Our JOAD Coaches
At Chicago Bow Hunters, we are proud to provide excellent archery education to the next generation of archers. Our coaches have a collective of decades of competition and coaching experience and are the reason our JOAD program is so successful today.
Gabe Querol – Level 3 Certified – Head Coach
As the Head Coach of the CBH JOAD program for the past 9 years, Coach Gabe has seen the program grow from just a dozen or so kids when his son was a member, to over 40 students, requiring 2 classes with multiple lines for each. He's also lead the JOAD team to extraordinary success at the local, state, regional and national levels. In 2017 alone, CBH JOAD had 47 podium finishes at the State level and 11 podium finishes at the National level, along with one member making the USAT team in the Fall. His "secret" to the success of the program is a simple respect for all shooters' learning types, an absolute passion for archery, and a great team of assistant coaches to help foster his love of archery and teaching. As a testament to his success as head coach, he was nominated and voted as Developmental Coach of the Year with USA Archery long with another great coach from the state of New York.
Mike Filipiak – Level 3 Certified
With over 55 years of shooting experience in all disciplines (Olympic recurve, barebow, traditional and compound), Coach Mike is a wealth of knowledge. For 53 of those 55 years, Coach Mike has been a bowhunter, hunting whitetail and mule deer, bear, antelope, caribou, elk and moose. The patience and skills needed to hunt is something that Coach Mike is intent on passing on to his students through the CBH JOAD program, working with archers from beginners to elite, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Throughout the years, Coach Mike has also lent his coaching talents to wonderful organizations such as the Valor Games and worked with disabled veterans, citizens and children through adaptive archery programs all over Chicagoland.
While Coach Mike is a fantastic coach and a fixture at CBH, he’s also not a bad shot himself, having been an NFAA State and Aggregate champion in 3D, Field AND Target shoots throughout the years. With a lifelong love of archery, he’s able to pass along not only knowledge, but a passion for all aspects of the sport of archery. His favorite part of coaching is seeing a kid succeed, walking off the shooting line with a big smile on their face.
Sue Filipiak – Level 4 Certified
Coach Sue has been shooting since she was 4 years old (over 60 years!), competing since she was a teenager and coaching for over 10 years. In her many years of competing, Coach Sue has been a Junior and Intermediate Olympic Recurve Champion in the Chicago Park District (CPDAA) and Illinois State, a compound NFAA Sectional champion and a top ten National archer in both the NFAA and USA Archery organizations. Her vast competitive experience makes her a huge asset when working with our top JOAD archers, knowing that shooting is just one part of competing. As a level 3 certified coach which includes Mental Management training, Coach Sue specializes in the mental aspect of competing, calming nerves and providing each competitive archer with a mental program they can rely on to navigate each and every competition.
Coaching for Coach Sue is more than competition prep, though. Along with her husband, Mike (You guessed it, they met through an archery program at Riis Park as teenagers.) Coach Sue lends her considerable talents to programs like the Valor Games, adaptive archery and our JOAD program. She most loves being able to give back to the archery community, passing on all that she’s learned throughout her career to the next generation.
Heather Hodge – Level 3 Certified
A member of Chicago Bow Hunters with her family since 2012, Coach Heather has been an active competitor in both the Barebow and Olympic Recurve divisions for the past 5 years. Two years ago, Heather joined the coaching ranks as a way to improve her own shooting and impart her passion for archery onto the next generation. Together with her son, Sean, they travel to local, regional and National competitions meeting new people, testing their skills and always learning something new that they can share.
Jim McDonough – Level 2 Certified
Coach Jim might say he got suckered into coaching. His two older daughters started shooting in 2014 when they were 8 and 10 years old. What started as a fun hobby for the girls quickly became a passion and they started competing locally and then nationally. Jim decided that the best way to help his girls excel in the sport of archery was to get involved in the CBH JOAD program as a coach and joined the coaching ranks in 2015. Since becoming a coach, he’s become a talented archer as well, often challenging his girls on the line and giving them more than a run for their money.
Melinda Kolker – Level 2 Certified
Coach Melinda has been a USA Archery Level 2 Instructor since 2013. She and her son joined CBH in 2015 after moving to the Chicago area from Arizona, where they were very active in the archery community. Melinda is currently a back-up instructor for CBH JOAD along with being directly involved in the CBH Adult Archery program.
One of Coach Melinda’s favorite aspects of coaching is to hear what draws new archers to the sport. In her case, it was her fourth-grader who wouldn’t stop asking to take archery lessons. After their first lesson, both she and her son were hooked. For Coach Melinda, lessons turned to coaching and coaching turned to competing. Along with coaching youth and adults at CBH, Coach Melinda has competed on a regular basis in since 2016 and is always willing to help other archers learn about the sport and about competition archery.
Nate Schuessler – Level 2 Certified
A member of Chicago Bow Hunters with his family since 2016, Coach Nate, aka “Arrow Dog,” has been an archer since his youth where he began as an avid bow hunter. As a compound shooter Nate competes recreationally, preferring to actively support the development of young archers and their equipment. He introduced his oldest daughter to the mental and physical benefits of archery and that began his journey into a deeper understanding of shooting as an art as well as a science. In addition to USA Archery training, Nate has also completed Mental Management Foundations and Mental Management 102 training.