ORGANIZATION
ORGANIZATION  

coaching staff.

 

Rodney L. Ray
Founder


Rodney Ray was born and raised in Ferguson, Missouri where he attended McCluer High School and was a tremendous standout in football, basketball, and track. He received All-State honors recognition in football as a running back, which led to him attending Northwestern University.

Ray began his career at Northwestern in 1991 as a tailback. After recovering from what was supposed to be a career ending injury during his sophmore season, the next season (1993) he was moved to defense as a cornerback where he started for the next three seasons. As a cornerback, he received 1st-Team All Big-Ten recognition, 1995 Big-Ten Conference Championship Member, led Big-Ten Conferences in passes broken up/ interceptions, and was the All-Time Northwestern University record holder with 13 pass break-ups during the 1994 season.

After graduating from Northwestern in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in Organizational Studies, he returned as a 5th year starting senior, ending his collegiate career with a 10-2 season and an appearance as the starting corner in the 1996 Rose Bowl. Rodney then had the opportunity to play for the NFL. After approximately two years in the NFL and one year in the AFL, he decided to seek a career that would provide the ultimate sense of passion and purpose- eventually leading to the conception of Games of Champion Fitness.


Damon Cooper
Executive Director of Business Development


Damon Cooper was born in Detroit MI and graduated from Ferndale high school in 1991. Damon’s interest in business management and development goes back to his high school years, when he started several small businesses and participated in Junior Achievement. After high school he attended Grambling State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), where he majored in Sociology and minored in Education. He moved to Houston in 1998 and continued his entrepreneurial endeavors.

In 2000, he started his first internet company, whose focus was online shopping. This experience allowed him to sharpen his business management and development skills and gain valuable insight and knowledge on launching new companies, which he continued to do in subsequent years. He continued to pursue his interest in education by gaining his certification as an elementary school teacher, which he has held for over twenty years. Damon’s experiences in entrepreneurship and teaching made him an expert in business development. He uses this expertise to train individuals on building sales teams, marketing / sales strategies, and recruiting techniques.

Since 2009, he has been working as a consultant for private and commercial entities. His experience in this capacity includes management of the distribution of products to corporate and commercial accounts and conducting trainings and seminars on creating business plans and developing business strategies. Mr. Cooper is very excited about joining the GCF family and being a part of this amazing new endeavor.


Terrance Gates
Director of Marketing and Business Development


Terrance Gates was born in St. Louis Missouri and attended Ritenour High School as a freshman, transferred to Hazelwood West, where he graduated in the top 3% of his class. As a freshman and throughout his high school career, Terrance excelled at Football, Basketball, and Track & Field. He set records in high jump, long jump, and triple jump during his high school career as well as graduated with a 3.98 on 4.0 scale. He received an Athletic Scholarship for Washington University and a Full Academic Scholarship to University of Missouri at Columbia.

While attending the University of Missouri at Columbia, Terrance received his Bachelor of Science Degree in the field of Electrical Engineering and also a Minor in Mathematics. His love of the games followed him as he continued to play sports all throughout his college career. After graduation, he started working in the Telecommunication Industry where he continued to accelerate his career. His love of teaching and business sent him back to receive additional degrees which include an M.B.A as well as a Master of Project Management.

Sports has always remained an integral part of his life which continued to follow him. Playing on several non-professional sports teams while maintaining his career, he found a way to travel for the love of the game across the county playing football and eventually coaching. This was the culmination of his true passion of teaching and educating the youth!




Isabel Velez
Director of Operations


As Director of Operations, Isabel's primary roles are customer relations and service, and management of the day-to-day operations, including marketing and sales. She also oversees media and community relations and assists in facilitating strategic marketing partnerships. 

After serving five years in the U.S. Navy, Isabel received her B.S. in Political Science from the University of Houston and her Master's in Education from Houston Baptist University. Having worked as an independent marketing and business consultant for over eight years, she has experience working with both commercial and nonprofit organizations.




Emmanuel Ajiodo
Speed Specialist

Emmanuel is responsible for ensuring all GCF coaches properly implement and teach training programs and techniques. A native Houstonian, he graduated from Alief Hastings High where he lettered in football and track. He went on to attend Sul Ross University, where he lettered in football and track on the collegiate level. He received "Freshman of the Year" honors for the Mighty Lobos football team, as well as "Best Male Track Athlete" honors, automatically qualifying for the NCAA III Nationals in the 200m dash, and provisionally in the 100m and 400m dash.

Ajiodo then attended Paul Quinn College in Dallas Texas, where he was a standout in both football and track and was awarded "Defensive Player of the Year." He ran the third leg on the NAIA Nationals, qualifying in the 4X100 meter relay teams. After receiving his B.A. he played two and a half years in the Arena Football League. He also taught high school social studies for four years, and has held various mentoring and tutoring programs for youth for the past ten plus years.




Tia Barginear
Speed Specialist

Ever since participating in the USATF Junior Olympics at the age of five, track and field has always been a passion for Barginear. During her childhood track and field days, she premiered at every Junior Olympic Championship until the age of 13 ranking nationally in the National Youth Elite Ranking System. At the high school level, she went on to win the Freshman-Sophomore Championship two years in a row setting the record in a 100M at 11.80, still holding the meet record to this day. She was also named track and field MVP, All-District and All-State in the 300M hurdles.

Barginear continued her education and pursuit in athletics at Kansas City Community College, where she competed for two years, garnering All-American status with the school record in the 400M hurdles at 58.90 and the women’s 4x100 at 44.90. After graduation, she was offered a full athletic scholarship to Texas Tech University where she competed in the 400M hurdles, 4x100 and 4x400m relays. There, she appeared at the 2004 and 2005 Texas relays, 2006 Penn Relays, Big 12 Championships and Regional Qualifying meets. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and has been working with children in education for over five years. Tia joined the GCF championship speed training team January 2012.




