Coaches

2025 Coaches

Dre Jefferson

2025 S40: Head Coach - Dre Jefferson

About

A graduate of Park Center High School, Dre went on to play college basketball, completing his career at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and jumped right into skills training in 2009. Since 2010, Dre has been coaching high school basketball and has worked as the junior varsity boys coach at the International School of Minnesota, an assistant coach with St. Louis Park Girls Basketball team and most recently as the Associate Head Coach at Hopkins High School. In 2012, Dre joined the MN Suns family as a skills trainer and head coach and has now taken on the role of the MN Suns Club Director. With numerous players from his teams going on to play collegiate basketball, Coach Jefferson has implemented a development process that works for kids and is now being applied to the entire Suns program. High expectations, commitment to excellence, and a work ethic that matches the goals set will be core components to the Suns under Dre Jefferson's leadership. 

Playing Experience

  • Park Center High School
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout

Coaching Experience

  • 13th season with the MN Suns
  • Twins Cities Elite basketball training (2010-present)
  • Junior Varsity Coach and Associate Head Varsity Coach-Hopkins High School (2015-2020)
  • ISM Eden Prairie (2010-2014)

Coach's Thoughts

Basketball has been my passion since I was 5 years old, now to be able to help kids chase their goals and achieve their basketball dreams is an amazing opportunity.

Dan

2025 Blue Star: Head Coach - Dan Froehlich

About

Dan has spent 30 years practicing law in the area of labor and employment and is currently a consultant with NeuVest. He is a lifelong learner and has an accomplished education background including stints at Golden Valley Lutheran College, University of Minnesota (BA), William Mitchell College of Law (JD), and University of St. Thomas (finished coursework towards Masters in Teaching). His hobbies include biking, fishing, golfing and reading.

Playing Experience

  • Played basketball and baseball
  • All-conference in basketball
  • Played JUCO ball

Coaching Experience

  • 14th season with the MN Suns
  • 35+ seasons coaching basketball at numerous levels
  • Began career as Boys High School assistant coach
  • 13 years as Head Girls basketball coach at Minneapolis Southwest
  • Dan’s Southwest teams have won 3 of the 4 conference championships in school history (2016, 2022 and 2023)
  • Only Southwest boys or girls basketball coach whose teams have had 20 win seasons (2016, 2022 and 2023)
  • Named conference or section Coach of the Year 4 times
  • Coached over 40 young women who are playing or have played college basketball
  • Inducted into the Southwest High School Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2022

Coach's Thoughts

I have high expectations regarding effort, attendance and showing respect for teammates, opponents, officials and everyone with whom you come in contact with as a member of my team. But, I also promise to every player I coach: I will do everything I can to 1) help you become the best player and teammate you can and 2) help you enjoy the game as much as I do.

2026 Coaches

James Fassett

2026 S40: Head Coach - James Fassett

About

James has been coaching for over 25 years in various sports including High School and College football, basketball, and track. James has been coaching with the Minnesota Suns summer girl's basketball program for 16 years and is well regarded in the girl's basketball coaching circuits. James brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Suns.

Coaching Experience

  • 17th season with the MN Suns
  • De La Salle Head Girls Basketball Coach (Current)
  • Anoka High School Head Girls basketball coach (3 years)
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College Head Women's basketball coach (4 years)
  • Anoka Ramsey Community College Assistant Women's basketball coach (7 years)
  • Hamline University recruitment/scouting program (1 year)
  • St. Bernard's High School
  • Head football coach (6 years)
  • Assistant Boys basketball coach (3 years)
  • Assistant girls basketball coach (2 years)
  • Robbinsdale Cooper High School-Sophomore Boys basketball coach (3 years)
  • Minneapolis Lady Lakers AAU (2 years)
  • Basketball training-individual (12 years)

Accomplishments

  • 2023 MN Section 3AAA Coach of the Year
  • 2 MN Girls State basketball appearances in 3 years with Anoka High School (first time in school history)
  • MCAC Southern division Coach of the Year (2008) at Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • 3 National Tournaments coaching with Anoka Ramsey Community College
  • Recruited and coached 6 All Americans at the college level
  • Currently training several collegiate basketball players that play DI, DII., DIII or Junior college basketball

Coach's Thoughts

My coaching philosophy includes education, development, and enjoyment. Basketball should be an educational experience including life lessons that can be used everyday. Development is a key component to spring and summer basketball. Enjoyment is also a large part of the spring and summer experience. I have coached many players over the years that regain their love for basketball during the summer.

