The Coaching Team

 

David Sutor

David Sutor

DAVID SUTOR | Head Coach, Co-Owner
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL (although he grew up in a farm community in WI)
Training Group: Strength Bias, Powerlifting, Life Lifting & Strength Café: All things strong.
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Endurance Coach, Westside Barbell Certified Powerlifting Coach, Charles Stanley Olympic Lifting Certified, USAW Sports Performance Coach, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

Interests: listening to podcasts for all things training and personal development related, documentaries and statistics.

Before opening CrossFit Defined, David was a multi-sport athlete and played basketball, volleyball and rugby. Through team sports, he found his passion for coaching and helping athletes reach their true potentials. While working at a Martial Arts Gym, David was introduced to CrossFit and hasn’t looked back since. Having trained with mentor and friend, Ed Coan, David currently holds five national lifting records.

With over a decade of coaching experience, his greatest passion is helping athletes improve their athletic potential by building a strong foundation to push past their limits. In 2010, he and co-owner, Noal, founded CrossFit Defined to spread the rigorous, inclusive and community-centered mission that the gym is now known for.

David is the creator of the Strength Bias and Powerlifting programs at CrossFit Defined and has both competed at and coached athletes to the national level. He brings the fun of sports to the toughness of this type of training and is known for his driven and positive coaching style.

Noal DuBois

Noal DuBois

NOAL DUBOIS | Head Coach, Class Programming, Co-Owner
Hometown: Boston, MA
Training Group: Defined Barbell Olympic Lifting Team Coach.
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Level 2 Coach, CrossFit Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, Power Lifting and Movement & Mobility Coach, USAW Sports Performance Coach, BA Business Communications with a Minor in Public Relations from Bridgewater State University.
Interests: traveling, rock climbing, swimming and being outdoors. He also likes cookies and donuts.

Noal got hooked on CrossFit in 2009 after completing his first WOD at a commercial gym in Lakeview. He was humbled by this experience and quickly realized that his previous workouts did not prepare him for this type of functional training. He quickly saw the profound effects that functional fitness could have on many people’s lives and knew that this was the path for him.

Prior to CrossFit, Noal studied and taught Jeet Kune Do martial arts for over a decade while transitioning from corporate sales into making his passion for helping others into a full-time career. In 2010, Noal and his co-owner, David, founded CrossFit Defined to spread the rigorous, inclusive and community-centered mission that the gym is now known for.

Noal pushes athletes to perform at their highest level and achieve goals they never thought possible. He’s been a CrossFit Games Regional team competitor and leads the gym’s primary strength and conditioning program and Olympic Weightlifting Team. He has a passion for the application of biomechanics to sport and utilizes his knowledge to build strong athletes and diverse programs.

Kevin Agbulous

Kevin Agbulous

KEVIN AGBULOS | Coach, Lakeview Manager
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Training Group: CrossFit Games & Trodo Competitions, Beginner’s On-Ramp.
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Level 2 Coach, Certified Eleiko Strength Coach, CrossFit Strongman Coach, CrossFit Mobility Coach, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification, Competitive Lifter: Power and Olympic.
Interests: When Kevin’s not at the gym, you can find him at Heritage coffee shop drinking an iced coffee (black), riding his Honda Ruckus during the summertime, rocking out to the “Biebs,” or enjoying his favorite cheat meal: buckets of fried chicken and jasmine rice.

Kevin remembers resting in between sets of E-Z Bar Preacher Curls at X-Sport Fitness—and seeing Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa competing at the Reebok CrossFit Games on TV. He found CrossFit Defined while working near-by at Illinois Masonic, and the rest was history.

Kevin immediately stood out to the coaches for his magnetic personality and talent as an athlete. He soon transitioned from athlete to coach, and now he uses his background in football, powerlifting, track & field, and Strongman to help lead the CrossFit Defined Strength Program. Kevin loves coaching and competing at the highest level—and has a knack for helping his athletes find confidence in themselves and reach their highest potentials.

