We at DTX look to hire professional and experienced coaches in the education and athletic fields. We are proud of our staff and want all staff members to be active in the training and education of our players.
David Taylor: Owner/Head Coach
I have developed a basketball philosophy over my 30+ years of basketball experience as a player, coach and administrator.
My overall philosophy with basketball is to teach life lessons through the sport! My mentor, John Wooden, taught me many life and basketball lessons through my numerous encounters with him and I adopted a majority of my basketball philosophies from him.
Basketball is a sport that requires fundamentals! I believe in teaching all the fundamentals of the sport, both offensively and defensively. I want to change people's lives in a positive way in order to prepare them for life both on and off the court.
I want a program that develops a player’s individual skill to succeed in the team format! The program should run the same offensive sets, same offenses, the same out of bounds plays. On defense, we only play man to man! We teach the basic fundamentals of man to man. This is what we do at all levels! A uniform system for the kids to learn over the years gives them a solid foundation. We will not have these kids learn one system and then start over the following season with a new coach. We put all of our sets on the DTX website so kids can review! We provide video analysis to the kids in the form of game film review that we send to the kids via email. Again, helping to assist in the kids’ basketball IQ and improve their performance.
Our goal is to develop our players rather than winning at the cost of development. In the 10-15 year old divisions, we are about development. We prefer losing to better teams rather than beating bad teams. We believe in developing the players’ basketball IQ, not just his physical skills.
My basketball philosophy is to prepare the kids for success on the court as future basketball players and off the court as successful community members. We want to build their confidence and foster their love of the game. My ultimate goal is to assist in the players’ development so much that those players that put out the necessary effort achieve enough basketball success that they receive attention from Universities in the form of potential athletic scholarships.
We will encompass all facets of life. Our motto is D.I.C.E., which stands for:
I am here to provide assistance in the form of mentor ship for these young student athletes. It is a 24/7 job that I take seriously and professionally. I hope to change lives, one day at a time.
Tina Taylor: Coach/Academic Advisor/BOD
Tina’s basketball mentor is her husband David Taylor. She has been his assistant and mentee for the last three years. She has coached teams at NCAA certified events in California and has coached at Phenom America Camps for the past three years. She has coached boys and girls ranging from 10-18 years old. Her goal is for each player to develop their individual skills and team play ultimately reaching their highest potential. She coaches teams mirroring Dave Taylor’s coaching philosophy. She values development and will not sacrifice a player’s development in order to win.
Tina has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. She is a certified teacher and currently teaches in Shelton, CT. She applies her teaching experience to her coaching, always taking into account a variety of learning styles and her knowledge of childhood and adolescent development. She emphasizes the importance of academics and team play. She assists the National Team in the development of websites and recruiting letters.
Noel Roman: Board of Directors/Coach
Coach Roman began his basketball coaching career in 2009 while serving as a Youth Basketball Coach for boys and girls as part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), a program of which he remains a part. During his tenure, he has refined his coaching style through attending coaching workshops and seeking mentorship, as well as enhanced his experience acting as Site Director for basketball tournaments and general operations. He is currently in his second year as Assistant Varsity Coach and Head Junior Varsity and Freshman Coach at University High School of Science & Engineering Magnet (Hartford, Connecticut) and serves as Head Administrator and Coach for DTX.
Coach Roman describes his coaching philosophy as one having a focus on fundamental skill development and player character-building. He encourages players to be a student of the game in order to learn all of the facets that comprise a good player, including defense, offense, and being a good 6th man. With this focus, he believes individuals, teams, and parents will see the success they desire for the player both on and off the court.
Kris Thiesen: NCAA Compliance/International Recruiting
Coach Thiesen is currently the head varsity basketball coach at St Mary’s International School in Tokyo, Japan and the director of the Tokyo Samurai basketball club. He has been coaching abroad since 2007 and coached players who have gone on to play NCAA Division III through Division I and all the way up to the professional levels.
Coach Thiesen earned his Bachelors Degree from Biola University in Psychology and his Masters Degree in Counseling from California State University Fullerton. He has worked as a middle school counselor the past 7 years and prior to that a college guidance counselor for 5 years.
Coach Thiesen uses his extensive knowledge of colleges and guidance, along with his broad coaching network and his vast experience in the collegiate recruiting process to aid players to find the best fit for their academics and basketball. Being abroad has a number of challenges for recruits and Coach Thiesen’s understanding of NCAA rules and compliance continues to help recruits maintain proper eligibility and avoid any pitfalls in the process.