Andy Porisch

2026 Blue Star: Head Coach - Andy Porisch

About

Andrew has been coaching basketball for more than 20 years at various levels and ages in spring, summer and fall seasons. During his numerous seasons of coaching traveling basketball, he’s had many very successful seasons and high-ranking teams. He has also helped organize youth camps and is the former President of Coon Rapids Girls Traveling Basketball.

Coaching Experience

  • 10th season with the MN Suns
  • Coon Rapids Traveling (9 years)
  • Centennial Traveling (4 years)
  • Midtown Lady Monarchs AAU (1 year)

Coach's Thoughts

It’s my goal to get the most out of each player and push them to perform at their best. I enjoy strong competition and want my teams to embrace that and challenge themselves to always play beyond what they might think they are capable of. I enjoy the journey and want to maximize their potential on the court while teaching them lessons that hold true off the court. Additionally, I want them to enjoy the process while potentially creating relationships that can last well after basketball is over.

2027 Coaches

Derwin George

2027 S40: Head Coach - Derwin George

About

Derwin grew up in Milwaukee, WI. He is a Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers fan and surprisingly, a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Sports, academics and family were the three pillars in his household growing up. Derwin's parents instilled in him the value of education and he was required to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in order to play sports. From his sophomore through senior year, Derwin played at the varsity level at West Allis Central High School where he hardened the fundamentals of basketball. Derwin attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In 2010, Derwin walked on to play for the Warhawks and in 2012 won the Division III National Championship. He received his bachelor's degree in business, majoring in accounting and IT-security. Derwin works as a real estate agent in the Twin Cities and purchased his first home with his wife in South Minneapolis.

Coaching Experience

  • 4th season with the MN Suns
  • De La Salle Varsity Assistant Girls Basketball Coach (2021 - Current)
  • Varsity Oak Creek High School boy's basketball summer league team (2009-2011)
  • Facilitated and coached "Junior Bulldogs" grades 6-8 (2008-2009)
    • Teaching ball handling, shooting and defensive drills

Playing Experience

  • Walked on at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and won the 2012 Division III National Championship
  • Varsity level at West Allis Central High School (2007-2009)

Coach's Thoughts

My goal as a coach is to teach the core principals of life through the lens of basketball. Hard work, mental toughness, and dedication are not just words and phrases. These are pillars of success both on and off the court. One of the beautiful things about sports is that you get out what you put in. I hope my student athletes truly buy in to that mindset. I want my student athletes to leave it all out on the floor and give their best effort to get better and be better everyday.

Screenshot 2023-08-05 at 4.13.22 PM

2027 Blue Star: Head Coach - Kendrick Livers

Coaching Experience

  • 7th season with MN Suns
  • Varsity Assistant Coach at Champlin Park High School
  • Head Girls Basketball Coach at Somerset High School, WI
  • 10th grade Boy's Coach & Varsity Assistant Apple Valley High School
  • AAU Program Director
  • Assistant Women's Basketball Coach - Augsburg College

Accomplishments

At Somerset- Coach of the Year and Conference Champs

Coach's Thoughts

I coach for the joy of helping and seeing young athletes accomplish their goals that they might have thought were impossible. At the same time, as a coach you get to witness the same young athletes mature as outstanding men and women contributing to today's society.

2028 Coaches

Rachael Kaiser

2028 Rising Blue Star: Head Coach - Rachael Kaiser

About

Rachael grew up playing basketball in the Minneapolis metro area, playing on the inaugural MN Suns team in 2006 and playing high school basketball at Maranatha Christian Academy. She went on to graduate from Gustavus Adolphus College with her bachelor's degree in Education.  Rachael is an Associate Professor at North Central University. Rachael also serves as one of our player development directors and Skills Academy trainers for 4th-7th grade.

