Facebook 09/25/21
Click to Expand    Organization Leaders
Brandel, Daniel - Board Member

Brandel, Daniel R.



Daniel R. Brandel was born of Missionary parents in Chad, Africa, where he spent nearly all of his early life.  He has been coaching both boys and girl’s basketball since 1981 when he made his coaching debut with the Flint Christian Warriors.  Since then he has been a head coach at both the junior varsity (Plymouth Christian Academy, 1985-1995) and varsity (Zoe Christian Academy, 1997-1999) levels, and has also filled the position of Head Assistant Basketball Coach at the college level (Oakland Community College, 1999-2001). Throughout his career, Coach Brandel has enjoyed both individual (Conference Coach of the Year, 1993) and team (First Place Warrior Classic Basketball Tournament, 1983; Conference championship, 1993) successes. 

In 1985, Coach Brandel began coaching with Sports Ambassadors.  With players from the United States, his teams have competed successfully (142-6) in the Philippines (1985, 1986), El Salvador, Guatemala (1985, 1986, 1996), Thailand (1990), Bangladesh, India and Singapore (2000).

Along with coaching American teams overseas, Coach Brandel has also put on clinics for both coaches and players in the countries of Benin (2001, 2002, 2003, 2012), Botswana (2012, 2013) Cambodia (1994), Cameroon (2004), Costa Rica (2010) El Salvador (1987, 1988, 1999, 96, 10), Ghana (2005), Guatemala (1987, 1988) Niger (2012), Nigeria (2003, 2O04, 2006, 2008, 2013), Spain (19398) Togo (2003),  Uganda (2009, 2013, 2014), Zambia (2005,2006) Zimbabwe (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).

He has worked basketball camps at the University of Michigan, Lipscomb University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Eastern Michigan University and has helped at the Baumgartner shooting camp in Indiana. Numerous camps have also been run with his own teams.

Coach Brandel has a Masters in Sport Coaching from the United States Sports Academy. 

He has written several articles for Hoops magazine: “No Gym? No sweat! Try these practice activities instead” (Nov. 1994), “Grade School Programs Boost Competitiveness” (Jan. 1998), “Getting the Most Improvement in the Shortest Time” (Spring/Summer 1999), and “Analyze Why Plays Don’t Work” (July 2004). 

He has also written handbooks titled “Apologetic Progression - 2010”, “Basketball Contests”, “Basketball Journal – 1994”, “Basketball Self-Improvement Series - 1995” “Beyond Winning - 2001”, “Building your Basketball Team - 2014”, “Coaches Tips for Basketball”, “Coaching Basketball Progression - 2002”, “Defeat Your Toughest Opponent  - 2001”, “Developing Your Basketball Philosophy - ”, “Financing Your Sports Ministry - 2010”, Follow Through for Sports Ministry - 2014”, “Share the Rock”, “Lessons Learned through Sports - 2010”, “Football(soccer) Contest” - 2010, “Character of a Champion - 2006”,  “Players Tips for Basketball”, “Spiritual Training - 2012”, Sports Training”, “Team Building Exercises - 2010”, “Tips for Building a Basketball Team - 2014.”

Presently, Coach Brandel is teaching basketball at Oakland Community College, He is working with the Novi Firebirds Traveling Team and training basketball players and coaches in other countries. He is the African Area Director for Sports Ambassadors. His strengths are his philosophy of basketball and coaching from a biblical worldview. He is able to teach the “how’s” and “why’s” of basketball to coaches and players. In the game and in life there are many parallels of which he teaches those to his players.  His personal goals are to mentor each one of his players to be men and women of God. Sports can be a perfect discipleship tool.

Huggins, Scott - Board Member

Huggins, Scott

Webmaster &


SCOTT A. HUGGINS was born in Bay City, Michigan and currently resides in Novi, Michigan.  Scott grew up as the youngest  of six children, and credits his competitive spirit with the challenge of keeping up with two older brothers.  He played high school tennis, softball and cross country.

Coach Huggins has had 3 boys in the Firebirds program since 2010. "We joined the program because we wanted our boys to get plenty of exercise during the winter and because of the Godly principles promoted by the coaches," he says.

In 2013, Scott began his basketball coaching career as the B14 coach.  Since there were not enough boys for a full team, Coach Huggins assisted with the boys B12 and B16 teams.  This year Coach Huggins is ready to take on the B16 role and is looking forward to a great season.