Steve Ray: Coach/Skills Development Trainer
Steve Ray comes to us with a great deal of knowledge and experience coaching and playing basketball. His love of the game and enthusiasm is unparalleled!
Steve played basketball at the University of Bridgeport as a Point Guard 1986-1990. He was Inducted into the New England Hall of Fame and University of Bridgeport Hall of Fame. He broke NCAA records for assists made in a season and in single games.
He was a College Level Assistant at the University of Bridgeport for two years. He has been coaching high school basketball for twelve years. He was an Assistant Coach at Notre Dame- Fairfield High School and Head Coach at Kolbe Cathedral. He is currently Assistant Coach at Joel Barlow High School.
Steve believes in development over winning and is well known around the community for his ability to develop player’s individual skill sets.
Steve has been a teacher for twenty-four years and is currently teaching at James J. Curiale in Bridgeport, CT. He incorporates his knowledge of the game and teaching background into all of his coaching and mentoring.
John Cappello: Coach
John grew up in Weston, Connecticut and graduated Weston High School in 1987. During his basketball career at Weston he was a four year varsity player and two year varsity starter. His junior year he was the starting point guard on a team that went 26-2 and advanced to the class M state championship narrowly losing to perennial power St. Joseph’s of Trumbull. His senior year he was the only returning starter and averaged 18 points and 6 assists per game while leading his team back to the state tournament, being selected to the all-league and honorable mention all-area teams.
He attended college at Ithaca College in central New York. At Ithaca he played one year of basketball and then rowed two years on the varsity lightweight crew team. He graduated Ithaca with a degree in history and a certification to teach social studies grades 7-12
After graduating Ithaca he went to the University of Bridgeport and received a Master’s degree in education. John also started his coaching career that year coaching the Masuk JV girls team to a 16-0 record. Next, he moved on to coach three years at Joel Barlow High School as the head JV coach and varsity assistant.
His full time teaching career started in 1996 as he was hired to teach at Madison Middle School in Trumbull. He has been teaching at Madison for 22 years and in 2010 was selected as “teacher of the year” by his colleagues at Madison. He has been coaching in Trumbull for most of his teaching career as the boys Freshmen coach and currently the boys coach at Madison Middle School.
He has also coached AAU teams at many levels for the Nor’east Lightning and Premier Hoops Development. Finally, he has run numerous skill clinics and worked at numerous basketball camps over the past 20 years.
Jeff Houde: Board of Directors/Coach
Coach Houde has been the Varsity Coach at The Masters School since the 2016. Prior to accepting the position at Master’s, Coach Houde was the top Assistant at Becker College in Worcester MA for 10 years. He has worked with Coach Calipari from the University of Kentucky, Kevin Ollie (University of Connecticut) Brusier Flint (Drexel University) and several other top national programs. While at Becker College Coach Houde was part of an ECAC Championship, 2 NECC Championships, 2 post season NCAA tournament births as well as an NCAA record 36 consecutive conference wins. He was recruiting coordinator for all student/athletes within the basketball program and had a graduation rate of over 95%. Coach Houde resides in Windsor Locks with his wife Brenda and their 2 children, Donovin and Matthew. He received his B.S. in Physical Education from Eastern Connecticut State University.
Jonathan Brown: Coach
Born in Bridgeport, Jonathan attended Central Magnet High School in Bridgeport. He later attended the University of Connecticut majoring in Mathematics. Jonathan received a dual bachelors degree in Mathematics and Education. While attending the University of Connecticut, he obtained his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. He is currently teaching middle school mathematics at James J. Curiale School located in Bridgeport, CT. Jonathan is also coaching the Curiale Bulldogs basketball team.
Jonathan takes a personal approach to his teaching and coaching method, our youth can tell when a teacher or coach genuinely cares for them. Life lessons can be taught both in and out of the classroom. He has a theory that teaching doesn’t end once your students exit the classroom. Its how they retain and apply what you taught them later in life to truly show how much they learned while in your presence. The same idea applies on the basketball court, how you connect with your players and your passion for their well being will determine how they perform on and off the court. Jonathan comes to this organization with an open mind ready to learn and willing to help these young eager players grow to be the best versions of themselves.
