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MEET THE STAFF
& COACHES

Meet Dawn Jaqua Co-Director 

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Dawn Jaqua graduated from Portage Central High School and went on to play at KVCC. While finishing her degree at WMU, she coached varsity at Otsego High School for 3 years and was the assistant coach at Kalamazoo College for 2 seasons.  She continued her collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at  Western Michigan University under Coach Cathy George. She was the head coach at Portage Central High School for 20 years, where she had an impressive career including over 800 wins, 15 conference titles, 2 regional championships and 1 runner up finish in the 2009 state finals. She has run the national program for Dead Frog for several seasons and is now the Co-Director. 

Meet Kaity Buder Co-Director 

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Kaity Buder started playing volleyball at Portage Central under coach and fellow Co-Director Dawn Jaqua, where she was First-Team All State and a Miss Volleyball nominee. 

She went on to play 4 years at Grand Valley State University where her team advanced to the Final Four in the NCAA Division II Tournament. After graduation, Kaity returned home and coached 7 years at Portage Central as the Varsity Assistant. She has been with Dead Frog Volleyball since 2016 as a coach and Co-Director since 2021. Kaity lives in Kalamazoo with her husband Ryan and their son Parker and 2 dogs. She works full time as an Office Manager at a behavioral health practice.

Meet Nate Casanto Director of Volleyball Operations  
nate@thecourthouseac.com

MEET THE COACHES

National Coaches

Annemarie Bates

Annemarie Bates attended Portage Northern High School. She played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh for former USA Olympic Silver medalist Sue Woodstra.  During her time at Pitt, Annie won 4 Big East Championships and competed in the NCAA tournament each of those years. She was named First Team Big East All-Conference.  While in Pittsburgh she also coached with Pittsburgh Nike Elite VBC. After graduating, she was an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University. She then received the opportunity to come home and coach at Western Michigan University under Head Coach Cathy George, where the team won a MAC championship. Annie has coached with Dead Frog VB since 2014. She met her husband Clayton while working at WMU and they have two daughters Lyse and Sydney. 

Erin Onken

Erin Onken graduated from Parchment High School where she played volleyball, basketball and softball. She went on to play 2 years of volleyball at KVCC before transferring to Lake Superior State to finish her collegiate career. She began coaching in 2003 at Fennville High School. Since then she has coached at Parchment and Schoolcraft at the varsity level. While at Schoolcraft her team won 9 conference championships, 9 district championships, 5 regional champions and played in the state finals 3 times. She has also coached club since 2011 at all age levels. She directed and was a lead coach at USA Michigan before joining Dead Frog Volleyball’s national program in 2021. Erin lives in Schoolcraft with her family and dogs and works from home as an Office Administrator for her husband’s company. 

Lizzie Britner

Lizzie Britner is from Indianapolis, IN. In high school she played in the AAU National Championship with Team Indiana and a State Semi-Final with Roncalli High School. Lizzie then went on to play 4 years of Division I volleyball at IPFW where she was named Defensive Player of the Week, Academic All League and Team Captain. After graduating she coached with Team Indiana and Summit Volleyball Club before coming to Dead Frog in 2020. Lizzie has been with our national program as both an assistant and head coach. Lizzie also works in the real estate industry and lives in Grand Rapids. 

Kelsey Swoboda 

Kesley Swoboda is a Dead Frog Alumni from Otsego. She earned a Division I scholarship from Michigan State University where she played volleyball for 4 years and basketball and track for 1 year. She started coaching in 2016 with Dead Frog Volleyball. She also coached at Portage Northern as the JV and Varsity Assistant Coach. She is now starting her first season as the Head Varsity Coach at Otsego High School. She lives in Kalamazoo with her Husband and teaches Special Education at Portage Northern High School.  

Kenny Herbert

Kenny Herbert is a new addition to the Dead Frog coaching staff this year. He played club volleyball at Central Michigan University from 2013-2017 as an outside hitter. He then went on to coach JV volleyball at Beal City for 2 years and Port Huron Northern for 2 years before becoming the varsity coach at New Haven. He has 5 years of club experience with Michigan Elite and Blue Water at the national level. Recently, he moved to Battle Creek and is the current head coach at Mendon High School.

Elite Coaches

Lara Billington 

Head Coach 15 Elite 

Hannah Ash

Assistant Coach 15 Elite

Wendy Spencer

Coach 16 Elite 

Isabelle Koenigsknecht 

Coach 14 Elite 

State Coaches

Arnie Kengis 

15 Arnie

Amanda Nast

13-1 Coach

Alison Seim

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12-1 

Claudia Richards

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12-1 

Jr Frog Coaches

Shailee Lambarth 

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Madison Niblock 

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