Waldo, Martin - Board Member

Waldo, Martin


Board Member

Arenz, Jeff - Board Member

Arenz, Jeff


Board Member

Jeff Arenz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but grew up in Novi, Michigan.  He currently resides in Whitmore Lake, Michigan with his wife and five children, two of whom are Firebirds.
Coach Arenz played high school basketball at Northville High School and played one year of basketball at Kalamazoo College where he received an undergraduate degree in Business with a minor in Religion.. Prior to having kids he coached both middle school and high school basketball in Fowlerville, Michigan. His love for playing basketball continues as he still plays on a weekly basis.
In addition to Coaching the B10 and B12 Firebirds, Coach Arenz assists Coach Mark Brandel at the Sports Academy at Plymouth Christian coaching not only basketball but baseball and soccer as well. Coach Arenz enjoys not only teaching the young Firebirds the game of basketball, but also hopes to instill life lessons, including how to serve the Lord on the basketball court.
Facione, Tony - Adminstration Assistant

Facione, Tony


Admintration Assistant

Tony Facione was born in Detroit, MI, grew up in Livonia and now lives in South Lyon, with his wife Erin (married in 1998), and their 7 Children.  Coach Facione became a follower of Christ in 1998 and has served the Lord as a member of NorthRidge Church in Plymouth where he and his family have attended as members since 2000.  He enjoys leading a “Raising a Modern Day Knight" father & son group and has served on leadership for Bible Study Fellowship, several different roles of leadership at NorthRidge, and at a Bible Camp for kids in the past. 

Coach Facione grew up playing football, hockey, baseball and basketball. In High School at Livonia Franklin, he played Varsity football, Varsity basketball and Varsity track. Coach Facione attended Wayne State University where he played football for the Tartars on scholarship and graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering.  
Coach Facione has coached over a dozen youth baseball teams, several youth football teams and has coached for the Firebirds since 2014.
Coach Facione believes that excellence honors God and inspires people.  He hopes to inspire and encourage ALL of the players he interacts with to: honor their parents/coaches/referee’s/authority figures, respect their siblings and team-mates, become a valuable citizen of this great country, grow into the man/woman of God they were designed to be…..and last but not least have fun doing it!
Brandel, Mark - Director

Brandel, Mark


MARK T. BRANDEL was born of Missionary parents in Detroit, Michigan. Although spending his early years in Africa, by high school, he started playing and coaching Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Softball and Volleyball. He has been involved with sports since 1973, and made his high school coaching debut with Plymouth Christian Academy and their Volleyball team in 1982.

In 1989, Coach Brandel took over the responsibilities of Director of Sports Academy at Plymouth Christian Academy were he finished his work there in the Fall of 2018. Sports Academy has since moved to HEA and is where young athletes from age 6 to high school are developed. Each year, several hundred kids and a dozen coaches return to the basics as they learn the sports of Baseball, Basketball, Soccer and Volleyball.

Brandel, Janice - Board Member

Brandel, Janice


Board Member

Jan began her coaching career at Plymouth Christian Academy in the early 1980's. She coached the varsity volleyball and softball teams for 3 years before starting a family. She took a break for several years while their family grew then returned to coaching the Fireballs homeschool team when her oldest daughter was old enough to play. She coached the Fireballs for 10 years going from a 0 win initial season to winning the Silver division at Nationals her final season of coaching. She took a hiatus for a few years so she could watch her daughters play college ball. Jan returned to coaching at Novi Christian Academy in 2016 where she coached 1 year of middle school volleyball and three years as head Varsity coach. She is enjoying her new role as Coach Mentor with the Firebirds. Jan and Mark have 8 adult children whom they homeschooled for 25 years. They also have 7 grandchildren (so far!)

Lincoln, William - Adminstration Assistant
Player Photo 

Lincoln, William




Bill Lincoln married his high school sweetheart 27 years ago, lives in Plymouth MI, and has 6 kids. Bill has served in various roles at Oakpointe Church (in Novi) over the last 15 years, including men’s ministry, life group leader, 4/5th grade shepherd, middle school shepherd, and their drama ministry.

Bill grew up playing football, baseball, wrestling, and tennis, and enjoys playing all sorts of sports even today (but a lot slower).   He was captain of his wrestling team in high school and was assistant wrestling coach after high school for 2-years.  As he had kids, he helped coach a season of football and soccer.  Having grown up playing so many sports, Bill is very competitive.  But his fondest memories of his sports experience are his interactions with his wrestling coach.  It was his wresting coach that showed him how to push his body/mind and to choose to do honorable actions over selfish ones.  That coach led Bill to the Lord the summer of 1990, and Bill has forever been changed since.  He thanks Coach Butler for that pressure to be “better” and to serve God, to this day.

Bill served in the Army as a Combat Engineer, graduated from Eastern Michigan University, and helps manage a construction company.

Bill and his family are new to the Firebirds.  4 of his 6 kids are playing.  They started mid-year last season and has enjoyed experiencing how the Firebirds balance highly competitive play with kindness/love to others.

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