Robert Rodriguez: Coach/Strength and agility trainer
Robert has been with BDX since 2006 and has been in the training field since 2005. He is a Certified Resistance Training Specialist (RTS), which is the most advanced biomechanics certification in the country.
Robert played Division III basketball at the Collegiate level and continues to play basketball competitively to this day. As a player he was a defensive specialist and pass first point guard. He believes in teaching kids the details of the game.
Rich Grosso: Coach
Coach Grosso started his coaching career at Shelton Boys Club. “Coach G” then moved on to coach at various local high schools, (*Trumbull HS, Darien HS, ND-Fairfield, Lauralton Hall and Amistad HS. Coach G has given clinics/talks at various recreation departments, summer camps and after school programs. His vast experiences include summer camps at Quinnipiac University and Randolph Macon College.
Coach G was the Co-Director of Connecticut Basketball Academy that won a DII National Championship (17U).
He was also on the Board of Directors of the JCC School Boy/Girl Classic.
His most memorable experience as a player was when he played against HoF and Norwalk native, Calvin Murphy.
Played on an Army travel team and in numerous leagues against and with some of the area's best high school and college players.
We are fortunate to have an experienced professional coach such as Coach G with us at DTX! He brings with him a wealth of experience that will benefit the program exponentially! He is exactly what DTX wants in a coach!
Curhone Baldwin: Skills trainer/Coach
Curhone has lived in Bridgeport his entire life. His father introduced him to the game of basketball at the age of 4 and he has been playing ever since. Curhone has 4 older brothers who taught him the game. He attended Bassick High School where he played Varsity basketball all four years, reaching 1,000 points in the last game of his career which also happened to be when he scored his career high of 40 points. Curhone earned a scholarship to a DI Juco in Miami, Oklahoma. (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M college). He earned a spot early as a freshman by becoming a reliable 3pt shooter and went on to win a Region 2 Championship. During his sophomore year, while leading the team in scoring and steals, he was offered two more scholarships. Also during his sophomore season he was blessed with the birth of his son, which immediately changed his life in a positive way forever. in 2017 Curhone started working at Jumpshot Range where he began training basketball players full time and when he knew that Skills training was something he wanted to continue to do long after his playing career is over. We are extremely honored and pleased to have Curhone on our staff and look forward to having one of the most energetic and talented basketball skills trainers in the state working with DTX players!
Ricky Merizalde: Coach
Ricky grew up in Stamford, CT where he played basketball and graduated from Trinity Catholic High School. He went on to attend Quinnipiac University, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. He holds his Masters Degree in Social Work from Fordham University and is currently an Adult Probation Officer with the State of Connecticut with over 14 years of experience.
Ricky started his coaching career with boys AAU programs based out of Stamford, CT. He is currently the girl’s basketball coach at Jockey Hollow Middle School (Grades 6, 7, 8) in Monroe and is also the head coach of the Red Storm girls 8th grade A division travel team. Additionally, he is a Varsity level basketball official for High School basketball.
Ricky believes in motivating young athletes while helping them to gain the knowledge of basketball IQ required to play at a high level in today’s game. He does this by bringing his coaching experience, playing experience and his knowledge of the rules and strategy of the game to assist athletes in becoming elite level players.
Yaaser Abdulgalil: Coach
A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Yaaser holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Yaaser was raised in Bridgeport, CT and played basketball for Central High School. While attending UConn, Yaaser was a Practice Player for the UConn Men’s Basketball team during his sophomore and junior years. During his senior year he practiced with the legendary coach Geno Auriemma and the National Championship UConn’s Women’s basketball team11 . His role was that of a practice player/scout team. Now Yaaser coaches the Bridgeport Central Freshman basketball team as well as Assistant coach for the Varsity. As a former player, Yaaser will apply the things he has learned from championship coaches like work ethic and the love for the game to the DTX kids!!
Greg Astree: Coach
Gregory Astree was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and migrated to the United States in the early 90’s. His love for basketball began at the young age of thirteen, and he prides myself in his extensive experience with the sport. He has taught skill development throughout Fairfield County, coaching JV Girls Basketball at New Canaan High School and was the Varsity Assistant for three years. Greg has partnered with Jump Shot Range, where he helped thousands of athletes improve their basketball skills.. Most recently Greg has coached a high level AAU team that travels throughout the area.. His ultimate goal is to teach each individual, that there is more to putting the ball in the hoop, with the right skills and techniques an athlete will be more than just a basketball player.
