Our Coaches

Brandon Brigman

Brandon grew up in Snellville, Ga., where he played a variety of sports growing up. At Shiloh High School, he was a two-year varsity letterman in football and three-year letterman in wrestling.

Brandon played college football at the University of West Georgia where he was a member of the 2000 Gulf South Conference championship team and was a two-year letterman. Brandon earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Sociology.

After starting CrossFit in January 2010, Brandon received his CrossFit Level 1 certification a year later. He has experience coaching beginner athletes and high-level competitors. Brandon has been coaching at No Excuses since 2011 and was named the General Manager in March of 2014.  Prior to working full-time at No Excuses, Brandon worked as a sports writer for the Gwinnett Daily Post, covering prep sports.

In Brandon’s own words: “Once I went through my first CrossFit workout, I knew that was the workout regimen for me. It combined all the workouts I was used to and added new, fun, exercises to it. CrossFit allows me to compete with myself, others in the gym and the clock.  I’ve lost more than 60 pounds from when I was a college offensive lineman. Many of my weightlifting numbers are similar to when I played football. The biggest difference is the addition of multiple pullups, pushups and situps to my workouts.”

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Laura Mattison

A Duluth, Georgia native, Laura brings passion and energy for helping others pursue and achieve their goals. Laura was a four-year member of the women’s basketball team at Berry College in Rome, Georgia where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Laura moved to Savannah where she earned a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning from Armstrong Atlantic State University.

In addition being a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, Laura is a CrossFit Kids Trainer and heads up our No Excuses Kids program. Laura is also a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach.  Additional CrossFit specialty seminars attended include Movement and Mobility, Goal Setting, and Rowing. Laura is also a Regional Director for BIRTHFIT Atlanta, a company that specializes in education, fitness, and rehabilitation programs for prenatal and postpartum women.

Laura began CrossFit at CrossFit Hyperformance in Savannah where she coached as well as competed with their team in the 2012 CrossFit Games Southeast Regional.  As an individual competitor, Laura finished 27th at the 2013 CrossFit South East Regional.  An athlete all her life, she loves how training in CrossFit challenges her to improve and compete on a daily basis.

In Laura’s own words: “Since finding CrossFit in December of 2010, I have not only improved my fitness level from when I was a collegiate athlete, but have also seen how the CrossFit methodology and community can change peoples’ lives for the better. The confidence that comes from the physical and mental demands of CrossFit permeates to all aspects of your life. It allows you to face challenges and do things you never thought you could do both in and out of the gym. To me, coaching is an opportunity to teach, encourage and inspire others to believe in themselves.”

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Chris Fischer

Graduating from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition, Chris began his career with an internship in sports performance. At XPE Sports, he coached college NFL combine athletes and worked with off-season NFL players in sprint technique, speed, agility, technique training, balance, and core. From here, Chris worked at Lifetime Fitness in the position of Group Training Coordinator where he established an extensive group training program assisting clients achieving goals ranging from weight loss to performance driven.

Chris is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer and is the Director of Programming at No Excuses. He also holds certification with National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Council of Exercise, USA Weightlifting, and Kettle Bell Concepts, but feels that CrossFit outdoes every one of these.

Chris has been cross-fitting for three years now and has a passion for coaching others in Crossfit: “In applying all my knowledge and experience to date, I have found that this program works and works well. We have the best functional practices paired with the best nutritional information. My job is not just to teach or perform the Crossfit movements but it is to honor God through a module that changes life physically, mentally, and spiritually. Crossfit allows me to do this everyday and I hope has the same effect on others. I couldn’t ask for a better job.”

Chris specializes in Olympic Weightlifting and Kettle Bell techniques and is eager to help you achieve your goals, no matter what they are! Email or call Chris for details.

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Christopher Crowder

Christopher Crowder was born with a heart condition that required multiple surgeries over several years as well as a pacemaker for about 10 years of his life.  It wasn’t until his early twenties that he was able to have the pacemaker removed and was cleared to participate in strenuous physical activities for the first time.

