I spent most of my volleyball career with Coach Cates and she was one of the most influential coaches in my career. She took me in when I was young and developed me into one of the best setters in the area. She went the extra mile to make sure we were all taken care of while with her.

You will see her passion on and off the court. She truly cares about her players by developing them into great leaders on and off the court.

Alexis Barnes

AIM 2021 Coaches

AIM 12s–Nancy Cates Head Coach / Sarah Durham Assistant Coach

AIM 13s Black–Jay Hazel / Nancy Cates Head Coaches / Aija Sherron Assistant Coach

AIM 13s Blue–Wesley Winstead Head Coach / Brenna Winstead Assistant Coach

AIM 14s–Charlie Oakley Head Coach / Ryanne Greer Assistant Coach

AIM 15s–Craig Hicks Head Coach / Emily Sherron Assistant Coach

AIM 16s–Hayden Rigsbee Head Coach / Lindsey Thompson Assistant Coach

AIM 17s National–Liana Solomon / Nancy Cates Head Coaches

Nancy Cates, AIM Volleyball Director

AIM 12s Head Coach, AIM 13s Head Coach, AIM 17s National Head Coach

Founder and President of AIM Volleyball
Lifelong Orange County, NC resident
Registered Nurse for 35 years

This is Coach Nancy’s 16th year as a Volleyball coach. Her love of the sport began at Orange High School from 1977 to 1979 where she played on the varsity volleyball team. She continued playing for Meredith College, Raleigh, where she was on the varsity team from 1980 to 1983 and the USVBA team from 1981 to 1984. Coach Nancy also played on the Durham County Women’s Volleyball League from 2007 to 2014.


Her coaching experience includes:

  • Head Coach Durham Orange Volleyball Enthusiasts (DOVE) 2006-2009
  • Head Coach Stanford MS/JV 2008
  • Head Coach Jammers VBC (various age groups) 2010-2018
  • AIM 15s Semi National Coach 2019
  • AIM 16s Semi National Coach 2020

Certifications and Awards

  • USAV CAP 1 Coaching Certification
  • Gold Medal Squared Coaching Certification
  • First Place 16 Club Monument City Classic 2011
  • Second Place 16 Club Capitol Hill Classic 2011
  • Third Place 14 Open Winter Bump 2018
  • Third Place 14 Patriot Division Capitol Hill Classic 2018
  • 1st Place Savannah Showdown 16s 2020

Jay Hazel, Head Coach
13 Black

Coach Jay has a passion for coaching volleyball and watching his student athletes grow both personally and also as volleyball players. His focus is on the fundamentals of the game as he motivates through encouragement and positive reinforcement. Coach Jay holds open gyms to support all three middle school programs in his hometown.


His coaching experience includes:

  • Head Coach NC Elite VB Club (5 Years)
  • Head Coach AIM Volleyball (3 Years)
  • Won 13’s Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic (Washington D.C) Championship in 2014
  • Led 12’s (2013), 13’s (2014) and 12’s (2015) to finals in Monument City Classic (Richmond, VA)
  • Coached teams in Big South Qualifier Championship (Atlanta, GA)
  • Led teams to finals for Carolina Region Championships at the highest level
  • Coached middle school five years
  • Directed Volleyball Camps w/ Person Co. Recreation and Parks
  • Head Coach AIM 12s 2019
  • Head Coach AIM 12 Black 2020

Aija Sherron, Asst. Coach
13 Black

Aija is from the country of Latvia, a small european country near Russia. She played volleyball and basketball throughout high school but is especially in love with the sport of volleyball! She loves spending time with her 3 sisters and 2 brothers and is looking forward to her first season coaching at AIM!

Wesley Winstead, Head Coach 13 Blue

Coach Wesley’s passion for the sport doesn’t stop with club volleyball. He has coached middle school for a year and recreation for multiple years. Holding open gym opportunities for the younger age groups is proof positive of his desire to see these young student athletes succeed.


His coaching experience includes:

  • Led his 12s and 13s club teams to multiple regional finals, resulting in top four overall finishes for the entire Carolina Region.
  • Coached national tournaments such as Big South (Atlanta, Ga)
  • Coached 12s team to the finals of the Monument City Classic in 2015.
  • Head Coach AIM 12 Blue 2020
  • Assistant Coach AIM 12s 2019

Brenna Winstead, Asst. Coach 13 Blue

Brenna has been playing volleyball for 8 years now, including 3 years playing on Roxboro Community School’s Middle School Varsity team, 3 years on the High School Varsity team, and 4 years of club ball. Her passion for the sport continues outside of her own game, contributing her knowledge and experience to another generation of players. She has assisted with youth clinics for many years and is excited to continue coaching with AIM again as an assistant coach this year after being a junior coach for 11s and 13s last year. Her dad, Wesley, was her first coach and she is enjoying having the ability to now coach by his side. She hopes to instill in the girls that she coaches the excitement and joy she experiences herself while playing.