Cara Sabin

Cara Sabin

CARA SABIN | Coach, Lincoln Square Manager
Hometown: Rochelle, IL (but Chicago has been home for over 15 years)
Training Group: Mobility & Recovery, Beginner On-Ramp.
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Level 2 Coach, Yoga and Recovery Techniques, Kinesiology, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Columbia College, pre and post-natal training, CrossFit Kids Trainer.
Interests: traveling, strong coffee, healthy cooking, and Chicago culture.

Cara combines art with athletics and has been a professional dancer in Chicago for over a decade. She has taught and toured nationally and internationally as a member of The Seldoms and found CrossFit while looking for a smarter way to cross-train for her dance career. Her first CrossFit experience—which happened to be on a first date—left her rethinking everything she’d ever known about functional fitness.

Cara became a coach because she loves seeing people discover confidence within themselves. Teaching is her love, and it gives her the opportunity to help people reconnect with their bodies and with their potential, both in and outside of the gym. She enjoys coaching a wide range of athletes and leads the Beginner’s On-Ramp, mobility program, Olympic lifting, recovery, injury prevention and rehab, and pre and post-natal training. Cara is one of the original coaches of CrossFit Defined.

Laura Murphy

Laura Murphy

LAURA MURPHY | Coach
Nickname: Murph
Hometown: San Antonio, TX (but grew up in Aurora, IL)
Education: Level 2 CrossFit Coach, CrossFit Games Regional competitor, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Valparaiso University.
Interests: Bikram Yoga, enjoying a run outside, and preparing her next healthy recipe.

A lifelong athlete, Laura discovered CrossFit in 2010. After completing her collegiate soccer career at Valparaiso University, she began doing CrossFit workouts through CrossFit.com at a globo-gym. After a few months, she was ready to join a team again and found CrossFit Defined.

While working outside of CrossFit as a personal trainer, Laura quickly realized that this type of training was what she believed in for herself—and that is was also a way to reach everyday athletes. She rose to compete in the CrossFit Games Regionals as both an individual and as a member of Team CFD.

Laura is a specialist coach with CrossFit Defined competitive athletes and pulls from her years of high-level soccer training to help fine-tune athletic ability and work to develop movement efficiency within a competitive mindset. She is known as a compassionate, focused and knowledgeable coach for all levels. Laura is one of the original CrossFit Defined coaches.

ALBERTO LOPEZ | Coach
Hometown: Puebla, Mexico (but grew up in Algonquin, IL)
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Level 2 Coach, CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
Interests: Outside of CrossFit, Alberto is active in adventure sports: an avid skier, kayaker, and rock climber. He also participated in GoRucks, Obstacle races, and the Frozen Otter Ultra Race.

Alberto is one of CrossFit Defined’s original athletes and is a Level 2 CrossFit Instructor, USA Gymnastics and CrossFit Gymnastics Certified Coach. He holds a degree in Food Science from the University of Illinois and just completed his culinary degree.

He found CrossFit at random when he decided he needed a change in his lifestyle. Initially, he was skeptical, but training with a group of athletes and being surrounded by a supportive community made it easier for him to keep coming back. And he’s been coming back since 2011.

Alberto is known for being an encouraging coach who will take time to help you develop a strong foundation for continued growth and improvement. He is a fun and supportive coach, and he’ll help you reach the next level through practice and patience.

Rachel Fisher

Rachel Fisher

RACHEL FISHER | Coach
Nickname: Fish
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), certificate through Moksha in Kerala, India, Endurance Training.
Interests: yoga, triathlons and marathons! She also enjoys traveling, a few of her favorite places being Thailand, New Zealand, India and Italy. Rachel also likes to cook, sing, dance and read; the verdicts still out on whether she can do all of them simultaneously.

Rachel is a tri-athlete and marathon runner—and first discovered CrossFit after seeing plateaus in her performance. After blasting through PRs and qualifying for the Boston Marathon after only one summer at CrossFit Defined, she kept running and never looked back!

