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Staff & Coaches


Joel Sanchez - Founder/Executive Director

Joel Sanchez has been directly involved with education, organized recreation, after school programs, civic engagement and technology for 14 years.

Joel is one of the founding Coordinators and Directors of the Department of Youth and Community development’s Cornerstone initiative, which transforms NYCHA Community Centers into true community hubs for children and their families. While operating out of the NYCHA Soundview Houses Community Center, he founded the Bronx River Cornerstone Center in 2008, The Soundview Cornerstone Center in 2009, and the Sonia Soto Mayor Cornerstone Center in 2010. In each of these, Joel became one of the most prominent community organizers in those communities by leading numerous fundraisers, civic advocacy, developing programs and services benefiting the immediate communities and the rest of New York City.

Later on, during his time within the NYC Community School Launch (On a large scale) under Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Farina, he has been successful in starting up the Community School Model in one of the first 200 Community Schools in New York City. Managing 4 middle schools labeled “Persistently Dangerous” and “Renewal”, he provided leadership that has led to a ”Good Standing” rating and founded 2 new schools with 1,000 students with exemplary attendance and academic gains. Joel has received numerous honors from the mayor’s office and a personal commendation from the NYC Chancellor of Education. He was recently a model Community School Director under Phipps Neighborhoods in New York City.

At the age of 14, out of frustration from poverty, he maintained a journal where he outlined what the ideal athletic organization would look like for a child like him. In 2011, he realized his dream of founding his own non-profit organization, focusing on underserved communities in the Bronx. Legacy Volleyball was meant to impact 12 to 15 student athletes from Preston and Lehman High School, which is where he has been coaching for the last 14 years. In just 7 years, Legacy Volleyball Club has served roughly over 6,000 student–athletes, has helped pave the way for college for numerous student-athletes and has now expanded to provide services beyond just volleyball. This tremendous achievement led to the up-and-coming CBO known as Legacy Athletics, which focuses on providing student-athletes with wrap around services for students via mental health, mentoring, tutoring, after school, intramural and organized sports. Additionally, Legacy Athletics provides services to the whole family, as parents are provided with similar opportunities tailored for adults. Legacy Volleyball is the Bronx’s premier club for Volleyball Athletes.

Despite all of the experience in the world of education, community based organization and non-profit business; his truest expertise is in technology. With degrees in Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence, he enjoys being behind the scenes of it all. Currently, he owns GeeksKeep, which is a software consultation company and is working on an innovative, world-changing project called “My Friend”, with a few friends from MIT.

Joel is currently focusing on building Legacy Volleyball & Legacy Athletics, is the Chairman of Agents of Change Charter School and the Director of Boys Volleyball under the USAV (GEVA) Board of Directors.

Jennifer Santos - Director of Youth Programs

Jennifer Santos has been part of Legacy Volleyball club for six years. Her Volleyball career started as early as 11 years old in a small middle school in the Bronx.

Despite not having the financial opportunity to play club volleyball, Jennifer was persistent and played where she could from Monday to Saturday. Because of her determination on and off the court, Jennifer later joined the volleyball team for the lady panthers at BMCC. She was named CUNYAC All-Star for the team after an impressive freshman season with the Lady Panthers. The Bronx native led BMCC in total attacks (301) and digs (204) and finished second in kills (76), aces (31) and points (107). 

Jennifer has now fully committed to coaching  young student-athletes at Legacy Volleyball Club.

She started off as an assistant coach for 13’s national, later becoming the assistant for 15’s Premier and  ultimately 15’s national. She then became a head coach for 14’s Regional, later excelling to become the head coach of 14’s Premier and now 14’s national and 12’s Premier. In addition, Jennifer is the lead coach in most of our other programs including summer camp, Fall League and Mini Volley. 

Administratively, at  Legacy, Jennifer currently holds the title of  both Club administrator and Youth Director.

Milta Gonzalez - Club Administrator | Tournament & Social Media Director

Milta Gonzalez has been a part of Legacy Volleyball since she first entered high school. After graduating from Preston High School, Milta committed to play at Manhattanville College in the fall of 2017. The summer before college, she began coaching in our Volleymentals and pre-season training programs.

She eventually committed to the Division 1 program at Monroe College for their 2019 season. Since finishing her college playing career, Milta has become the assistant coach of 16 National (2020-2021 season) and the assistant coach of 18 National (2021-2022). During the 2022-2023 season she will be head- coaching 15 Premier while also assistant-coaching our 18 National Smack team. During this time she has also assisted in coaching summer camp and has been running skills clinics on the weekends for athletes ages 10-14 years old. 

Milta graduated from Monroe College with a bachelor's degree in Sport's Management. She is now our full- time tournament and social media director. 

