Coaching Staff

Gail H. Williams, Head Track and Field Coach (AAU Certified)
Gail was raised in Danbury and graduated from DHS. While in high school Coach Williams was a 3 yr Varsity DHS track and field participant competing in the 400m, 4×4 relay teams and the 200m. Ms. Williams is also a former 1yr Cross Country Runner and State Qualifier under Coach Bob Taborsak. Gail was on the 1982-1983 Indoor Girls FCIAC Western Division Championship Team. Since graduation from DHS, Gail served as the Co-Founder and was the Commissioner of the DAYO LIGHTNING Middle School Track and Field Program. She was also a Founder / Event Director of the Annual LIGHTNING Spring Break Invitational. In 2013, Mrs. Williams co-founded the Danbury Youth Track and Field Association FLYERS. As both a Commissioner and a Coach, Gail has successfully raised monies and developed numerous AAU and USATF Jr Olympic participants on a Regional, District and National level. In addition to coaching, Mrs. Williams serves on the Board of Governance for the WCC Middle School Track and Field Program (2 yrs), is an O’Grady Relay Volunteer (3 yrs)) and a FCIAC Meet Volunteer (1 yr) and was the former CT SW District Coordinator for the Hershey Games(2 yrs). Gail lives in Danbury with her husband Greg (co-founder of the DYTFA), her son Shaun and her daughter Kimberleigh who is a member of the Danbury FLYERS.

John Whelchel, Sprinter Coach
John was raised in Danbury and graduated from Danbury High School. He was a three season runner for the Hatters from his Freshman to Senior year competing in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track. John was an accomplished sprinter and middle distance runner competing in the 220 yard, 300 yard, 440 yard, 600 yard and 880 yard distances and was co-captain of both the indoor and outdoor teams his junior and senior years. John lives in Danbury with his wife Suzanne and two daughters – Sofia and Corinne, who are both members of the Danbury FLYERS.

Matt Corso, Head Coach XC / Distance Coach
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 earned a gold medal in the 400m at the 2016 Nutmeg State Games.

Robert Taborsak, XC/Distance Coach

Suzanne Whelchel, Hurdle Coach
Suzanne was born and raised in Valhalla, New York and graduated from Valhalla Junior/Senior High School. During seventh grade, began running and competing with the Varsity track team. As an eighth grader, Suzanne was the youngest student to earn a Varsity letter. For 5 years, Suzanne competed in the 100, 100 Hurdle, 200, 400R and 800R and was captain her junior and senior years. Suzanne also played 4 years of field hockey (3 at the Varsity level). She continued her love of field hockey, playing four years for Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg VA. As a senior, Suzanne earned All South Region All American honors. Suzanne lives in Danbury with her husband John and 2 daughters – Sofia and Corinne – who are both members of the DYTFA Danbury FLYERS.

Shawn Sorbello, Assistant Coach

Heather Lockwood, First Flight Coach

Carol Bowman, First Flight Coach

Aaron Bowman, Assistant Coach

Aaron has lived in Connecticut for more than 30 years, the last 15 in Danbury. He competed in Cross Country and Track & Field in throughout all four years of high school before moving over to rugby during college.  His favorite events in Track were the 800, 1600, and 3200.  Aaron lives in Danbury with his wife and their youngest child, all of whom are members of the Danbury Flyers.

Orlando Edwards, Assistant Coach

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.

RoQue Robles,Assistant Coach

Bridgett Rakestraw, Assistant Coach

Emmanuel Yamoah, Assistant Coach

Rebecca Manfredonia, Team Mom – Track

Cheryell Gilliard, Team Mom – XC

Irving M. Fox, Administrative Director/Cross Country Commissioner
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 joined the DYTFA at its inception in the summer of 2013 and still serves on its Board of Directors as its Treasurer. Irving founded the Danbury Flyers Cross Country program in the Fall of 2014 and the First Flight program for ages 5-8 in 2016. 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 with the University at Albany Cross Country and Track teams and is now an active marathon runner and Ironman triathlete, Bradley (a DYTFA alumnus) was a 2016 captain for the DHS Cross Country team and ran for the DHS Track team and now attends Dartmouth College, and Adam and Valerie, who also run for DHS XC and Track and are also Danbury Flyers alums.