Playing Experience

  • MN Suns Alum
  • High school basketball, helped team to win first sub-section championship, and make first section appearance in Class A

Coaching Experience

  • 16th season with the MN Suns
  • 3 years coaching Maranatha Christian Academy's Junior Varsity (2012-2015)

Coach's Thoughts

Good basketball starts with good communication. As a team, I strive to have us communicating plays, subs, screens, and defensive movements, so that we cohesively work together on the floor and bench to achieve success. With this foundation we can work together as a unified front to achieve our team and individual goals throughout the season.

Lexi Houle

2028 Black: Head Coach - Lexi Houle

About

Lexi grew up playing basketball in the Minneapolis metro, playing on the inaugural MN Suns team in 2005 and winning two high school state championships at Maranatha Christian Academy. She played basketball at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (NCAA DII) where she finished her career as #9 and #11 all time in career 3-pointers made and assists, respectively, while earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Lexi got her start coaching in 2012 while still in high school and coached teams at all levels while in South Dakota including coaching the the Rapid City Christian High School girls junior varsity and assisting with varsity. Lexi currently coaches at De La Salle High School is also the Director of Operations for the MN Suns.

Playing Experience

  • MN Suns Alum
  • High School- Maranatha Christian Academy, 5x All-Conference, 2x All-State, 2x State Champion
  • College- South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, finished career as #9 and #11 all time in career 3-pointers made and assists respectively.

Coaching Experience

  • 12th season with the MN Suns
  • De La Salle High School JV/Varsity Assistant (2020-Current)
  • Rapid City Christian Middle School (2018-2019)
  • Rapid City Christian High School JV Head Coach & Varsity Assistant Coach (2018-2019)

Coach's Thoughts

I was blessed with so many great coaches growing up through traveling, AAU, high school, & college and I want to turn around be that coach for those behind me. I love the game of basketball and all of the important life lessons that can be learned through the vehicle of sport. The highs and lows of a basketball game parallel the highs and lows of life and it's important to learn how to work hard and make yourself better each day despite the circumstance. As a coach, I want my athletes to have fun competing while getting better at the same time. As a former point guard, a big part of my coaching philosophy is developing court awareness & basketball IQ in addition to individual skills.

Drew Waldbillig Suns Headshot

2028 White: Head Coach - Drew Waldbillig

About

Since graduating from St. John’s University, Drew has been coaching various sports at multiple levels for 13 years. He spent the majority of those years teaching and coaching in Lake City and Delano. Drew is currently headed into his second season as the varsity girls coach at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted where he also teaches middle school math and broadcasting.

Coaching Experience

  • 1st season with the MN Suns
  • Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Varsity Girls Basketball (1 year)
  • Delano C Squad/JV and Varsity Assistant Girls Soccer (4 years)
  • Delano JV/Varsity Girls Basketball Assistant (2 years)
  • Delano 6th-8th Grade Girls/Boys Traveling Basketball (2 years)
  • Lake City C Squad and JV/Varsity Girls Basketball Assistant (6 years)
  • Lake City 7th Grade Baseball (1 year)
  • Lake City 8th Grade Softball (2 years)
  • Lake City Junior High Track and Field (2 years)
  • Wadena-Deer Creek C Squad and JV/Varsity Boys Basketball Assistant (1 year)

Coach's Thoughts

It’s tough to have a successful season without building relationships and trust between teammates. Talent becomes irrelevant if the five players are not working for each other and do not enjoy competing as a team. As a coach, I have the opportunity to ensure our team sees success as more than just wins. Creating positive, long-lasting relationships with my players is the ultimate goal. It has aided in the success of many of the teams I’ve coached.

2028 Orange: Head Coach - Brooke Stanley

About

Brooke is a Minnesota native and grew up in the local basketball scene. She played Hopkins travel in grade school, BSM basketball in high school, MN Suns for AAU, and continued playing basketball at the NCAA division III level at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. While at RIT, her team made three NCAA appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16. She finished her career 4th in program history for shooting percentage at 46.0% and 17th in program history with 884 career points. She was named third team Academic All-America in the 2018-19 season. Brooke also competed on the track team at RIT in the heptathlon where she finished her career 27th in the nation for Division III and was the 12th Tiger to garner multiple Academic All-America honors and was the first to be recognized in multiple sports at RIT. She graduated from RIT with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. Brooke currently works as a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Francis Medical, a medical device startup working on a treatment for prostate cancer. Her hobbies include coaching, running, Nordic skiing, and playing basketball.  