Anthony Lalla - Finance Director

As both a former player and now an staff member of Legacy, Anthony defines the mission that Legacy has set out to achieve. He played for Coach Jay in the 2019-2020 season and there on developed a strong connection with both staff, coaches, and community at Legacy. Hailing from Queens and of Trinidadian nationality, he brings a different view point of the great mission that Legacy does because of both the commitment and dedication he holds in the world of volleyball and his professional career as well as adding to the cultural richness that Legacy possess. He started his professional career at Legacy and has worked very closely with all the executive staff as Legacy’s Bookkeeper to ensure that Legacy can run smoothly beyond just the world of volleyball. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree with a concentration in Accounting in New York City’s very own Baruch College. He intends to further his education thereon to obtain a Master’s of Science in Taxation and earn his CPA licensure. Legacy holds a very special place in his heart seeing that his passion of volleyball and professional goals were able to mesh beautifully in one place. And yes, he’s probably going to be one of the tallest accountants out there by the time he’s done with achieving all his goals!

Favorite Quote: Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. — Aristotle

Nataly Cabrera- Director of Human Resources

Nataly Cabrera is a highly accomplished and dedicated professional, currently serving as the Director of Human Resources for Legacy Volleyball Club. With an impressive background in human resources management, Nataly plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the club's personal operations. Nataly's commitment to employee well-being and growth makes her an invaluable asset, contributing significantly to the continued success and excellence of Legacy Volleyball Club.

Lesly Almonte- Bookkeeper

Lesly Almonte started her volleyball career at the age of 12 in the Dominican Republic. Lesly was the coach of her own team for 2 years until the arrival of a new coach. 

After traveling to the United States and leaving her old team, Lesly joined Legacy as a participant in our 2020 Fall League! After this, Lesly went on to become the assistant coach of Legacy's 15 Regional team. She now plays for Monroe Express' women's volleyball team alongside multiple Legacy Alumni, while being coached by Coach Jay, Odaly, and Edeana. She is also pursuing a degree in Accounting at Monroe College. 

James Fitzpatrick- Boys Director

Coach Fitz grew up in Westchester and began playing volleyball during his freshman year of high school at Iona Prep in New Rochelle. He went on to play club volleyball at Tulane University, from which he graduated in 2016. He returned to coach at Iona Prep, his high school alma mater, where he has been head coach since the 2017 season. Coach has overseen a development process during that time that led to the Gaels' first CHSAA City Championship since 2000 in 2021. He was named CHSAA Boys' Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2021 for his contributions. 

In addition to coaching the volleyball, Coach teaches mathematics at Iona Prep, is the STEP Coordinator, and an assistant coach with the Varsity Soccer team. He’s attended volleyball coaching clinics conducted by Gold Medal Squared (at North Carolina State University and Wentworth Institute of Technology) and Ohio State University’s men's volleyball staff. He is passionate about education and volleyball, specifically about the growth of boys’ and men’s volleyball in the NYC Metro Area and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Ben Piacquadio - Fundraising Director

From the parents of two Italian immigrants, Benjamin Piacquadio is a born and raised product of the Throggs Neck community who continues to make a name for himself in youth sports and the field of education.

After four years at Iona College for a Bachelors in History, Ben attended Lehman College for a Masters in Middle/High School Education, Manhattanville for an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Administration and Sport Pedagogy, and College of New Rochelle for an Advanced Certificate in School Building Leadership.

While his academic career is impressive, Ben’s involvement in youth sports in the Throggs Neck area has given him quite the reputation in his hometown. At the age of fifteen, Ben started coaching basketball at Saint Benedict School, his alma mater. At the age of 20, Ben organized a fundraiser to purchase a new scoreboard at St. Benedict School. His passion and determination led to enough funds being raised to not only replace the scoreboard, but also purchase LED lighting for the gym, new bleachers, and a new paint job for the entire gym. With tremendous success, Ben was hired to teach middle school social studies at Saint Benedict School and also serve as the school’s Athletic Director. With his new roles, his success in fundraising continued. After the gym fundraiser, Ben has raised funds for Saint Benedict School to acquire chromebooks, install ceiling fans into classrooms, purchase the school’s auditorium speakers, replace stage curtains, create an outdoor basketball court, and redesign the gym floor. In recent years, Ben has continued his success at Preston High School as the Assistant Athletic Director and JV Basketball Coach. Ben was also vital in the creation of the Throggs Neck Thunderboltz Basketball program, which has recently partnered with Legacy.

  Benjamin Piacquadio has been recognized for his many accomplishments by the Chippewa Democratic Club with the Teacher of the Year award in 2017 and by Manhattanville College with the Valiant Educator Award in 2020.

Legacy Volleyball Club’s coaching staff are CPR, First Aid/AED, Concussion, IMPACT, CAP and SafeSport certified.  Along with background checked, they all have the experience and knowledge to challenge athletes in a fun, competitive environment.  Our coaches each share the common goal of genuinely helping each and every athlete reach their full potential during their volleyball tenure with Legacy.  The coaching experience within the Legacy staff ranges from Middle school coaches, High School, NCAA College Coaches, and players who compete nationally and internationally.