The Danbury Hatters develop and foster participants in all aspects of the sport, providing opportunities to learn the fundamentals of the sport while preparing them both mentally and physically.
- We aim to give every athlete the opportunity to participate at the highest possible level and reach their full potential.
- We strive to instill teamwork, good sportsmanship, and self-discipline, while building self-confidence and respect for one’s self and one’s opponent. These values are not only expected of our players but our parents, families and spectators.
- We provide a safe, friendly, supportive community environment which encourages skill development, fitness, fair play, team spirit and inclusion.
- All of our coaches and adult volunteers are background checked and SafeSport certified.
- Our club is committed to providing our volunteer coaches the opportunity to receive in depth coaching education and USATF Certification. We are one of the top clubs in the State of Connecticut in terms of number of coaches with USATF Certification. This ensures your athletes are receiving the proper technical training in all Track & Field and Cross Country running disciplines.
Meet the Team
The leadership of the Danbury Hatters bring years of dedicated service to the young athletes of the Greater Danbury community.
HCYS Vice President – Track & Field/Cross Country
Irving was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Stuyvesant High School. Irving and his wife Sandi moved to Danbury in 1994. Irving was a past member and Chair of the Danbury Board of Education and currently belongs to several community organizations including the Danbury City Council. Irving founded the Danbury Hatters Track & XC Club in 2019. Irving previously served as the Treasurer and Administrative Director of the Danbury Flyers from 2013-2019 and was responsible for founding its Cross Country program and its First Flight program for athletes ages 5-8.
Irving is responsible for all athlete and meet registrations, scheduling, equipment acquisition, webmaster, and whatever else is needed. Irving has 4 children, the eldest Ryan was a runner and captain with the DHS Cross Country and track teams, a runner with the University at Albany Cross Country and Track teams and is now an active marathon runner and Ironman triathlete, Bradley was a 2016 captain for the DHS Cross Country team and ran for the DHS Track team and now attends Dartmouth College and is captain for their club team, and Adam and Valerie (current DHS XC Captain), who currently run for DHS XC and Track. Irving recently won the Dan O’Grady Service Award for his contributions to the Track and Field community. Irving previously served as a coach for Danbury Youth Baseball and Danbury Youth Soccer.
Head Coach Cross Country and Assistant Head Coach – Track
Matt was born in Bridgeport and has lived in Danbury for over 40 years. Coach Corso graduated from DHS and was a 2 year Varsity runner under the direction of the legends Dan O’Grady and Bob Taborsak. Matt was a State medalist in the indoor 4×4 Relay. upon graduation form DHS, he attended Western New Mexico University where he lettered in track and cross country/ Coach Corso has competed in 4 marathons and continues to receive age-group awards in local road races. Matt has earned numerous gold medals at the Nutmeg State Games. Coach Corso has previously been the Head Coach of the Danbury Flyers Cross Country program since its inception in 2014 through 2018 and was also the Assistant Head Coach of the Danbury Flyers Track and Field Team until 2019. Matt is a Certified USATF Level 1 Coach
Assistant Team Coach – and Head Coach Sprint Group
Kevin has spent the last year serving as an Assistant Coach for the Danbury Flyers and has developed positive relationships with the athletes he has coached. Kevin is a Certified USATF Level 1 Coach.
Assistant Team Coach – and Head Coach Junior Hatters Group (Track)
Nancy has spent the last year leading the Danbury Flyers First Flight program for young athletes ages 5-8 and is looking forward to introducing our Junior Hatter athletes to the world of running, jumping, and throwing! Nancy is a Certified USATF Level 1 Coach.
XC/Distance Coach Emeritus
Coach T brings to the Hatters extensive experience as a prior head coach of the Danbury High School Track and Field and Cross Country teams. He is also a 2018 inductee in the Danbury High School Hall of Fame.
Assistant Coach – Sprint Group & Head Coach – Relays
Orlando was born and raised in St. Andrew, Jamaica. He competed for Campion College High School (Kingston, Ja.), attended Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) on a Track & Field Scholarship where he held the indoor school record in the 800m (1:52.90 secs) and also competed on numerous sprint and mile relays. He currently lives in Danbury, CT. with wife (Tamieka) and 3 sons (Tumani, Arlan & Kieran). Orlando currently holds the Nutmeg State Games records for the 400m & 800m for the 30 and over age group category as well as the 400m for the 40 and over age group category. Orlando enjoys mentoring younger athletes to help achieve their goals as well as traveling and meeting people. Orlando is a USATF Level 1 Certified Coach and has spent several years coaching in this capacity for the Danbury Flyers.
Assistant Team Coach – Head Coach Race Walk Group
Leeanna currently is a committee member for USATF Race Walk and is working on getting race walk to be a high school event in the state of CT for Spring track of 2020. Leeanna is currently the Head Coach and Founder of the New Haven Middle Schools Cross Country and Track programs, as well as the new Head Coach of the CT Hawks Youth Club. She has also privately trained 3 of the country’s leading youth race walkers since 2017. She is finishing her BA in Kinesiology and Bio-mechanics as well as an associates degree for early childhood education. She hopes to qualify for the 2024 Olympic trials for the womens 20km race walk as she continues her training with Ian Whately and Mary and Ron Daniel, both national team coaches.
RoQue comes to the Hatters with 2 years of experience coaching youth athletes to maximize their potential. RoQue’s eldest daughter Giuliana was an accomplished youth athlete and is now a star athlete for the DHS Track team. RoQue is a master motivator and an all around pain in the butt! Roque is a USATF Certified Level 1 Coach.
Assistant Coach – Cross Country
John has several years of experience in coaching youth athletes to reach their potential. John coaches Cross Country with the Hatters and Track and Field with the Western Connecticut Flash
Assistant Team Coach – and Head Coach Junior Hatters Group (XC)
Assistant Coach – Track & Field
Team Mom-Uniform Director
Cheryell brings years of experience to the Hatters. Her eldest daughter Briana is an accomplished athlete for DHS and her youngest daughter Nia is a multiple Gold Medal Champion in the Nutmeg State Games.
Dawn Hood Lopes
Team Mom & HCYS Board Member & Fundraising Director
Dawn is our team mom for the cross country season and one of our team moms for the Track & Field seasons. Dawn is also our parent representative on the Hat City Youth Sports Board of Directors. Dawn co-ordinates our club’s fundraising efforts. Dawn’s son Lorenzo is a decorated youth athlete who has competed at USATF Indoor and AAU Outdoor National Championships.
Team Mom – Outdoor Track
Rebecca has volunteered in youth track and field for several years. Her 3 children have all participated in youth track and field.
Volunteers are Welcomed! As a primary feeder program for Danbury High School and as a regional team, we are in need of you to help our athletes achieve their goals and full potential. We will accept as little or as much of your time as you have to spend, all volunteers are highly appreciated members of our team! No experience is necessary but will gladly be accepted.
To register as an adult volunteer, please go to our Registration Info/Forms page and complete a registration form! Any volunteer with direct contact with the youth athletes must undgergo a USATF mandated criminal background check and complete a free online SafeSport training class. Details will be provided upon receipt of your volunteer registration form!