Coaching Experience

  • 2nd season with the MN Suns
  • BSM Jr High Head Coach (2 years)
  • MN Hustle Assistant Coach (2 years)
  • BSM HS Pole Vault/Track and Field Coach (2 years)

Playing Experience

  • MN Suns Alum
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (2016-2020)

Coach's Thoughts

My goal as a coach is to foster an environment of confidence, competitiveness, and fearless goal setting. Basketball is a game of runs and I strive to give the players I work with the mental strength and tools to get through adversity and celebrate success. I enjoy building a team centered around the players and the skills and personalities they bring to the table. At the end of the day, I measure my success as a coach in the joy I see in my players and their growth.

2029 Coaches

Dre Jefferson

2029 Black: Head Coach - Dre Jefferson

About

A graduate of Park Center High School, Dre went on to play college basketball, completing his career at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and jumped right into skills training in 2009. Since 2010, Dre has been coaching high school basketball and has worked as the junior varsity boys coach at the International School of Minnesota, an assistant coach with St. Louis Park Girls Basketball team and most recently as the Associate Head Coach at Hopkins High School. In 2012, Dre joined the MN Suns family as a skills trainer and head coach and has now taken on the role of the MN Suns Club Director. With numerous players from his teams going on to play collegiate basketball, Coach Jefferson has implemented a development process that works for kids and is now being applied to the entire Suns program. High expectations, commitment to excellence, and a work ethic that matches the goals set will be core components to the Suns under Dre Jefferson's leadership. 

Playing Experience

  • Park Center High School
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout

Coaching Experience

  • 13th season with the MN Suns
  • Twins Cities Elite basketball training (2010-present)
  • Junior Varsity Coach and Associate Head Varsity Coach-Hopkins High School (2015-2020)
  • ISM Eden Prairie (2010-2014)

Coach's Thoughts

Basketball has been my passion since I was 5 years old, now to be able to help kids chase their goals and achieve their basketball dreams is an amazing opportunity.

DSC_6789

2029 Orange: Head Coach - Ben Fried

About

Ben grew up in Champlin, MN with his parents and 2 younger brothers. He attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a BA in History with a coaching certificate and his Master's in Education and social studies teaching degree. It was in college where he began his coaching career, coaching his brother's youth soccer and baseball teams and then starting his basketball coaching career at Hopkins High School. Ben lives in Minneapolis and is a middle school teacher in the Edina School District.

Coaching Experience

  • 5th season with the MN Suns
  • Hopkins High School Girls Varsity Assistant Coach (7 years)
  • Hopkins 10th Grade Head Coach (1 year)
  • Hopkins 9th Grade Head Coach (1 year)
  • Hopkins 6th Grade Travel Team Head Coach (2 years)
  • MN Thunder 6th/7th Grade Head Coach (2 years) 

Accomplishments

  • 2 MN State Tournament Titles coaching with Hopkins High School
  • 3 MN State Tournament 2nd Place finishes coaching with Hopkins High School
  • Coached many players that currently play DI basketball

Coach's Thoughts

My goal in coaching is the same as my goal in teaching: to have a positive impact on every player or student and to prepare them to succeed in whatever their next step is. For coaching, that means instilling the importance of hard work, attention to detail, and having a growth mindset. I want every player on my team to leave feeling that they have grown both on the court and off of it, and that they are ready to take on whatever challenges they may face.

2030 Coaches

2030 Black: Head Coach - Sophie Tonander

About

Sophie grew up in Minneapolis, MN. She tried many different sports and at a
young age she fell in love with basketball. Sophie played high school basketball at Minneapolis South West and was a varsity athlete and captain. She went through the MN Suns program and was coached by Coach Dre and Coach Dan. She continued her education at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she got her bachelor's degree in Sports Management. She is currently pursuing her passion in sports as the Sport and Recreation Director at the Mankato Family YMCA. Some of her hobbies include dog sitting, watching sports with friends, and nature walks.