At this point, weighing 130lbs and standing about six feet tall he began weight training and was very frustrated by the lack of attention most gym staff gave to those doing things incorrectly.  Growing up in and out of hospitals, Christopher decided to pursue a non-medical degree and career and works in IT full-time. He is very committed to continuing education with regards to exercise science and coaching and loves the research aspect greatly.

Christopher is a CrossFit Level 2 trainer and USAW Level 2 National coach. He is also a Catalyst Athletics Level 1 Weightlifting Coach and Eleiko Olympic Weightlifting and Program Design Coach. Additional CrossFit Specialty Seminars attended include Olympic Weightlifting, Gymnastics, Movement and Mobility and Rowing seminars.

He found CrossFit in 2007 via an Olympic weightlifting seminar and began researching CrossFit which led him to No Excuses where he began his coaching career after training as a member for a year.   In Chris’ words: “Coaching is something I am very passionate about as I have seen so many folks walk out of a gym because of a bad experience; so for me I want to help each person learn how capable they truly are.”

Christopher currently coaches and competes in Olympic weightlifting with Team GA Weightlifting with a goal of making the podium at a National Masters event.

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Jeremy Edmondson

Jeremy grew up in Duluth, GA and graduated from Duluth High School. Jeremy attended DeVry University and earned a Master’s of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s in Computer Information System.

He works full-time as a software developer but helping people of all ages get healthy and fit is his true passion.

Jeremy found CrossFit in 2012 and his life will never be the same again. Since starting CrossFit, Jeremy has earned the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate, CrossFit Kid’s Trainer, and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach.

When asked about CrossFit, Jeremy said: “At the age of 33, I was a heart attack waiting to happen. I was a horrible example of health and fitness for my young children. Then I found CrossFit and my life will never be the same. Not only am I stronger, leaner, and more fit than I’ve ever thought possible, but I’ve found my life’s calling.”

“Now, I want my life to be about helping entire families get healthy, fit, and strong. I want to show them the magic of CrossFit.”

“When describing CrossFit to someone new, I haven’t found the right words to adequately describe how a CrossFit workout can simultaneously feel so horrible and so awesome, all at the same time. But I know for sure that there is no better feeling than seeing the sense of accomplishment on a newcomer’s face after completing their first CrossFit WOD.”

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Stacey Odom

Stacey grew up in Suwanee, GA and went to North Gwinnett High School where she was a 4-year varsity athlete in high school. She then attended Division 1 Mercer University where she was a 4-year softball athlete. Stacey majored in Industrial Engineering at Mercer and now works for Northside Hospital as a Senior Management Engineer.

After her collegiate softball career was over, she got bored with working out on her own and ventured into CrossFit. Her involvement at No Excuses sparked an interest to coach and give back to others. She became a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and has been coaching since early 2014.

In Stacey’s own words: “I was a little lost with my physical and mental health after college. After I lost my mom in 2011 I gained some weight and was overall a little disheveled. I decided to join CrossFit in early 2013 and I have never looked back. I quickly gained control back in my life and built a great community to rally behind me. I can’t explain the feeling of getting my butt kicked every day with great people to support me the whole way. I soon realized that I wanted to help others have that feeling and gain control in their lives. It is so easy to let life swallow you sometimes. I have seen people discover their true potentials while coaching for this gym. You are never too old to find yourself. Coaching is an opportunity to watch people flourish through hard work and determination and watch their journey to finding themselves.”

Cathy Mele

Cathy Mele began training at No Excuses in January of 2012. In the fall of 2012, Cathy and her daughter Lydia were introduced to the sport of Powerlifting after participating in a deadlift fundraiser that was held at No Excuses. Lydia began training at Quest Gym in Duluth for a meet and her Coach encouraged Cathy to start training too since she was going to be there anyway. From then, the Mele ladies were hooked and have had immense success in the sport. Their family has remained connected to No Excuses, training with us in their off-season and getting their other children involved in CrossFit Teens. Cathy brings a wealth of specific powerlifting knowledge and experience to the No Excuses team.

