By: Kianna Cheuk, Marc McDaniel, Staff WritersI
The new Mills Fall Season coaches for Water Polo, Spirit Squad, Cross Country, Football, and Volleyball are ready to compete and determined to win with their new teams. They hope to make a significant impact and strive for greatness throughout the Mills High School athletics department.
Chris Dillie: Boys JV Water Polo
Chris Dillie, the Boys Junior Varsity Water Polo coach, played water polo when he was younger, and wanted to give back to the community by coaching the next generation of water polo athletes. Coach Dillie is very familiar with Mills, getting to know the school at a young age through relatives. Besides training the team, Coach Dillie is also a third grade teacher and a big family man, who loves to spend time with his wife, kids, and dogs. His main goal for this season is working to improve the boys’ individual skills as well as the overall team defense
Ciara Folan: Spirit Squad
Ciara Folan, the Spirit Squad coach, cheered for five years during her youth and has been coaching for two. She loved cheering so much that she wanted to coach students and pass on her passion for the sport. Outside of coaching, she attends Foothill College. Coach Folan finds Mills to be full of hard-working and spirited students. This year, her goal for the season is to be more spirited and be able to perform complicated stunts.
Marcus Phills: Cross Country
Marcus Phills, the Cross Country coach, has a two-fold goal this season — qualify for CCS (Central Coast Section) and make sure the team has fun doing so. As a child, he wasn’t really interested in sports at first, but due to an athletic family, he picked up many sports over time. He loves working with kids, and has turned down many jobs just to have the opportunity to interact with them. He hopes that his style of coaching Cross Country will provide a new experience and perspective for the athletes, and hopes that the kids will continue running and working out past high school.
Heinz Puschendorf: JV Football
Heinz Puschendorf, the Junior Varsity Football coach, started playing football at a young age and chose to coach because he wanted to give back to the community. A Hillsdale High School alumni, football has helped Puschendorf stay out of trouble and he wants the same for other youths. Outside of coaching, he is a father of one, a sports manager, and Deputy Sheriff of San Mateo County. Coach Puschendorf wants to be “a reliable mentor for the students, not just a coach, but an inspiration, someone to guide them.” For this season’s goal, Puschendorf wants the kids to remember that “they only get to be a kid in high school once,” so be sure to enjoy all that Mills has to offer!
Maribel Matos: Freshman volley
Maribel Matos, the Freshmen Volleyball coach, has been playing since the age of eleven. Outside of coaching, Matos spends her time playing video games, attending school for art, and drawing. She is very proud that she was able to remember all the players’ names by the third or fourth practice. Coach Mato’s personal coaching goal for this season is “to give them the tools they need in order to progress . . . make sure they have those tools to make the team when they try out for next year.”
Jon Lee: JV Volleyball
Jon Lee, the Junior Varsity coach, is an experienced volleyball coach, who has previously coached El Camino High, Taylor Middle, and Notre Dame High for five years. A former recreational player, he is now an active uber driver, but mainly focuses on coaching and helping his two daughters, one of whom has graduated. He wants to focus on team bonding this season, and hopes that his relationships with the athletes are going well. He hopes for the team to improve their 0-4 start into the season and to be “the best athletes they can be.”
Mikey Broconia: Varsity Volleyball
Mikey Broconia, the Varsity Volleyball coach, has had many experiences coaching volleyball. Having a passion for the game, he played both high school and college volleyball at UC Irvine. He has coached all skill levels, ranging from twelve year olds to college students. On the side, he works with contracts and permits for San Mateo County. Since it is his first year at Mills, he doesn’t really know the players that well, but recognizes some as he taught their older siblings. He believes that Mills is a great school with an amazing athletic facility and a helpful and supportive network. He hopes that the team improves with each game and practice.