Our Coaches

Boy's & Girl's Soccer

Head Coach Gary Poling
Born and raised in southern West Virginia, Gary attended West Virginia Tech and earned a BS degree in Civil Engineering.  After college, he moved to the Baltimore, Maryland area, where he met his lovely wife Cheryl and started working for the US Army Corps of Engineers.  They moved to Lillington, NC in late 2008 and still live there. 

They have 3 wonderful soccer playing children, all homeschooled, the oldest (Matthew) in college now and Valerie and Jennifer in high school.  They have played travel soccer since they were very young, and Gary has watched and helped coach their various teams through the years.  Gary played adult soccer in Maryland and loves watching as many matches as possible on TV as well.  Gary has a national “D” coaching license.  He has coached both the boys and girls Crusader soccer teams since the spring of 2010.

 Gary has been a born-again Christian since he was 14-yrs old, and along with his family is an active member of the Christian community.  They attend Crossroads Church in Lillington.  His vision for the soccer team is that it can be a building block for character and confidence, based in Christ power and presence with us in all we do, to allow the kids to have fun and gain strength to anchor them for tough times in life.  His desire is that the players will be left with lasting memories that can be reflected on with joy, remembering the fun experiences of youth.

 Gary also has been a certified Grade-8 referee since 2005.  He refereed high school and club soccer in Maryland and is refereeing the same in North Carolina now.  He enjoys working with teens and (with all the negative/dark situations in the world) embraces the chance to be a positive influence, showing God’s love and pointing them in the right direction.

Assistant Coach Jennifer Blythe

Girls Volleyball

Varisty Coach Sally Farrington
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sally moved to Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg in 1991 with military husband Dave.  Fayetteville is now their permanant home. Open Arms Christian Fellowship is their church home, and they are very active in leadership there.  Being a follower of Christ is the most important thing in Sally's life - and sharing that love with her athletes is an integral part of why she coaches.  She is  mom of three girls and now a grandma to two sweet boys and has homeschooled for almost 20 years.

Sally has been involved with the Homeschool Crusaders since 2002. Her daughters Emily, Molly, and Hana have all been Crusader athletes.  Her love of volleyball began when Emily started playing the sport in 2002.  She served as Head Coach of the Junior Varsity & Assistant Varsity Coach 2005-2007 and moved to Head Varsity Coach in 2008. With her experience and coaching leadership, Coach Sally was named NCHE AC-East Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2011. In 2009 and 2012 her team won the NCHEAC-East Conference. She is a  Volleyball Training Video Reviewer fir Championship Productions as well as an AVCA member since 2007.  Sally is USA-V IMPACT certified and currently working on her CAP-I certification.

Assitant Varsity Coach Julie Barnett
While born in Richmond, VA, Julie has lived in Fayetteville for the majority of her life. Her dad is the Pastor at Cliffdale Community Church and her mom homeschools her three youngest siblings. She has 5 brothers, 4 sisters, and an energetic boxer named Penny. Julie began playing volleyball for the Crusaders her freshman year of high school. She remained on the varsity squad for four years until she graduated in 2007. She then went on to play for the Bryan College JV volleyball team on scholarship for two years. Her jr year of college she became the manager for the varsity team and then her senior year she was offered a student assistant position. It was then that she discovered her love of coaching. She had her first coaching experience in the spring of 2011 when coached the 14s team for the Ocoee Heat Volleyball Club in Ooltewah, TN.

Julie graduated from Bryan College in May 2011 with a degree in Youth Ministry and is now the Youth Director at Cliffdale Community Church. In 2012 she returned to her Crusader roots as the assistant coach to the varsity volleyball team. Julie loves volleyball and is thrilled that she is also able to share her faith while mentoring the girls. Before every match she played at Bryan College the team would cheer, "For Him!". It was a constant reminder that even while they were on the court they could be a witness to others through their actions and words. Regardless of the outcome of any game, Julie wants to instill the same passion for Christ in every girl that comes through the Crusader program.


Junior Varsity Coach Darrell Brown
Born in Greensboro NC  Graduated from Appalachian State, Darrell is married to Robyn Brown and have two children Ally and Emma.  Darrell is the pastor of Real Life Church.

Middle School Coach Diane Helfrich
Diane grew up in Nebraska playing volleyball and her team competed for the state championship her senior year in high school. She also played volleyball in Minnesota as an adult for several years. There, her women's team won the Minnesota state power league championship the last year she played. She also played mixed fours, mixed sixes, and sandlot doubles. For the sixes teams, she was a setter and a hitter using a 6-2 offense. She played volleyball for a total of 15 years. After a managerial career at IBM, she left the corporate life to homeschool her two children, Ian and Anna. Ian is a student at UNC Chapel Hill. Anna is a  in high school and plays varsity volleyball for the Crusaders. She is married to David Helfrich who is an intelligence specialist for USASOC (US Army Special Operations Command). Her greatest love in volleyball now is sharing her passion for the sport with young girls who are just starting...it's a thrill to see them catch the volleyball bug! She has coached for Crusaders for the past five years



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