finals his senior year.

Outside of Soldiers, Coach P is a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos. He graduated from San Jose State in 2017 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Kinesiology. That said, Coach P does not only know the game, but knows and understands how to teach the game as well.