Brian Davis
Sports Massage

As GCF's staff massage therapist, Brian specializes in sports massage, including Pre, Intra, and Post Event. Prior to this he spent twenty years serving as a SWAT and Combative Training Instructor. Additionally, he is a licensed Massage Therapy Instructor and holds continuing education seminars for licensed massage professionals in the state. Brian has been a licensed massage therapist since January 2007.

Pre-event sports massage is given within four hours preceding an event to improve performance and decrease injuries. Inter and intra-event massage is given between events or time-outs to help athletes recover from the preceding activity, and prepare for the activity coming up. Post-event sports massage is given after a competition and is mainly concerned with recovery; it is geared toward reducing muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with vigorous exercise. He also offers Hot Stone Therapy, Deep Tissue, Myofascial Release, Prenatal, Thai and Shiatsu.


COACHING STAFF



Milton Morris

Milton "Chip" Morris graduated from Cleveland Heights high school a three sport letterman in football, basketball and track. He was first team All- Northeast Ohio and Lake Erie League MVP in his senior year of high school and earned a four year football scholarship to Northwestern University where he was a four year letterman wide receiver from 1988 to 1992. Chip earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and upon graduation, attended the University of Michigan for graduate school where he collected two more degrees - Masters of Science and Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

In 1997, Chip started his professional career when he joined the research and development department of a major medical device manufacturer in Minneapolis Minnesota and became an adjunct assistant professor for the University of Minnesota at the same time. Chip accumulated 15 issued patents and several publications during his professional career and continues to lead research and development teams in the biomedical device industry. Additionally, Chip has made time to actively mentor and coach youth and peers both in sports and in life skills ever since leaving Northwestern University in 1992.





Brandon Baker

Native Houstonian Baker graduated from Westbury High, where he played football, track, soccer and rugby. His senior year at Westbury he earned "All-Greater Houston Honors" and was named the eighth-rated linebacker in Texas by Superprep. He attended Indiana University on full scholarship, where he played four years at middle linebacker for the Hoosiers, and received his Bachelor's in Environmental Science.

A firm believer in giving back to the community, Coach Baker has volunteered countless hours coaching at his high school alma mater and even founded his own non-profit organization, the Association of Athletes Empowering Athletes.





Joe Gibson

Gibson split his childhood between Colorado and Kansas, eventually graduating from Chanute High, located just outside of Kansas City. During high school he played as a running back and was recognized with All State Honors, All Conference and All League. He then went on to play at Northeastern State as a safety and running back, and finally Arena Football in the U.S. and Canada for four years. In addition to coaching, Gibson is active in the community volunteering as a YMCA Youth Mentor, PAL Kids, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).




Brian Johnson

Johnson's love for the game of football began at the age of 8, when his father signed him up with the South Post Oak Redskins little league team in Houston, Texas. Years later he attended Alief Hastings High School, where he was the starting quarterback and defensive back. As a defensive back he was ranked second in the state for interceptions.

Johnson went on to attend East Texas Baptist University, still playing defensive back/quarterback for two years. Nowadays he volunteers with the South Post Oak Redskins, the team- where it all began. He has been affiliated with them for a combined 14 years, the last eight of which he has been a volunteer coach. Johnson joined the GCF team in 2004 to continue with his passion of youth and football.




Tajiddin Smith-Wilson

Taj Smith is a free agent professional gridiron football wide receiver. Smith played for the NFL from 2008 to 2011, and then for the Canadian Football League from 2012 to 2015.

In his second season with the CFL he finished 7th in the league for receiving yards, with 1,007, and went on to win the league championship, the Grey Cup. During his professional football career, he totaled 162 catches for 2,188 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. Smith attended Bakersfield College where he set the single season school record with 53 catches, tied for the highest total career catches at 95, finished second all time for career receiving yards and touchdowns, and was named first team All-Conference and honorable mention All-American. 

Smith then went on to play at Syracuse University, where he set records, finishing his college career with 151 catches for 2,719 yards and 24TD's. Taj graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in special education. In addition to Taj's football accomplishments, he also ran the 100m(10.38), 200m (21.6), and 400m(46.2) in track and field. Taj joined the GCF Championship Coaching staff 2015.




Yamar Washington

A native of Houston, Washington attended St. Pius X his first two years of high school where he rushed for 4,518 yards and 52 touchdowns those two seasons. Washington transferred to Klein Forest High School his junior season and totaled 2,617 yards and 28 touchdowns in his final two seasons. His senior year, he was named Offensive Player of the Year by the Greater Houston Touchdown Club in 2000. He also competed in track and played basketball in high school.

After high school, Washington attended Indiana University where he graduated with a 3.47 GPA attaining a Bachelor's in Communications and Culture, an English Minor, and a Management Certification. He was also a standout student-athlete at Indiana University, playing both football and running track. After his college career, he had the opportunity to play one year in the NFL. His love to compete is evident to this day, as he is currently the president and a player of his own rugby club.




Milton Wynn

Hailing from Southern California, Wynn graduated from Antelope Valley High School as a three sport letterman in football, basketball, and track. As a senior he was an All-Golden League selection in both football and basketball. Coach Wynn played his college football at Washington State University, where he was selected 2nd team All Pac-10 in 2000. His senior year he hauled in 52 receptions for 964 yards and a league leading 18.5 yards per catch.

Wynn received his Bachelor Degree in Social Sciences from WSU. After being selected in the 2001 NFL draft, he went on to play approximately four years in the NFL. He also spent one year overseas coaching wide receivers in NFL Europe. He now resides in Houston Texas, where he holds annual NFL sponsored football camps and enjoys spending time with his family.