Charlie Oakley,
Head Coach 14s

In his college years, Coach Charlie was an experienced sand player. He has coached players of all skill levels. His coaching career began in 2005 as Junior Varsity Coach at Cedar Ridge High School. Coach Charlie’s passion is to develop volleyball in the Triangle.


His coaching experience includes:

  • Head Coach AIM 13s and AIM 15s 2020
  • Head Coach AIM 14s 2020
  • Head Coach, Cedar Ridge High School 2008-2016
  • Head Coach Jammers Volleyball Club 2008-2013


  • Coach of the Year, four years
  • State Championship Runner-Up, 2009
  • Regional Runner-Up 2010-2015

Craig Makanui, Asst Coach 14s & Floating Coach

Craig was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii with a love for playing, teaching and coaching volleyball. He was a membr of Pepperdine’s Water Polo team. His entry into the sport of volleyball began in 1977 with a beginning volleyball class. The following summer Craig made Hawaii’s Junior Volleyball Team with competition against Junior Teams from Australia, British Columbia, Canada, Japan, Korea and mainland USA. Play continued into the following years in college intramural and USAV club.

Volleyball is a wonderful life long sport with a very close community. I continue to speak to people here in North Carolina who knew my teammates, coaches and friends from Junior Team and College years in Hawaii and California.


Coaching/Teaching Experience includes:

  • 1989-1991 Los Angeles Pierce College Adult Education, Beginning Volleyball
  • 1997-1999 Western Carolina University Women’s Volleyball Team, Volunteer Graduate Assistant Coach
  • 2016-2018 Jammers Volleyball Club, 13 Red, 14 Red, Volunteer Assistant Coach
  • 2018-2019 AIM Volleyball Club, 15s, Volunteer Assistant Coach
  • 2020 AIM 13s and 15s Volunteer Assistant Coach

Ryanne Greer,
Asst Coach 14s

Ryanne was born and raised in Durham and attended Cresset Christian Academy where she began playing volleyball in the 6th grade. She played high school and club ball then continued her volleyball career at Methodist University. This will be Ryanne’s second year coaching at AIM and she is thrilled about mentoring a new generation of volleyball players.

Craig Hicks, Head Coach 15s

Playing years 1983-2015

  • USVBA OD Region 1985-1991
  • FIVB East Practice Team 1989
  • USVBA 6 & 4 Man & Mixed Indoor
  • USVBA 2 & 3 Man Outdoor-2 & 4 Mixed Outdoor
  • USA volleyball CR Region Indoor
  • Regional Local Rec Dept Indoor and Outdoor

Recruiting years 1990-2005

Referee 1988-2003

Coaching years 1991-current

  • USVBA OD Region College Prep
  • USA Volleyball OD Region Prep and Junior
  • USA Volleyball CR Region Various Club Teams
  • Person High School
  • Roxboro Community School
  • NCHSSA Pac-6 All-Star Team 2008-2009
  • Carolina Mustangs 2017-Current
  • North Durham Volleyball 2017-2019
  • AIM 13s Head Coach 2019
  • AIM 14s Head Coach 2020

Emily Sherron,
Asst Coach 15s

Emily played volleyball all throughout middle school and high school. She enjoyed the competitiveness of the sport and working together as a team. She has a passion for working with youth…teaching them to have good character on and off the court, develop good discipline, determination, and teamwork.


Volleyball Experience:

  • Flight JV 2012 and Varsity 2013
  • Carolina Mustangs Varsity 2014-2017


  • Carolina Mustangs Offensive Player of the Year–2015 and 2016
  • Carolina Mustangs MVP 2017

Coaching Experience:

  • Assistant Coach for Carolina Mustangs JVG/VG–2018-present
  • AIM 13s Assistant Coach 2019
  • AIM 14s Assistant Coach 2020

Liana Solomon, Head Coach
17s National

An experienced volleyball player and coach, Coach Liana strives for greatness, telling her team, “Not only should you strive to be the best player you can be, but also strive to be the best person you can be!”


Her Volleyball experience includes:

  • NC Elite (Roxboro Satellite 15’s Team 2009
  • Jammers 2010-2011-2012
  • Alamance Force Volleyball Club 18’s 2013
  • Person High School JV 2008 and Varsity 2009-2012
  • William Peace University 2013-2017


    • Regional Tournament MVP 2011
    • Team member placed 2nd, 2011, Capitol Hill Classic Tournament 16 Club 2011
    • PAC 6 All Conference Honorable Mention 2011
    • PAC 6 All Conference Player 2012
    • Cougar Classic All Tournament Player 2013 (WPU)
    • USA South Rookie of the Week 2013
    • Seasonal High Assist Record WPU

Coaching Experience:

    • AIM 16s Semi-National Head Coach 2020
    • AIM Floating Coach 2019

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AIM Volleyball serving Orange, Person, Durham and Alamance counties