Playing Experience

  • Two years with the MN Suns (2014, 2015)
  • Five years of varsity at South West High School - Captain

Coaching Experience

  • 1st season with the MN Suns
  • Director of the youth basketball program at the Mankato Family YMCA (2019-present)
  • Coached middle school basketball at St. Clair (2017-2019)

Coach's Thoughts

When I was a player, the most important thing to me was knowing that I was
being supported by my coach. As a coach, I strive to create a safe space where players can ask any questions and be authentically themselves. Anyone can be a leader in their own way and have an important role within a team. I believe basketball is a great sport for players to figure out what type of leader they want to be. A player can learn many life skills through basketball and being on a team and those skills can help them grow as an individual.

2030 Black: Assistant Coach - Kaity Birkholz

About

Kaity grew up in Watertown, WI and she attended high school at Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills, WI. She graduated in 2017 and
attended Lakeland University in Sheboygan, WI. She played basketball there for four years and graduated in May 2021 with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Business Administration. She moved to Mankato, MN in August 2021 to pursue a Master's in Statistics at Minnesota State University to become a Statistical Sport Analyst. Some of her hobbies include: hiking, coffee with friends, and pickleball.

Playing Experience

  • Varsity level at Lakeside Lutheran High School - Co-Captain
  • Lakeland University in Sheboygan, WI - Co-Captain
    • Voted teammate of the year

Coaching Experience

  • 1st season with the MN Suns
  • Summer skills sessions at Lakeland University for girls 1st-12th grade
  • Assisted at some 7th and 8th grade practices
  • She also likes to take a little (just a little) credit for her younger brother who now plays DI college basketball

Coach's Thoughts

From playing experience, I value the importance of being the best teammate a
player can be. Being supportive of your teammates and having their backs will create strong bonds which can lead to trusting one another on the court and building strong team chemistry. I aim to create a safe environment for the players to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a player both on and off the court.

2031 Coaches

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2031 Black: Head Coach - Abi Lanari

About

Abi grew up playing basketball in the Maple Grove/Osseo area. She played with Maranatha Christian Academy for seven years and went to state one of those years. She then continued to play at Anoka Ramsey Community College for a year while earning her Associate in Health Sciences. She is completing her Bachelor of Science, in Exercise Science at Concordia St. Paul. Abi is currently coaching the Junior Varsity and assisting the Varsity team at Concordia Academy in Roseville. This year, Abi will be the head coach of our 2031 5th-grade team.

Coaching Experience

  • 6th season with the MN Suns
  • Southwest Christian Academy C-Squad Head Coach (1 year)
  • Maranatha Christian Academy Middle School Girls Coach (2 years)
  • Maranatha Christian Academy Middle School Boys B-Squad Coach (1 year)

Coach's Thoughts

As a coach with a wide variety of experience, one of the most important things I believe young athletes learn is leadership on and off the court and developing confidence and a passion for the sport. My coaching style is defensive focus and running an effective transition offense. I want the athletes I work with to walk away from the season with a better understanding of basketball and a higher level of play.

2032 Coaches

2032 Black: Head Coach - Don Tran

About

Dan grew up in Wayzata, MN playing basketball and baseball. He attended the University of Minnesota and has coached boys and girls basketball for over 20 years at various levels from 2nd grade all the way through the high school level. His experience coaching a wide range of age levels provides him the experience to understand the importance of developing a strong AAU athlete. He has daughters that have played AAU basketball and values the relationships that they have built with their teammates from all over the Twin Cities.

Coaching Experience

  • 1st season with the MN Suns
  • 20+ years of experience from 2nd grade through high school

Coach's Thoughts

I believe during the AAU season it is all about the player and helping them to build their skills rather than learning to play in a system. I want to help athletes develop and improve their weakness and also embrace and diversify their strengths. I believe learning the game and basketball IQ are a very important part of development and run a 5 out style offense to facilitate this.