Prior to CrossFit, Rachel spent nearly two decades running and swimming. In college, she had the opportunity to compete at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals in 2007 and 2008. Her proudest accomplishment as an endurance athlete was completing an Ironman in New Zealand in March 2015. In addition to endurance sports, she’s been practicing yoga for over a decade and earned her teacher training certification in India in January 2016.

Rachel is known for her infectious positivity and mental drive. Her tri-fecta of knowledge and experience gives her a unique perspective on balancing strength with endurance, flexibility and sports psychology to achieve optimal performance.

Mikala Thompkins

MiKala Thompkins

MIKALA THOMPKINS | Coach
Hometown: Edwardsville, IL (but born in Chicago)
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in English, 2016 NAACP Educator of the Year.
Interests: Spending time with her husband and adorable Yorkie. She’s also a High School English teacher, so you’ll always find her reading or attending events that her students are participating in.

MiKala was a D1 track and field collegiate athlete and has always been mindful of staying active since graduating college. She was the girls Head Track and Field coach for Edwardsville High School and led them to an IHSA State Championship for the largest division in IL. When she found CrossFit in 2014, it was a mind and body transformation—and she fell in love with its constant challenges and the ways it continued to motivate her to become a better version of herself. Plus, she fell in love with its community.

MiKala found CrossFit Defined when she and her husband moved to Chicago in June 2016. She was concerned about two things: finding a place to live and finding a CrossFit home. But it only took one visit to CFD and she was SOLD.

MiKala believes in a safe, energetic, motivational, and fun environment. She encourages athletes to dismiss all mental roadblocks in order to grow into the best version of themselves. For her, CFD is a place where people can learn to break through barriers they never knew they could—whether it’s physical or mental.

Allyn Doyle

Allyn Doyle

ALLYN DOYLE | Coach
Hometown: Merrimack, NH
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, M.Ed from the University of Notre Dame, CPR/AED Certified.
Interests: running, cooking, exploring Chicago’s food scene with friends, discovering coffee shops, and coaching soccer and basketball at her school. She is also the Vice Principal at St. Sylvester.

Allyn is a natural and talented athlete. She was a 3-sport Varsity athlete in high school—cross country, basketball, and softball—and a Varsity Cross Country team member and captain at Saint Anselm College: a two-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division-II All-Academic Team; named to USTFCCCA Division-II All-Region Team in 2011. She is now a competitive CrossFit athlete.

Being an educator, Allyn loves watching athletes’ progress and enjoys helping others recognize their capability. She believes that CrossFit provides people with so many great opportunities to challenge themselves and to test their limits—which is what makes her such a fun, compassionate, and patient coach.

Frank Kadri

FRANK KADRI | Coach
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, undergraduate and graduate degrees from DePaul University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania.
Interests: Frank is a CPS teacher and enjoys spending time with family and reading. He’s also interested in U.S. politics and pizza.

Frank found CrossFit when his cousin from the Army Rangers invited him to do his first “Fran.” A few weeks later, Frank walked into CFD and began his CrossFit journey as an athlete. CFD became an environment that was fun, healthy, social, and always inviting. So, naturally, he loved spending time in the box and growing as an athlete. Since joining the CrossFit Defined family, he has competed in both Olympic and Powerlifting competitions.

Being an educator, Frank has a natural sensibility when it comes to understanding the different ways that athletes learn and progress. Whether he’s coaching the beginner’s On-Ramp or Olympic lifting, his easy-going approach and ability to relate to different styles of learning bring out the best in the athletes around him. And rumor has it: he never comes to CFD without his “bag full of bad jokes.”

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Kay Reinhardt

KAY REINHARDT | Coach
Hometown: Mason City, IA
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Interests: All animals, but especially her dog Wistrom and cats, Walter and Payton. She loves watching college basketball, football, and the CrossFit games. And, she’s seen every sports movie ever made. She also enjoys the manmade beauty of Chicago architecture.