Cathy coaches in our Kids and Teens program and is our resident Powerlifting coach.

More about Coach Cathy:

  • Two-time national champion (2013, 2015)
  • 2014 World Championships total bronze medalist
  • 2014 World Championships deadlift silver medalist
  • 2016 National team member
  • Current American Records(45-49yo); deadlift 358 lb@123 bw and deadlift 369 lb @133 bw
  • Current GA state records; Open (all ages) deadlift @125 bw and @138 bw; M1b (45-49yo) squat, bench, and deadlift records @125 bw and 138 bw
  • USA Powerlifting Club level coach, Level 1 CrossFit Trainer, CrossFit Kids Trainer

Mathew Shamloo

Mathew is originally from Pensacola, FL but has called Suwanee home since 2008. He attended the University of West Florida and holds a B.A. in Advertising/Marketing and works as an Art Director/Graphic Designer. As a multi-sport athlete in his youth, Mathew has always enjoyed an active lifestyle.  “Throughout high school and college, I did the usual gym thing – Back and Bis, Chest and Tris, little bit of cardio, little bit of legs.” But it was always the same thing every week and I found myself just going through the motions and not feeling stronger.” I was immediately drawn to the idea of Crossfit when I came across it. I was never the strongest, nor the fastest, but I was generally skilled and was athletically adaptive, so I was immediately drawn to the idea of constantly varied movements.”

After nearly 3 years of training in CrossFit, Mathew earned his CF Level 1 Trainer Certificate in 2016. Helping and seeing others achieve their goals has proven to be as equally rewarding as anything he has achieved in his own fitness. “I think we take our capability for granted and underestimate our strengths and abilities. There is nothing like seeing the ‘lightbulb come on’ when someone finally gets a movement.”

Jeff Kearse

Jeff grew up in Darlington, SC where he played a variety of sports. He got his Bachelors Degree in Biology from Clemson University. He then went on to get a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky. While at Kentucky, he started his career as a strength and conditioning coach. One year working with the football team, and one year with the swimming and diving teams. While working there he obtained his CSCS through the NSCA.

After grad school he went on to professional baseball where he worked for 3 years as a strength and conditioning coach. Two years with the Detroit Tigers and one year with the Cleveland Indians. After that he tried his hand at personal training for 8 years at Bodyplex in Suwanee, GA. He found CrossFit after being encouraged by one of his personal training clients to check it out. His client said, “My son’s rugby team down at Georgia Tech is doing this thing called CrossFit, you should check it out.” From there, he started doing his own CrossFit workouts from the main site every now and again and was hooked. He then began coaching at Suwanee Sports Academy where they started CrossFit Suwanee. He obtained his CrossFit level 1 in August of 2014 when he took over the CrossFit Suwanee program. Jeff  joined the team at No Excuses in May of 2016.

Deb Walston

Deb grew up in Alpharetta and attended Chattahoochee High School and then attended Lee University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development. Deb is now a teacher for Forsyth County Public Schools.

Like most people, Deb used to workout at a Globo Gym and was introduced to CrossFit through a friend. She began training at No Excuses CrossFit in the fall of 2013 and had immediate success with her gymnastics background as a child. Deb received her CrossFit Level-1 in July of 2015 and began coaching at No Excuses CrossFit.

In Deb’s Own Words: “Coaching has allowed me to blend my two passions: teaching and movement. I love helping others reach their goals. The best moment is when you see a person achieve something they thought was impossible.  I see this every day with my students and now I see it with the members at No Excuses.  I love that CrossFit gives you an opportunity to push on past challenges on a daily basis.  This helps you be more mentally strong inside and outside the gym.”

Jill Sazera

Jill Sazera is the Childcare Director at No Excuses CrossFit. She grew up in Buford, Ga., and went to Buford High School where she was a member of the cheerleading and dance team. She attended the University of Georgia where she was a member of Tri Delta Sorority and earned her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.  In her spare time, Jill enjoys traveling, reading and playing the guitar.