Life at Ellis


A Record of Health and Wellness

The athletics program at Ellis is strategically designed to support student growth outside of the classroom while complementing Ellis’ academic program. A variety of sports are offered each season, and by participating, girls uncover hidden talents and discover physical activities they love. They experience the joy of teamwork, grace in defeat, and the thrill of winning. Athletes also develop physical strength, mental toughness, time-management skills, and stress-reduction techniques that last a lifetime.
Our coaches are champions of integrity and resilience, and they encourage girls to become exemplary student-athletes. They prepare their teams for the season by challenging them to make it through tough practices that set them up for success in intense competition. Throughout the season, coaches will often re-evaluate team and individual goals to support girls as they grow in their athletic abilities. What is most appealing about Ellis’ robust athletics program is the fact that, as an all-girls school, girls’ teams receive 100% of the resources allocated to athletics. 

Our athletics facilities include a turf field, two full-size gyms, two recreational gyms, and a weight-lifting area for fitness and strength-training.

Interscholastic sports competition begins in fifth grade, with the school fielding close to 30 teams in field hockey, soccer, cross country, basketball, track and field, tennis, swim, lacrosse, and softball. Each team and athlete is fully supported to feel successful and accomplished at the end of the season. From this, Ellis girls develop into fiercely strong athletes who thrive on healthy competition and develop leadership skills that will impact their ability to use their voices and talents to solve complex problems, work with diverse groups of people, and bring about positive change in their communities. The athletic abilities and personal growth skills our student-athletes develop follow them into college and adulthood and serve them for a lifetime.

Athletics News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Dr. Reneé Brown-Antonelli is the Athletic Director at The Ellis School, beginning July 1, 2024.

    Reneé Brown-Antonelli announced as Ellis Athletic Director

    Dr. Reneé Brown-Antonelli has accepted the position of Athletic Director at The Ellis School, effective July 1, 2024.
  • Director of Athletics Katie Johnson, Coach Genny Kozusko, the Ellis Tiger, the mothers of alumnae Heather HANCHAK Moss '97 and Alexandra CHU '07, and Head of School Macon Finley

    Two Alumnae Join Ellis Athletic Hall of Fame

    Heather HANCHAK Moss ‘97 and Alexandra CHU '07 have been inducted into the Ellis Athletic Hall of Fame in honor of their athletic achievements during their time at Ellis and beyond.
  • Katie Johnson, the next Athletic Director of The Ellis School

    Katie Johnson Announced as New Athletic Director

    Katie Johnson has been named the next Athletic Director of The Ellis School, effective July 1, 2022.
  • Meghan McNabb signs her National Letter of Intent alongside her parents and Director of College Counseling Keith Bryner

    Senior to Run Cross Country and Track at Collegiate Level

    Meghan McNabb, Class of 2022, will go from Tiger to Griffin when she joins the Division II Cross Country and Track and Field teams at Seton Hill University this fall. Meghan, who plans to enroll in Seton Hill’s 5-year Integrated Master’s program for Nutrition and Dietetics, signed her National Letter of Intent and celebrated her commitment on campus alongside her classmates and fellow Upper School community members.

Our Teams

Facilities and Resources

A World-class Athletic Field

In 2014, Ellis celebrated the grand opening of our new state-of-the-art turf field. Our new 72,600 square foot regulation-sized field is lined for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse, and looks and feels like natural grass. The mix of turf and sand at Ellis was specifically chosen to minimize injury risk to young athletes. The field is a source of tremendous school pride, not just for our athletes, but for every member of our community. Though sports are not required, 70% of Ellis Middle and Upper School students play a team sport. This is much higher than the national average of 40% for girls (Women’s Sports Foundation).

Training and Equipment

Ellis athletes train under the supervision of certified athletic trainers from UPMC Sports Medicine. Our trainers assist with conditioning and injury management and oversee every game. They are nationally certified both on the state level and by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification. Our UPMC Sports Medicine team provides onsite medical care and rehabilitation programs for all Ellis athletic teams. They also offer on-campus concussion baseline testing by season and grade level. Uniform and safety equipment lists are detailed on the MyEllis intranet site. Every sports season begins with a “Meet the Coach session” where coaches provide detailed information about practice and games and set the tone for an exciting season.