Kay has always loved sports and competition. She was the captain of the Mason City High School Swim Team and helped lead her team to three state championships, eventually joining the Iowa State University Team. Her love for weightlifting started in the garage at the age of ten, where she would lift with her Dad. She was later introduced to CrossFit at a work event, where Coach Noal immediately noticed her potential. Needless to say, she joined CrossFit Defined as an athlete that same day.

Kay became a coach because she gets so much joy out of watching athletes improve, hit PRs, get healthy and leave with a smile. She is known as a patient and supportive coach who will be your biggest fan. Everyone may not always enter the gym in a good mood, but Kay makes sure you leave with one.

Ben Raczka

BEN RACZKA | Coach
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Education: Associate’s Degree in Business Management, Level 1 CrossFit Trainer
Interests: Volleyball, softball, running, biking, collecting vinyl records, and being front row at pop concerts.

In my younger years, I was never very active, nor in the best shape. I was also too nervous to be a part of any sport or team activity. As I got older and more confident in myself, I started getting involved in other team sports. When it came to fitness, I stuck with traditional gyms, although they didn’t motivate me.

Four years ago, I was introduced to CrossFit and quickly became hooked. I found it to be a great way to socialize, meet new people who had similar interests, and to get a kick-ass workout.

After moving to Chicago and joining a newer box, I found myself getting involved with coaching, which inspired me to get my Level 1. Not only was it an opportunity to learn more about the sport and improve upon my own goals, but it also allowed me an opportunity to work with newer athletes who might find themselves in a similar situation to mine before I joined: nervous and intimidated. Coaching has developed into a very rewarding experience, and I always look forward to helping athletes to achieve their fitness goals.

IGOR J. MELNIK | Coach
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, American Counsel on Exercise Trainer
Interests: Powerlifting, CrossFit, endurance sports, biking, podcasts, live music

Igor grew up playing hockey, soccer, wrestling, and riding his bike. In 2010, he started taking fitness very seriously when he began working out with a personal trainer who taught him about movement mechanics and the body’s physical responses during exercise. A few years later, he decided to change careers and began training others.

In 2014, Igor wanted to take his own training to the next level, so he followed a friend to CrossFit Defined. Shortly after, he met Noal and David, who not only became his mentors, but also challenged his understanding of the phrase “strength and conditioning.” From first-hand experience of Defined’s programming and coaching, Igor began to understand his true potential as an athlete and coach.

Igor enjoys learning and sharing his knowledge in order to help athletes reach their goals; but he also loves developing meaningful relationships that support them. “Meeting people of all different backgrounds who have similar fitness goals is really cool because it creates pathways for learning about each other and from each other. I’m genuinely happy to help anyone, for any reason.” Igor enjoys being a part of the Defined team because we all share a common goal.

SALMA SHEPHERD | Coach
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Education: CrossFit Level 2 Coach, Precision Nutrition Coach, CF Weightlifting, Bachelor in Economics from Cairo University
Interests: Running, cooking & spending time with family

Salma grew up swimming and playing squash. She discovered CrossFit after coming across the 2012 CrossFit Games online while looking for new ways to challenge her current training. Inspired by female athletes, Camille le Blanc and Annie Thorisdottir, she decided to try it herself.

As her love for fitness grew, she decided to shift her career from advertising to coaching—and she began coaching at Crossfit Metalize in Dubai.

Salma is a Level 2 Crossfit coach and CF Weightlifting & Precision Nutrition certified. She moved to Chicago last year, and is excited to be a part of the CrossFit Defined community. She loves motivating people and helping them realize what their body is capable of.

BEN WELTER | Coach
Nickname: Big Ben
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Training Group: Weightlifting & Powerlifting
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, USAW level 1, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, currently enrolled in Northwestern’s Masters program for Prosthetics and Orthotics
Interests: All things strength, adaptive athletics, climbing, hiking, beer, and bluegrass music

Ben began CrossFit over 5 years ago in Lexington, Kentucky while looking for new ways to challenge his current training; and soon after, became a coach. He believes that fitness and strength greatly impact everyday life, especially when they’re being developed within a team-oriented community.

