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Cobra Volleyball Coach Profiles

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

After four years as Parkland College head volleyball coach, Cliff Hastings enters his fifth season with an impressive record of 167-34 (83% winning percentage). He led the Cobras to national tournament appearances in each of his four years, with bookend 3rd-place finishes in 2009 and 2012. In those four years, the Cobras went undefeated in conference play, were ranked No.1 in the country at different points in the seasons, and had eight players earn NJCAA All-American honors (two All-Americans each year). Cliff was honored with Coach of the Year awards for the conference and region multiple times, and his position attention focuses on middles and setters.

Cliff brings seven years of experience as director of Prime Time Volleyball Club and 10 years of success coaching club and high school teams (Rantoul and St. Thomas More). He coached Prime Time's 18 Blue team to the Junior Olympics both in 2008 and 2009; he says progressing Prime Time to the level of having four high school club teams qualify for USAV Junior Nationals in 2013 is one of his proudest non-Parkland volleyball coaching experiences.

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. He was an All-Conference middle hitter and finished 5th and 9th at USAV Nationals post-college. Cliff's full-time job is director of sales and strategic initiatives at Wolfram Research, 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 his players to find great four-year university homes in which to play volleyball post-Parkland. 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. He 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 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 Volleyball Coach

Neil is entering his first season as a member of the Parkland Volleyball coaching staff and will work with the outside hitters as well as assist with the recruiting and scouting effort. He has coached for Prime Time Volleyball Club for the past three years. In his last season as the Prime Time 18 Blue head coach, he led the team to a 57-19 record, highlighted by winning the Show-Me National Qualifier in Kansas City, and earning a USAV Junior Nationals bid in the national division.

Neil spent the last two seasons coaching Champaign Central’s JV team, earning a combined record of 44-12, including two tournament championships. As a player, he has experience as a libero and outside. He played for Fury Volleyball Club and Lincoln-Way Central High School helping Lincoln-Way to 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 as a sales initiative representative.


Heather Horn
Assistant Volleyball Coach

Heather Horn has served with the Parkland Volleyball staff for six seasons, coaching the Cobras’ setters. Parkland has a rich history of training setters who have gone on to receive national recognition honors. Heather brings nearly a decade of coaching experience, including her work with the Prime Time Volleyball Club and her service as a head coach at the high school level. 

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 (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.
Heather works full time for the University of Illinois as a chief negotiator in labor agreements.  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 Volleyball Coach
In Ron Hoppe's fourth year with the Parkland Volleyball program, he continues to focus on the defensive players’ serve/receive mechanics as well as on leading the recruiting efforts and running the summer camps/tournaments. He is also a head coach and assistant director for Prime Time Volleyball Club, where he led the Prime Time 17 Blue team in 2012-13 to an 11th-place finish in the national division at USAV Junior Nationals, the highest finish in the history of Prime Time and one of the best finishes for the Great Lakes Region.

Ron is also head volleyball coach for Mahomet-Seymour High School and will continue to split his time between the two programs. As a player, Ron helped lead Ball State University'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 5th-place finishes.

Ron graduated cum laude from BSU 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.


Jilyan Landon
Assistant Volleyball Coach

Jilyan is entering her fourth 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 four 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 graduated cum laude from Eastern Illinois University in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in speech communication.

Gia Lewis-Smallwood
Assistant Volleyball Coach
Gia has been with the Parkland Volleyball team for four seasons. 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 four seasons.

Gia's passion for working with athletes stems from her own post-collegiate career as a professional discus thrower. Post-collegiately, Gia competed in the 2011 World Championships in South Korea, the 2012 Olympics in London, and is currently the 2013 USA National Champion for women’s discus. In August 2013, she competed as a national team member for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

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 20 lb. weight throw. In 2002, she was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor, one of the most prestigious awards given by the Big Ten.

Ally Reis
Assistant Volleyball Coach

Ally Reis joins the Parkland Volleyball coaching staff for her first year of coaching at the college level. Her experience will assist in training the defensive efforts. Ally has been coaching for four years at the junior high and high school club level. She held the club coordinator role at Illini United in Decatur for three years. Along with the club coordinator position, she also coached four junior high volleyball teams as well as the top 18U team at the club for three years.

Ally was a four-year varsity letter winner at Millikin University as a defensive specialist. She held the second highest number of digs for two seasons as well as ranking in top five for aces for three years. Ally held the varsity captain role for two years as well as the JV captain role her freshman year at Millikin.

Ally is a recent graduate of Millikin University 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 is a substitute teacher in the surrounding area and plans to pursue her master's degree in the next few years.

Manny Rodriguez
Assistant Volleyball Coach

Manny is starting his second year as an outside/defense specialist coach at Parkland. Originally from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, Manny started playing volleyball at the age of 13. He played as an outside hitter for club ARSEL and later on for Club Vaqueros from 1995 to 2001. In 2001, during his freshman year in college, Manny joined the men’s volleyball team at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras as an outside hitter/defense specialist. At the same time, he played for the second team of Los Plataneros from Corozal, Puerto Rico.

Manny has coached for the Prime Time Volleyball Club since 2010. He has been the head coach of several 13’s, 14’s and 16’s teams. During the 2012-2013 season, he led Prime Time 16 Blue to a record of 20-4 at the WCPL, earning a bid to the 16 American division at USAV Junior Nationals. In addition of his contributions as a position-specific coach at Parkland, he also acts as an academic mentor for the team. Manny is in charge of running study hours, helping the players with their academic course load, and helping them develop good study skills.

Manny graduated from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in molecular biology. After graduation, he moved to the U.S. to continue his education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated with a master’s degree in chemistry in 2008.  Manny is currently an assistant professor at Parkland, where he teaches several general chemistry courses as well as forensic science.


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