Meet Our Coaches

List of 14 members.

  • Photo of John Albright

    Mr. John Albright 

    JV Basketball Head Coach
  • Photo of Luke Badaczewski

    Mr. Luke Badaczewski 

    Middle School and Varsity Cross Country Head Coach
  • Photo of Amanda  Banachoski

    Ms. Amanda  Banachoski 

    US Health/PE; Varsity Soccer Head Coach; MS Varsity Basketball Coach; Varsity Lacrosse Asst Coach
  • Photo of Doug Brooks

    Mr. Doug Brooks 

    Tennis Head Coach
  • Photo of Keith Bryner

    Mr. Keith Bryner 

    Director of College Counseling, Softball Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Danae  Burgwin

    Ms. Danae  Burgwin 

    Track & Field Head Coach
  • Photo of Nyjah Cephas

    Ms. Nyjah Cephas 

    Varsity Field Hockey Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Michelle Cook

    Ms. Michelle Cook 

    Middle School Basketball Coach
  • Photo of Laura Fonzi

    Ms. Laura Fonzi 

    Middle School Soccer Assistant Coach
  • Photo of John Gallant

    John Gallant 

    Head Swim Coach
  • Photo of Kylie Glenn

    Mrs. Kylie Glenn 

    Lower School Physical Education Teacher, Middle School Soccer Head Coach, Softball Head Coach
  • Photo of Nathan Iverson

    Mr. Nathan Iverson 

    Softball Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Brianne Kelly

    Ms. Brianne Kelly 

    Middle School Physical Education Teacher, Middle School Varsity Basketball & Lacrosse Coach
  • Photo of Daniel LaGamba

    Mr. Daniel LaGamba  

    Varsity Basketball Head Coach

List of 13 members.

  • Photo of Ben Love

    Mr. Ben Love 

    Cross Country Coach
  • Photo of Kendra McBroom

    Ms. Kendra McBroom 

    Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach
  • Photo of Tiffany McDowell

    Ms. Tiffany McDowell 

    UPMC Certified Athletic Trainer
  • Photo of Alexx Miller

    Ms. Alexx Miller 

    Varsity Field Hockey Head Coach
  • Photo of Zach Moore

    Mr.  Zach Moore 

    Assistant Track & Field Coach
  • Photo of Mark Rauterkus

    Mr. Mark Rauterkus 

    Varsity and Middle School Swimming Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Michelle Rust

    Ms. Michelle Rust 

    Director of Enrollment Management, Cross Country Coach
  • Photo of Sara Stroud

    Ms. Sara Stroud 

    Middle School Field Hockey Coach
  • Photo of Annetra Taylor

    Annetra Taylor 

    Middle School Field Hockey Assistant Coach
  • Photo of Dori Tompa

    Ms. Dori Tompa 

    Crew Head Coach
  • Photo of Alexzandra Warren

    Miss Alexzandra Warren 

    Assistant Basketball Coach
  • Photo of Darren Wilson

    Mr. Darren Wilson 

    Middle School JV Basketball Coach
  • Photo of Wendy Wu

    Ms. Wendy Wu 

    Senior Accountant, Tennis Assistant Coach

Katie Johnson

Director of Athletics

At Ellis, we believe in and value the important role that athletics plays in the development of students. We provide the unique opportunity for our students to be able to participate in athletics teams beginning in grade five. My staff and I are committed to modeling and teaching integrity, compassion, and respect on and off the field and court, and within our community. 

Our goal is to have our athletics program excel and to have our student-athletes be known for displaying sportsmanship while competing to the best of their abilities and achieving academic excellence in the classroom. The athletics department at Ellis is here to serve our student-athletes by developing skills of confidence, commitment, time management, and resilience while maximizing their potential. 

We hope your student will take advantage of the opportunity to participate in athletics while receiving a rigorous and outstanding education at The Ellis School. If there are any questions about our athletic program and how to get involved, please contact me. Go Tigers!