Before joining CrossFit Defined, Ben was a coach at Crossfit Maximus (Lexington) for 4 years, where he specialized in Olympic Weightlifting and strength training. After being accepted into Northwestern’s Prosthetics and Orthotics program, Ben and his wife, Wynni, made the move to Chicago, where they both fell in love with the CrossFit Defined community.

Ben coaches a variety of athletes, through his current classes include CrossFit WODs, Olympic Weightlifting, Strength Cafe, and the beginner’s On-Ramp.

MEL MARTINEZ | Coach
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Business Administration, CPR/AED and First Aid Certified
Interests:  Traveling, reading, golfing, and learning how to cook

Mel was first introduced to CrossFit in 2013 when his cousin invited him to do his first “Murph” workout. After a few more visits, Mel knew that he had found his new fitness regimen and began his CrossFit journey as an athlete at CrossFit Defined. Both the physical and mental challenges of CrossFit—along with a great sense of community and the friendships formed because of it—have had a large impact on Mel’s life.

Shortly after, Mel became a coach because he wanted to share in this positive, supportive environment that continues to bring people together. He currently coaches the beginner’s On-Ramp, where he works with athletes to develop technique, learn about our unique community, and overcome pre-conceived limitations.

BRANDON STABLEY | Coach
Hometown: Chesterfield, MI (Outside of Detroit)
Training Group: On-Ramp, Olympic Weightlifting, Competitors
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Bachelor in Marketing, Associates in Science
Interests: Fitness, horror films, cooking, donuts, and tacos

Brandon found CrossFit through a childhood friend that he used to do bodybuilding-style workouts with. Once he tried it, he was instantly hooked because it allowed him to approach fitness from a competitive angle, especially since he was no longer involved in the sports he played in high school. For Brandon, CrossFit reignited a goal-setting mentality that he’d been looking for.

Brandon initially became a coach because he was interested in teaching young athletes about the many ways functional fitness can improve performance in individual and team sports. However—as time went on—he realized that the rewards of coaching reach far beyond just making athletes better athletes. He came to an understanding that through CrossFit, he could help make people better people—and he wanted to push others to perform the common, uncommonly well.

DANNY WRIGHT | Coach
Hometown: Gettysburg, PA
Education: Level 1 CrossFit Trainer and Level 2 Coach, BA in K-12 Health and Physical Education
Interests: cooking, reading, painting, and trying new sports

It’s easy to see Danny’s enthusiasm for exercise based on some of his adventures and achievements. Running was always a hobby in high school and college; so to add to his bucket list, he did his first 26.2 mile race when he was 26. Two months later, he conquered a 62.6 mile trail run. An avid cyclist, he took a year off from teaching to become a bike messenger, completing roughly 30-40 miles daily.

Danny found CrossFit in 2013 after finishing a semi-professional rugby career. An All-American in college and overall leading point scorer at the USA 7’s National Championships in 2011, he continues to work with local rugby teams in the city by coaching, hosting clinics, and refereeing.

Danny currently leads St. Sylvester CrossFit, a non-profit for Pre-K through 8th grade students, in Logan Square.

SARAH GONSIOROWSKI | Office Manager
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Education: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa, CPR/AED and First Aid Certified, pre/post natal training, and arts education and outreach.
Interests: coffee, reading, writing, photography, design, traveling, and burpees

Sarah is a dance artist and movement educator. As an ensemble member of The Seldoms and Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, she has toured and performed both nationally and internationally. Prior to moving to Chicago, she taught dance and movement in Milwaukee Public and Bi-lingual schools through Danceworks’ arts education and outreach programming. She currently teaches dance and fitness to children and adults throughout Chicago.

Sarah manages all athlete memberships and is responsible for daily operations, scheduling, writing, and creative content development. She holds weekly office hours and is always available to assist current athletes and new members. She is the newest member of the CrossFit Defined family and was introduced to the community by Coach Cara. She was fast-tracked into classes after completing a private On-Ramp with Coach Noal, excited by the challenges of functional fitness. While she’s still embracing her “rookie” status, you can expect to see her in Olympic lifting on Thursday nights.