"90% of survey respondents rate our coaching staff at 'Very High' or 'High' quality"

We have been fortunate to surround our players with great coaches. Our staff is comprised of individuals who love basketball and continue to teach the game that they love.

Chris Whirlow - Director/Co-Founder

Chris and Phil Doherty co-founded the Flight Elite program in 1997 and have been coaching these teams for over 20 years now. Chris has coached teams from 3rd grade through High School Varsity since 1992. He coached at Northgate HS in Walnut Creek from 1994-1997 and at Acalanes HS in Lafayette 1998-1999. Chris was the Head Varsity Boys coach at Campolindo HS in Moraga from 2001-2008. During his 7 seasons at the school, the Cougars compiled a 136-66 record, winning 3 DFAL league titles and 3 North Coast Section championships. These were the first for the school in over 30 years. He was named Contra Costa Times Coach of the Year in 2005. Chris resigned as Head Coach from Campolindo in 2008 to spend more time working with the Flight Elite program. Chris is also the Director of the West Coast Elite NorCal Under Armour Program. Chris and his wife Audrey live in Danville with their daughter, Emerson.

Phil Doherty - Director/Co-Founder

Phil was raised in San Francisco and taught elementary school for one year before opening a San Francisco sporting goods business in his early 20's. Phil was always involved with basketball, either directing programs or coaching youth and AAU teams. Phil moved to Lafayette in 1981 where he and his wife Kathy raised their 5 boys. 

In January of 1997 Phil and Chris Whirlow co-founded MVP Flight Inc and at the same time formed the first Flight Elite year round basketball teams. Flight Elite started small but from day one our teams were strong and competitive and played the game with a real sense of TEAM. Coaching and running Flight Elite basketball has been Phil's passion and he has taken great pride in the program's continued success. When asked recently about what the program meant to him, Phil had this to say "I look at the alumni pages of our website and I realize how lucky I have been to have had the opportunity to coach and impact the lives of so many of these young men".

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram

Mark Doherty

Mark has coached in the Flight Elite Basketball program since 2006. Mark graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a major in Sports Management. He was the Freshman Boys basketball coach at Campolindo High 2007-2008 and Assistant Varsity coach 2008-2009. Mark has developed into one of Flight Elite's top coaches and several of his teams have won national level tournaments in the past few years. Mark is also co-director of Warriors Basketball Program. Mark is a teacher in San Ramon and resides in Martinez with his wife, Kellen.

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram

Yoruba Harrison - Director of Player Personnel

Yoruba is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and played on three state championship basketball teams in high school. He played college football at Morgan St. University in Baltimore and professionally with the Washington Redskins. Yoruba was the Assistant Varsity coach at Campolindo High School from 2003-2008. He was also in charge of Strength and Conditioning for the program. He was been working with the Flight Elite program since 2004. Yoruba lives in Fremont.

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram

Kenji McCrae

Kenji McCrae brings an energy & zest to coaching that is contagious. Kenji played Varsity basketball at Acalanes High School. Kenji was able to make the team and contribute on a very deep bench. After high school, Kenji began his coaching journey at Richmond High School where he would show up to early morning workouts to help get their students ready to play on the varsity program. Being a great teammate is something that Kenji strived to for as a player and now works diligently to teach as a coach. He has been coaching with Flight Elite since 2013.

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram

Jesse Dawes

Jesse grew up in Walnut Creek where he developed a fiery passion for the game of basketball. He played Varsity Basketball at Las Lomas HS, where he earned multiple all tournament awards, as well as making All-League honors his senior year. Coach Dawes started coaching elementary students at Indian Valley after school while attending high school. He played Junior College basketball at Allan Hancock College, before transferring to Cal Poly SLO. While studying Recreation Administration and Sports Management, Jesse continued his coaching career with AAU, middle school, and high school level athletes, and has been coaching boys and girls for over 15 years.

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram

Stephen Carter

Coach Stephen Carter works with young players to make the transition to high school basketball and then on to a successful high development player at the next level. Coach Carter is a father of five, who started coaching at the youth level in 2000 and joined the MVP Flight Elite basketball program in 2017. Prior to making a commitment to work with youth, Coach Carter spent over ten years in financial services as a financial director in corporate services and working for a nonprofit charitable organization. Today, Coach Carter runs a locally owned small business which offers a wide range of mobile auto detailing and personal transportation services while fulfilling his passion for coaching basketball at the individual and team level.

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram

Steve Balassi - Director of Basketball Operations

Steve grew up in Vallejo where he played varsity basketball for St. Patrick-St. Vincent HS. His team went to the NorCal championship game his senior year. He played college baseball at Sonoma State University, then in the minors for the SF Giants. He has 15 years of coaching experience. He coached at Campolindo HS where he was the head Freshman coach, assistant varsity, and assistant JV coach. Most recently, he has been the head coach for Stanley MS's 7a team. He lives in Moraga with his wife Jean-Ann, son Will, and daughter Siena.

* Photo by @jennylynnstagram


Troy Druppal

Troy Druppal is from Richmond, CA. He attended El Cerrito high school where he was an assistant basketball coach for three years there. Having faced adversity so many times from losing his left arm and battling cancer for over 14 years he found a passion for coaching to help kids achieve their goals while teaching life lessons on and off the basketball court. In 2020 he was named the Golden State Warriors JR NBA coach of the year.

Anthony Haskett

Anthony is a 2017 graduate of Las Lomas High School and with 2-years of Varsity basketball experience, he helped lead his team to consecutive 20-win seasons, multiple NCS and State playoff berths, and a league championship in his senior year under head coach Brian Dietschy. Moving on, he played under Hall of Fame coach Steve Coccimiglio at Diablo Valley College, becoming one of California’s most efficient three-point shooters. Anthony then continued his career to the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, where he is currently helping turn the Vulcan program around under new head coach Kaniela Aiona. Anthony has two more years to play and will be graduating in the spring of 2022 with two degrees: Kinesiology/Exercise Science and Communications.