Maccabi Games: Beyond the X’s and O’s of coaching
With clipboards in hand and strategy on their mind, these coaches are eager to lead #TeamDallas to gold at the Maccabi Games

Name: Chad Albert
Sport: 16-under basketball (Silver)
Career/position: Executive vice president at NAI Robert Lynn (commercial real estate)
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play Maccabi for three straight summers, and to have such a great experience in doing so. I was thrilled to be asked to coach the Silver team this summer, and I view it as a tremendous avenue to give back for the opportunity I was given 13 years prior as a player. Mentoring kids through coaching is such a neat experience, and I feel being able to make a difference in nine Jewish kids’ lives is what coaching Maccabi is all about.
Winning a few games and a medal wouldn’t be so shabby either.
Interesting fact about me: My girlfriend Mandi Smith is a coach for the 16-under Maccabi Silver volleyball girls team, and we have a friendly little wager on whose team will fare better at Maccabi!
Name: Sam Chortek
Sport: 14-under baseball
Career/position: Media production
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I did it when I was younger and I played the last time the games were in Dallas. Baseball’s something I loved doing when I grew up. I still wanted to be a part of it.
Interesting fact about me: I won the bronze medal in 16-under baseball the last time the Games were in Dallas.
Name: Heather Cordova
Sport: Dance 16-under
Career/position: Teacher
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I enjoyed coaching Maccabi in the past and am happy to be a part of the local games. I like the competitive edge but helping dancers broaden their horizons is the most compelling part.
Interesting fact about me: I collect masks (not afraid of clowns) and I am a huge I Love Lucy fan.
Name: Shamus Crimmins
Sport: Volleyball
Career/position: Manager/assistant volleyball coordinator at Sports Plex
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: When the opportunity was brought to me I felt it was something that I couldn’t pass up. It’s a huge honor and privilege to be a part of such an amazing community.
Interesting fact about me: Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Name: Andy Dropkin
Sport: Golf
Career/position: Wealth management/financial planning — Principal at CD Wealth Management
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: As a former Maccabi athlete, I want to help ensure that today’s athletes have a meaningful and memorable experience.
Interesting fact about me: I worked for the Memphis Showboats and ESPN radio for the USFL in the mid-1980s.
Name: Zack Pollack
Sport: 14-under basketball (Silver)
Career/position: Corporate business sales, Best Buy; assistant boys’ basketball/JV coach at Yavneh Academy (16th year)
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I enjoy coaching Maccabi because it gives me a chance to sharpen my coaching skills during the off-season by experimenting with new ideas. More importantly, this gives me the invaluable experience of being able to mold and influence players’ development that may one day come waltzing through our doors at the high school level.
Interesting fact about me: I am undefeated in international contests as a Maccabi basketball coach (1-0). I credit most of this success to my patriotic pre-game speech tactics in which my coaching staff really drives home the players’ responsibility to their country. We are constantly improving our domestic strategy as well.
Name: Daniel Rutenberg
Sport: Table tennis
Career/position: VP of marketing
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I’ve always been involved with the Jewish community and table tennis is my passion. Being a coach at the JCC Maccabi Games is a great way to give back to the community!
The duty to our community, the friendships built over the years and the experiences are a lifetime memory, which gores beyond the competition tables. I’m honored I was chosen to help continue the tradition of building and growing this program and allowing our Jewish teens to be able to compete with pride in a sport little known here in the U.S.
The JCC Maccabi Games is an all-around experience that is not just about sports but it is also about social activities and Jewish values all in one place.
Interesting fact about me: This will be year No. 10 of coaching table tennis for the JCC Maccabi Games. I was the U.S. national paralympic table tennis team coach from 2009-2012. I’m a USA Table tennis national coach. I’ve been awarded with the Volunteer Coach of the Year award in 2005 and three times awarded with the Paralympic Coach of the Year for Table Tennis by the USATT (National Governing Body) and the USOC.
Name: Alan Sandler
Sport: Girls’ 16-under soccer
Career/position: Executive sales, office products; nonpracticing CPA
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I am coaching Maccabi because I really love to coach and this is my way of hopefully giving the girls an opportunity to experience what Maccabi is all about — competing in the true spirit of the Maccabi Games against other Jewish girls and making lifelong friends.
Interesting fact about me: I grew up in a house that was very closely associated with Maccabi — both my father and uncle represented South Africa in the actual Maccabi Games in Israel in 1950 and 1953 in track and field and between the two of them they won five gold medals and one silver medal.
This is my fifth Maccabi Games as the girls’ soccer coach and in 2013 we won the gold in Memphis — we have also won silver and bronze and also come back with nothing.
Name: Brandon Strull
Sport: 16-under baseball
Career/position: Sales
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I was a BBYO adviser (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization) for two years. I enjoy volunteering for high school students. I played in Maccabi for two years. I want to make the Dallas Maccabi baseball program big. We have a lot of good programs, but I feel like we lose a lot of good players to basketball.
Interesting fact about me: I’ve gone to 27 major league baseball parks — but not Houston’s.
Name: Barry Waranch
Sport: Under-14 boys’ soccer
Career/position: Real estate investments
Why I am coaching Maccabi: I like the dynamics of helping others learn to play hard, to play as a team, and to have fun. I enjoy figuring out the potential of each athlete and creating formations and strategies that work.
I believe in helping athletes find out just what it is they bring to the field and watch them use that. But the best thing is having players that seem to enjoy themselves, and the group chemistry that always seems to form when the players have fun, win or lose.
Interesting fact about me: My son Samuel Waranch will be representing the United States in the European Maccabi Games in Berlin at the same time as the Dallas Maccabi Games.
Name: David Zimmerman
Sport: Boys’ basketball 16-under (Blue)
Career/position: Athletic director and boys’ varsity basketball coach at Yavneh Academy
Why I’m coaching Maccabi: I have been coaching for Team Dallas since 1999 and I truly believe the Maccabi games are a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone involved.
It is great for the Dallas Jewish community and for the entire Jewish world to bring together Jewish teenagers from all over the world who have a passion for their Jewish faith and athletic competition.
Interesting fact about me: I guess a fun little fact about me is I was the youngest Maccabi head coach ever at 19 years old when I began. Now you have to be at least 21 to be a head coach at the games.
Maccabi coaches
A list of all current coaches. Changes possible before Games begin.
Eric Wald
Sam Chortek
Brandon Strull
Cody Strull
Soccer (Boys)
Barry Waranch
Zach Adler
Chris Luna
Soccer (Girls)
Alan Sandler
Josh Daniel
Basketball (Girls)
Derrick Martin
Jordana Weinberg
Basketball (Boys)
14U Blue
Ian Ribald
14U Silver
Zack Pollack
Jared Katz
14U White
Eric Olschwanger
14U Black
Zach Beldon
16U Blue
David Zimmerman
Dmitriy Chernikov
Matthew Zucker
16U Silver
Jeff Platt
Chad Albert
16U White
Konstantin Chernikov
Aleksandr Dubin
Heather Cordova
Dalit Agronin
Andy Dropkin
Chris MacCurdy
Gregg Buchholz
Table Tennis
Daniel Rutenberg
Austin Holley
John Singer
Polo Cruz
Shamus Crimmons
Stefani Campbell
Mandi Smith
Amy Willams
Delegation: Matt Rowland; Abbii Cook, assistant;  Laurel Fisher, assistant; Alex Null, assistant
Star reporter coach: Bryan Cytron

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