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Cobra Volleyball Coach Profiles

Cliff Hastings
Head Coach
  • Office: P204
  • Phone: 217/373-3758
  • Email: chastings@parkland.edu

After five years as head volleyball coach of Parkland College, Hastings enters his sixth season with an impressive record of 219-37 (86% winning percentage). 2013 marked the Cobras best season in fifteen years with an amazing 52-3 record and 2nd place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament. Cliff led the Cobras to national tournament appearances in each of his five years with 3rd place finishes in 2009 and 2012 as well. In those five years, the Cobras went undefeated in conference play, had 10 players earn NJCAA All-American honors (two All-Americans each year) and numerous region & conference award winners. Cliff was also honored with Coach of the Year awards for the conference and region multiple times.

Cliff brings 8 years of experience as director of Prime Time Volleyball Club and 11 years of success coaching club and high school teams (Rantoul HS and HS of St. Thomas More). Cliff coached Prime Time's 18 Blue team to the Junior Olympics both in 2008 and 2009 and has watched Prime Time move from a nice local club program to one of national recognition having sent 15 different teams to USAV Nationals through winning bids in the Great Lakes Region and other National Qualifiers.

Cliff graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics from Monmouth College where he played basketball, ran track and played on the men's club volleyball team. Cliff was an All-Conference middle hitter and both set and hit for adult men’s club teams that finished 5th and 9th at USAV Nationals post-college. Cliff's full-time job is as the Director of Sales & Strategic Initiatives at Wolfram Research, Inc overseeing operations in the Americas, Asia and Australia for the company.

Cliff is extremely proud of the reputation Parkland volleyball has built both on, and off, the court. Coupled with the success on the court, Cliff enjoys working with the players to find great homes to play volleyball at a four-year university post-Parkland. And, he notes his greatest joy comes from seeing the girls mature to be young women full of confidence in themselves and passion for Parkland and for each other. Cliff mentions that he always looks for potential Parkland players to strike that balance of love for winning, for the sport, for working hard, for making new friendships, for finding themselves, for getting a great education and for giving back to others what they have been so fortunate to have in their own lives.

Neil Andrews
Assistant Coach
Neil is entering his second season as a member of the Parkland coaching staff and will work with the outside hitters as well as assist with the recruiting and scouting effort. Neil has coached for Prime Time Volleyball Club for the past 4 years. In his last season as the Prime Time 17 Blue head coach, he led the team to a 54-22 record, highlighted by the Windy City Power League where his team went 24-0 while only losing one set. This earned him a bid to the 17 National division at USAV Junior Nationals where his team went 6-3.

Prior to Parkland, Neil spent two seasons coaching Champaign Central’s JV team earning a combined record of 44-12, including two tournament championships and finishing in the top 3 in all other tournaments. As a player, Neil has experience as a libero and outside hitter. He played for Fury Volleyball Club and Lincoln-Way Central High School helping Lincoln-Way set back-to-back school records in wins while winning the school’s first conference championship in 19 years. Neil also holds the top two spots in school history for serving percentage.

Neil graduated in 2013 from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. He currently works at Wolfram Research, Inc as an Academic Account Executive. Neil continues to play competitively both indoors and outdoors.

Heather Horn
Assistant Coach
Heather has served with the Parkland volleyball staff for eight seasons coaching the Cobra setters. Parkland has a rich history of training setters who have gone on to receive national recognition honors and continue their success at a four-year university post-Parkland. She brings nearly a decade of coaching experience between her work with the Prime Time Volleyball Club and serving as a head coach at the high school level (Rantoul HS and HS of St. Thomas More).

Heather’s passion for the sport evolved from playing competitively around the nation at a young age and moving on to become a setter for the University of Illinois varsity volleyball team from 1997-2001. Her team made the trip to the NCAA tournament on three occasions and reached the Sweet 16 in 1998. During her collegiate career, Heather was honored with the Sandy Scholtens Award, was a three-time recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award, received Academic All-Big Ten honors, and was a George Huff recipient. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois with a major in communications.
Heather’s full time job is working as Chief Negotiator on labor agreements for the University of Illinois. In addition to her full-time work, coaching, and being a wife and mother, Heather still loves the sport of volleyball and finds time to play competitively both indoor and outdoor.

Ron Hoppe
Assistant Coach

In Hoppe's fifth year with the program, he continues to focus on team defense but will also help with some of the setting responsibilities. Hoppe will also continue to lead the recruiting efforts and coordinate the summer camps/tournaments. Outside of the Parkland season, Ron is head coach and assistant director for Prime Time Volleyball Club where he has coached teams at multiple junior high and high school levels the last five years. Hoppe's last three high school teams have all won their age division at the Windy City Power League. Additionally, he has led those three teams to the USAV Junior National Championships, highlighted by an 11th place finish with his 17 Blue team in 2013 and with 18 Blue’s repeat 11th place finish in 2014. Ron also has interscholastic coaching experience, having spent two years as the head coach of Mahomet-Seymour High School where he lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back 20+ win seasons.

As a player, Ron helped lead Ball State's men's club volleyball team to the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005. As an outside hitter in 2004 and libero in 2005, his team had back to back top ten finishes.

Ron graduated cum laude from Ball State University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science. He completed his master's degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education in 2008. He continues to play competitively both indoors and outdoors.


Jilyan Landon
Assistant Coach
Jilyan is entering her fifth season with the Parkland volleyball team as its videographer and editor. She has served in the same capacity for the Prime Time Volleyball Club for the last five seasons.

Jilyan takes great pride in capturing the team's successes on and off the court throughout the season. Her work culminates in a year-end video documentary that the players and coaches can enjoy for years to come.

Jilyan works full time for The Ryan Dallas Team of Keller Williams Realty. She graduated cum laude from Eastern Illinois University in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in speech communication.

Ally Reis
Assistant Coach

Ally Reis returns to the Parkland volleyball coaching staff for her second year of coaching at the college level. Her experience as a four year varsity letter winner at Millikin University will help her assist again this year with the defensive aspect of the team. Before Parkland, Ally coached club teams ages 14-18. She held the club coordinator position as well as the head coaching position of the 18U club team at Illini United for 3 years.

Ally graduated from Millikin with a bachelor's degree in communication with an emphasis in sport communication, media, and public relations. She graduated as part of the Communication honors program, Lambda Pi Eta. She currently works at Chase bank.

Gia Lewis-Smallwood
Assistant Coach

Gia has been with the Parkland Volleyball team for five seasons and her primary responsibilities include working with the team on strength and conditioning and sports performance. Along with working with the Parkland volleyball team, Gia has worked with the Prime Time Volleyball Club for several seasons.

Gia's passion for working with athletes stems from her own post-collegiate career as a professional discus thrower. Post-collegiately, Gia has competed in the 2011 World Championships in South Korea, the 2012 Olympics in London, was the 2013 USA National Champion and competed in the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. Her 2014 season has seen Gia not only win major international events, but she defeated the defending Olympic and World Champion and is currently at the top of her throwing career.

Gia graduated with honors from the University of Illinois with a triple major in Political Science, Economics and Spanish. In addition to a rigorous academic pursuit Gia was a Big Ten Champion and All-American in track and field at the University of Illinois. She currently holds both the Big Ten and the University of Illinois record in the discus as well as the University of Illinois record in the 20lb weight throw. In 2002 she was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is one of the most prestigious awards given by the Big Ten.


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