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A former NCAA Division III student-athletes, Michelle Spreda joined the Johnson & Wales University women’s basketball coaching staff in 2016 as a volunteer assistant. She works primarily with the guards and wing players.
During her collegiate career, Spreda was a student- athlete on the women’s basketball team at Eastern Connecticut State University. She was a member of the Warriors’ 2009 Little East Conference regular season championship team. That year ECSU had a school-record 16-game winning streak on its way to a 25-4 record.
Prior to arriving at Johnson & Wales, Spreda worked as a Youth Program Director at the Chesire Conn. YMCA. She ran the youth sports program as well as the teen enrichment and summer camp programs. Spreda coached AAU basketball for the Connecticut Spirit U15 team in 2011 and also coached four seasons of middle school basketball. In addition to her duties at JWU, Spreda also coaches the Rhode Island Breakers U15 and U16 AAU teams.
Spreda graduated from Eastern Connecticut State in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in child and youth psychology and a minor in health.
Coach Abbie Tonello is a former NCAA Division III student-athlete and currently is an assistant collegiate coach. She was a four year member of the women's basketball program at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) in Quincy, MA. While playing at ENC, she was part of one of the program's greatest turnaround seasons during her sophomore year (2011-2012). As a starter and captain during her junior and senior season, she led the team and was top 5 in the conference in offensive rebounding and field goal percentage, with individual game career highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds.
After graduating from college in 2014, she began her coaching career. She has coached both boys and girls at several different levels and ages for the past four years including AAU (Cape Cod Waves and Boston Bobcats), directing summer camps and clinics (Behn Camp), and individual training. She spent two seasons coaching high school girls basketball at Barnstable High School from 2014-2016. In 2016, she began her collegiate coaching career as an assistant women's basketball coach at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. She is excited to be now joining the Breakers organization as the Director of Recruitment and Development as well as the 9th Grade White Coach.
Coach George Hardison was named the head coach at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point by Athletic Director Roger Bidwell in August of 2013. The 2015-2016 season finished with a record of 15-10, with the team losing in the Region XXI Semi-final, two players named to the All-Region Team, one player being named to the Region XXI All-Tournament team, the team was awarded the Region XXI Sportsmanship Award, and team captain Falecia Cabral accepting a scholarship to NCAA Division II Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. In 2014-2015, the team compiled a record of 11-6 overall, 3 players were named to the All-Region Team, and Coach Hardison was named Region XXI Coach of the Year.
Prior to this, he was an assistant coach at the Community College of Rhode Island for the 2011-2013 seasons. During the 2011-2012 season, CCRI compiled a record of 19-12 with a Region XXI NJCAA Championship, and also won the Super Regional XV/XXI NJCAA Championship. In 2012-2013, CCRI was 25-7, won the Region XXI NJCAA Championship, were named the District N NJCAA Champions, and made an appearance in the Division II NJCAA National Tournament in East Peoria, IL.
Coach Hardison has been coaching in Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island for the past 17 years, with a strong background in camp and clinic work, recruiting, and player development. Coach Hardison has also spent several years coaching in the Eastern Connecticut Conference (ECC) and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL). He was an assistant coach at Stonington, Westerly, and New London High Schools over several seasons, with many postseason conference and state tournament appearances. During the 2007-2008 season, Coach Hardison was the head coach at Wheeler High School in North Stonington, CT. The team had a record of 15-10, and reached the Class S state tournament semi-final game.
Coach Hardison is the founder and co-director of The Hoop Academy Basketball Camp, which has been in operation since 1999. The Hoop Academy has camps and clinics throughout Southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island year round. The camp is operated by Coach Hardison and his wife, Colleen Hardison, who has an extensive coaching resume having coached with the Connecticut Starters, Connecticut Storm, Rhode Island College as an assistant coach, The Coast Guard Academy as an assistant coach, and East Lyme High School as the head coach. He was a science teacher with Stonington Public Schools from 2004 to 2016, and is currently teaching science at West Side Middle Schools in the Groton Public School District.
Coach Colleen Hardison will be coaching the Grade 4/5 Breakers West Team, and has quite a bit of experience in coaching and in recruiting at the college level. In 2016-2017, she was an assistant coach at UConn-Avery Point, mainly dealing with recruiting and operations for the program. Prior to this, she was the Head Coach at East Lyme High School where the team did much better than anyone could have anticipated, going 10-13 with appearances in both the ECC and CIAC Tournaments. Coach Hardison coached at East Lyme from 2013-2016, and during her time there the program saw success.
In 2012-2013, Coach Hardison was the Women's Assistant Coach at the Coast Guard Academy, and in 2011-2012 she was the Women’s Assistant Coach at Rhode Island College, and was deeply involved in recruiting and player development during her time at both schools. During her time at RIC, the program saw it’s first Little East Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.
Coach Hardison was Head Coach with the Connecticut Storm AAU Girls' Basketball club from 2009- 2015, and was 3 year Assistant Coach for the CT Starters who won the 14U National Championship in 2008. She has been a director of the Hoop Academy Basketball Camp since 2009. As a player, she competed at Southern Connecticut State University (Conference Champions) and Western Connecticut State University (Team Captain). In high school she was a 1000-point scorer, MVP, achieved All-State Honors and was an All-American Nominee.
Coach Hardison teaches History at the Marine Science Magnet School in Groton, CT, and was recently named the Assistant Principal at the school.