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.
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.
Coach Kothe is beginning his third year as an English teacher at Watkinson and his second year as the Boys assistant varsity basketball coach. A resident of West Hartford, Thomas grew up in rural Maine, where he played basketball and lacrosse competitively. Since graduating from Bates College (B.A.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.)., he’s taught English and coached at three independent schools in New England. Though his competitive hoops career has come to an end, he continues to make solid if unspectacular contributions to the all-faculty morning hoops league.
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.
Assistant coach for girls varsity soccer.
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!
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.
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.