Job: Coach

Coach

Anna Alferi

In her fourth year at Watkinson, Anna Alferi serves as both the assistant coach for girls’ Varsity basketball and the head coach for the girls middle school team. She grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, and was a three sport athlete playing soccer, basketball, and softball. Coach Alferi played on the 2009 Bacon Academy High School girls’ basketball state championship team, and was co-captain of the 2011 Hall High School basketball team. She attended the University of Tampa, graduating in three years, and immediately began as a high school English teacher at Plant High school in Tampa, Florida. At Plant High school she was the assistant girls’ Varsity basketball coach for two seasons. Returning to Connecticut, she taught and coached at Grace Academy. At Watkinson she has coached a range of activities and sports including soccer, basketball, fitness, and outdoor games.

Marilyn Tomlinson

The head coach for girls varsity volleyball and varsity track, Coach Marilyn Tomlinson is a native of Jamaica who now lives in West Hartford with her husband, and daughter. She works as an administrator at the Futures School. Coach Tomlinson attended the G.C. Foster Physical Education and Sport College in Jamaica, where she played volleyball, basketball, track and field, netball and field hockey. After graduating from college, she was chosen to play on the Jamaican national volleyball team. She coached a variety of high school sports in Jamaica, including, netball, track & field, volleyball, and field hockey, guiding her volleyball and netball teams to the regional and national finals. Coach Tomlinson is still an active volleyball player today.

Allie Pistolessi

The head coach for varsity cross country, Coach Pistolessi is beginning her sixth year as a Spanish teacher at Watkinson. Prior to teaching at Watkinson she taught Spanish in Salem, Massachusetts. She began running in college, completing two full marathons and eight half marathons. Allison attended The Ohio State University and then Boston University for graduate school.

Dan Horwitz

A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, Dan is beginning his first year as an assistant director of Admissions at Watkinson. Prior to working at Watkinson, Dan served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at the collegiate level for three years, most recently at Mount Saint Mary College. At Watkinson, he will be the head coach for both the middle school coed cross country team and the JV boys basketball team (upper school). Dan attended Newbury College where he was a 4-year letter winner for the men’s basketball team and was named a team captain senior year. Dan is currently pursuing an M.S from the University of Hartford in Organizational Psychology.

Dan self-published a basketball leadership book on Amazon called, “Help Them Up”. He truly believes in creating a championship culture environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and has a voice! Dan has a twin brother who serves as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Hobart College.

Justin Zelenka

Coach Zelenka is in his third year as a History teacher at Watkinson and his first year as the boys varsity basketball coach. A resident of West Hartford, Justin grew up in New Jersey, where he played basketball, baseball, and swam competitively. Since graduating from Rutgers University (B.A.) and NYU (M.A.)., he has taught History and coached basketball and swimming at three independent schools in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Kristalyn Baisden

An East Hartford native, Kristalyn Baisden joins the Watkinson athletics department in a full-time capacity as Associate Athletic Director and head coach of girls varsity basketball. After majoring in Psychology at St. Joseph University (Philadelphia), she recently earned her MBA with a concentration in Leadership from Eastern University. While an undergraduate, Coach Baisden completed a stellar career as a student-athlete, competing for St. Joe’s Division I basketball team, being named to the Philadelphia Big 5 Women’s Basketball Honor Roll in 2017 and earning the Team Defensive Player of the Year Award her senior year. She gained valuable coaching experience as a graduate assistant with the Eastern University women’s basketball program. Coach Baisden brings poise, confidence and positive energy to the girls varsity basketball program, and we welcome her to the Watkinson community!

Danny White

We welcome Coach Danny White to the sidelines of the boys varsity soccer program in 2021. A native of England, Coach White comes to Watkinson with a wealth of soccer coaching experience across Connecticut and beyond. Most recently, he has been on staff with Farmington Sports Arena Football Club (FSA). In addition, Coach White worked intensively with the Evolution Soccer Programs “EVO” in Connecticut and California. Coach White is passionate about coaching youth soccer and brings a positive vision to the Watkinson boys program.

Kamar Blake

Coach Kamar Blake will head up the girls varsity soccer sidelines starting in 2021. Currently the Director of Coaching for the Hartford Lions Soccer Academy, Coach Blake has also coached with Newtown Travel Soccer, CFC Elite Girls, and Victory Soccer Academy. Coach Blake competed as a student athlete for both Herkimer County Community College and Post University, both storied collegiate soccer programs. After college he went on to play in the National Premier Soccer League with the Greater Lowell Football Club. Coach Blake brings incredible energy and positivity to his coaching, and we welcome him to the Watkinson School community.