Our Approach

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.

Irving Fox

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 is the current Chair of Youth Athletics for the USATF Connecticut Association. 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 and Head XC Coach at Nome Beltz HS/MS in Nome, AK, Bradley was a 2016 captain for the DHS Cross Country team and ran for the DHS Track team and the Dartmouth College club running team, and Adam and Valerie (Past DHS XC Captain), who currently run for the University at Buffalo club running team and the Springfield College Track & XC teams respectively. Irving won the Dan O’Grady Service Award in 2019 for his contributions to the Track and Field community. Irving previously served as a coach for Danbury Youth Baseball and Danbury Youth Soccer.

Matt Corso

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

Dawn Hood Lopes

Assistant Coach/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.

Cheryell Gilliard

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.

Kristi Hey

Assistant Coach

Jason Hubeny

Assistant Coach

Tajon Campbell

Assistant Coach

Robert Taborsak

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,

Bradley Fox

Assistant Coach – Cross Country

Bradley joins the Hatters as the Assistant Coach for the Cross Country program. Bradley previously was Captain for the Danbury High School Cross Country Team and Captain of the Dartmouth College Running Club. Bradley is a recent graduate of Dartmouth College.

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!