Ed Maher: Youth Development Coach
Born in Bridgeport , the son of Connecticut Hall of Fame Coach, John Maher. Ed been involved in Basketball, from playing to directing leagues to coaching to running camps and clinics for over 50 years.
He attended Darien High School and was Captain of the Basketball Team. After high school, he was the Number 3 draft choice of the U.S. Government and spent 6 years in the Navy and Naval Reserve. Played Basketball at every Base he was stationed at. While stationed in NAS, Pensacola coached Dixie Youth Baseball for two years and was named NAS, Pensacola, Sailor of the Month.
After leaving the service, Ed played one year of Junior College Basketball. He received his business degree from Western Connecticut. Worked in television and movie production for 10 years and discovered the most important thing on the set was to find a good chair.
Ed owned one of the top video stores in Connecticut for over 15 years, employing 12-15 mostly high school and college students. Graduated to selling rare videos on line for 7 years. Worked 2 years for his friend Art Stueck at REI Property Management in Danbury as Director of Insurance Claims. Currently work part-time in Website Design and Social Media marketing. I have been involved in youth basketball for many years and just finished the second year working the very successful Coach Fleming Basketball Camp in Brookfield and directing the BBA Girls Basketball Camp.
Although an older coach, he is not totally old-school and embraces the latest trends in basketball to improve his knowledge. Ed coaches with an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm, both on and off the court. He is exceptionally talented as a coach and really breaks down the fundamentals and is amazing with young and novice players. He will make your sons and daughters better by building good habits on and off the court. Most importantly he will create an environment that stimulates players and makes them want to be part of it. It has to be fun or why play?
As Larry Brown says, Play Hard, Play Together and Have Fun ….. and it would be nice if we rebound and defend. Sweat, Smiles and Shining eyes is what I like to see. Ed is also USA BASKETBALL LICENSED COACH!!
Cory Heitz: Prep School Consultant
Coach Cory Heitz first placed a player into a prep school in 2008. Since then he has helped multiple players in reaching their dream of playing college basketball in the United States. Coach Cory Heitz was last an Assistant Coach for the Varsity Boy’s Basketball Team at Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington, Kentucky. He joined his alma mater in a specialty role as the program’s college recruiting liaison. Coach Heitz worked with the Knights’ coaching staff, players, and their families in developing a strategy to play basketball at the next level. Coach Heitz also helped run the 2015 and 2016 Nike Top 48 High School All Star camps in Taiwan.
Coach Heitz coached for two seasons at Gonzaga College High School in Washington DC under 2016 Gatorade National Coach of the Year, Steve Turner. Coach Heitz’s role with the team included post-player development, scouting, leadership training, and recruiting liaison. Coach spent three years as a Boy’s Varsity Assistant Coach at Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. With the Eagles, Heitz was responsible for post-player development, leadership training, and was the team’s recruiting liaison.
In 2009 Coach Heitz was asked to work at John Calipari’s Basketball School at the University of Kentucky. There he worked with former NBA players Rod Strickland, Scott Padgett, and Tony Delk and was in charge of the entire high school age group. During the summer of 2010 he was asked back to the John Calipari Basketball School where he was again a commissioner of a league.
Prior to Heitz’s coaching career, he was on the team under Reggie Minton at the United States Air Force Academy from 1996 to 1999. Heitz played and was team captain his post-grad year for the Academy’s Prep School team.
Coach Heitz comes from basketball pedigree. His father Michael played at West Virginia University and was drafted by the Phoenix Suns before playing professionally in Switzerland. His uncle Jim Heitz played at the University of Oklahoma. His other uncle Tom played for the University of Kentucky on their 1984 Final Four team and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers. His first cousin Renee Hood (Miller) played at both Morehead State and University of Alaska-Anchorage. Heitz’s first cousin, Brad Miller played at Purdue University and for 13 years in the NBA, including being named a two-time NBA All-Star.
Heitz has appeared on ESPN.com and Yahoo.
Brian Elmo: MPT, ATC, CSCS Total Body Physical Therapy Consultant
A graduate of Old Dominion University, Mr. Elmo holds a Masters Degree in physical therapy and a Bachelors degree in sports medicine from the University of Connecticut. In addition to being a physical therapist, Mr. Elmo is also a certified athletic trainer and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of sports and orthopedic injuries. Mr. Elmo’s past experience includes interning for the New England Patriots.