This week marks a special occasion for volleyball history in Frisco, as one of the highest ranked local clubs in Texas opens its doors on a brand-new state of the art multi-use event and sports center. Following years of renting space from various Frisco ISD schools, the Frisco Flyers Volleyball Club officially has a home in the heart of Frisco.
Frisco Flyers Volleyball Club is a junior volleyball club sanctioned through USA Volleyball and the North Texas Region. The Flyers are intent on competing with the top volleyball programs in the country. Their unique training methods, strength and conditioning, individual position training and attention to detail have contributed to their success in the North Texas area.
The brand new 50,000 square foot, ten court complex, will serve as the home to the Frisco Flyers and will be used to host local, regional and national tournaments and weekly practices. The facility is part of a larger planned development that will also include possible office buildings, retail space and other sporting venues.
Who’s Behind This Successful Youth Volleyball Club?
Recently I pulled up a chair at Blue Goose Cantina with Jason Rogers and Bill Raitt, joint Directors of the Frisco Flyers, for some lunch and reflection on how the club has grown from small and unknown…to the fourth best in North Texas.
The journey began when a Frisco dad placed a volleyball net on the side of his home. Jason Rogers just wanted to encourage his then third grade daughter with her newfound interest in volleyball. Soon, other neighborhood kids were joining in and over time, a small local team was born.
With his experience in athletics and a lot of personal motivation, he decided to get involved in coaching youth players. He became a Fieldhouse USA coach, all the time still working at another full-time job. Being a USA Level Rugby player and a collegiate football player, he was well acquainted with the commitment it takes for an athlete to succeed.
He decided to build a small club and came up with the name ‘Flyers’. Jason shared,
We wanted something that resonated with people and had a similar ring to the Middle School club names like ‘Griffin Gators’ and ‘Vandeventer Vikings’.
Raised in Dallas, Jason has spent his entire sports career as a motivator, player, and coach at the highest level with over thirty years of combined coaching and playing experience in different sports disciplines. With a background in technology working as a Senior Tech PM/Network Engineer, he was one of the geniuses behind the creation of Fandango, which ultimately led to his position as the CIO of Cinemark Theatres. Following this, he started a medical software company in 2003 that is still in operation today.
Fellow Flyer’s Director Bill Raitt was born and raised in New Mexico and once owned and operated a surgical staffing company. He has a background in collegiate basketball and prior to moving to Texas, coached multiple league sports in his spare time.
Taking It to the Next Level
Rogers and Raitt are cousins. By 2009, the Club had established a catchy name, created a logo and launched their small club into the Frisco recreational volleyball scene. Over a game of golf one day, Jason and Bill realized there was opportunity in front of them. With their shared drive, motivation, and experience, they could coach young athletes and build the Frisco Flyers Club into something really exceptional. Bill explained,
We had kids coming to us that were considered seconds and thirds at other clubs and wanted to try a new place. It was clear they had the fundamental skills and interest to become great players and just needed the right attention.
From humble beginnings, their timeline and growth are certainly something to applaud. In 2012 they had 8 teams and added some skilled coaches. By the following year, they had their first traveling team, and in 2014, three teams qualified for USA Volleyball Nationals. By 2016 they could boast 26 teams with National Champions in the 13’s, and a runner-up in 12’s. By 2017 they more than doubled in size with 53 teams and broke ground on their new 50,000 square foot facility with a goal to open in August 2018.
This month marks the achievement of that goal. So what can we expect from this new multi-use event and sports center?
The Impressive New Facility in Frisco
- 50,000 square foot multi-use facility built with the ability to host any corporate or sporting event or show
- 10 Volleyball courts with an automated net system
- High-speed fiber infrastructure internet backbone which allows enterprise-level streaming of any event including games, tournaments, and corporate events.
- The flooring, known as Taraflex and used in the past 11 Olympic games, has been shipped directly from France. The Frisco Flyers will be the only club in North Texas to offer this flooring.
- A full-service pro shop with all items needed for athletes to play and compete in volleyball
- 600-700 square foot concessions with a full seating area that faces the courts for families and patrons to watch games while enjoying refreshments
While the opening of this new facility is a dream come true for the Frisco Flyers Club, Jason and Bill have been clear – their new Sports and Event Center has been built with the growing community of Frisco in mind.
The partnership with City of Frisco allows our Event Center offering to become an option for our corporate partners in Frisco to host their events and adapt and utilize our facility where possible. There’s no limit to what can be hosted. It will also be available for other business and sports events as a community-centric environment both inside and outside.
Even the name of the street was strategically selected – 6300 Flyers Way (just east of Frisco Street and north of Main) to support the idea that the “Flyers Way” is what differentiates them from other clubs.
Setting the Stage for Tremendous Growth
Today the Flyers are considered one of the top clubs in the nation. Jason and Bill are dedicated coaches with both of their families deeply involved with the Flyers to support its success. They now direct all aspects of the club full time and believe their business success prior to working on Flyers has set the stage for its tremendous growth. Jason shared,
Bill’s huge strengths in scheduling, coordination and customer service paired with my background in technology, management and customer service, as well as our personal history as athletes, has really helped us build the club to where it is today.
Word of mouth has been their biggest marketing tool throughout these growing years. Bill explained,
We have zero marketing budget right now because we simply don’t need it. Families enjoy the whole experience with the Flyers and pass that on to friends, neighbors, and connections around town.
They’re careful about choosing coaches and at one stage were fortunate to have a national Peruvian champion working with them. When interviewing, they place a huge emphasis on those potential coaches who understand customer service and how the Flyers not only work with the player but families too. The coaches also need to be personable, respectful, knowledgeable and dedicated role models for the players. They must not only teach the game of volleyball but also strive to be a team player in life.
Currently, they have more than 50 people on their coaching staff supporting 600 players. Most coaches have full-time careers and coach on the side because they have a passion for the game.
North Texas is considered one of the most competitive regions in the nation for volleyball. Colleges scout athletes here due to the well-known standard of play in the region. The Flyers have and will continue to facilitate the growth of all athletes in the area from the beginning of their athletic volleyball career to the pursuit of a collegiate scholarship.
Despite all this tremendous growth, Jason and Bill continue to place emphasis on a very grounded, family-oriented culture. Their own personalities are natural, warm and infectious and clearly passed down the line to all their staff.
Similar to any other Frisco sports club, the Flyers are competitive, but are consistent in maintaining a culture of fun! As a proud Frisco Flyer family member, with my eldest in one of their club teams, I can personally vouch for that experience. Every practice, clinic, try-out, game or event we have attended with the Flyers exudes an engaging, fun and electric atmosphere like no other.