JOE Galat - President/Chairman of Board of Directors


Joe has had a long standing football career. Starting his career at Miami University (Ohio), he played as the team captain and honored as Miami University Outstanding Athlete.  Joe returned as a coach at the collegiate and professional level. He has an impressive resume of colleges where he coached including, Miami University, Yale University, University of Kentucky and Youngstown State University. Professionally, he coached with the NFL's New York Giants and the Houston Oilers. When George Allen was General Manager of Montreal, he appointed Joe to be his head coach. Joe  then became the head coach and General Manager of the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.  In 1982 Joe was inducted into The Miami University Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into The Painesville Harvey High School Hall of Fame (along with The NFL's winningest Coach Don Shula). After his coaching days,  Joe was National Color Commentator for CBC-TV SPORTS. This experience gave him the distinction of having held every position in organized football (player, coach, manager, broadcaster, and Youth Executive).

ELIZABETH Bray - Director of Operations


Starting in 2009, Elizabeth was appointed AYF Communications Director and quickly made great progress in the strategic development of the cheerleading program. As a result, Elizabeth has been named AYC National Director and coordinates all AYC Cheer and Dance Programs. Elizabeth holds a BA in Business Communications from The University of Michigan.  She brings much experience, humor and passion from her past positions in public relations, marketing, and management.  Among her previous jobs include Ford Motor Company, Marketing Associates, Valassis Communications and Woodland Paper. Her careers have all contributed to her great success at American Youth Football.

DEE Grayer - Football Commissioner


Dee Grayer's incredible knowledge and experience in football has led him to the National Football Commissioners seat at American Youth Football. He played College Football at San Jose State University and then in the professional Arena Football League for 3 years, both in Florida and Oregon. Dee's career then extended into years of experience in youth football. In 1999 Dee became an active organizer, volunteer, administrator, and coach for youth football program. He has been nationally recognized with awards including,  the AYF Volunteer of the Year, AYF Giving Back Community Award, and head coach of the Under Armour AYF All Star game. Dee's leadership in the community include: the establishment of the Annual Spotlight Dinner a local community event centered up on giving back which recognizes the top high school football players, youth teams, active community members and sponsors; a local fundraiser, The Turkey Tee Off, in addition to organizing AYF’s participation in the 2008 Snoop Bowl during Super Bowl XLII. Dee actively contributes his time and expertise to youth combines and clinics and sits on the board of several non-profit corporations.

TAMMY Gagne - National Cheer Commissionertammy.png

Tammy brings a wealth of experience from all aspects of cheerleading. She has coached youth, middle school, and high school cheer since 1998, with many state, regional, and national titles. She was awarded 2005 and 2010 NH cheer coach of the year, and 2013 AYC volunteer of the year.

Tammy has held many local and state administrative positions for cheer since 1999, has organized and coordinated cheer clinics, camps and competitions since 2007 with an emphasis on sportsmanship and teamwork. Tammy has several national safety certifications, is performance and safety judge certified at the state and national level since 2004, has been a member of the AYC technical committee since 2011.

Tammy resides in New Hampshire with her husband David and has 6 children.

CRAIG Karahuta - Vice President Football & Cheer Operationscraig.jpg

Craig has 14 years involved in youth Football and cheer. Craig started out at the association level as a board member and then was elected president. He then became a board member, Vice President, and then President of the Jersey Shore league which is currently NJAYF . Craig served as the Big Easst Region Chairman and in 2013 was appointed AYC Operations Director.  In January 2015 Joe Galat appointed Craig to the position of VP of Football and Cheer Operations for American Youth Football. Craig resides in New Jersey with his wife Tara and has 5 children.

SHANNON Shy - Recruitment & New Member Director


Shannon Shy serves as the National Membership Director for American Youth Football (AYF). An attorney, retired Marine Corps officer, author, motivational speaker, and stadium announcer, Shannon has coached youth football, baseball and soccer and served as a youth football administrator at every level.  In December 2013, Shannon was selected as a member of the National Council for Youth Sports Safety.   Shannon currently serves in the Pentagon as the senior land use counsel in the Department of the Navy and has served for over 24 years with the Department as both an active duty and reserve Marine Corps officer and as a civilian attorney.  He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2007 receiving the Legion of Merit Medal upon his retirement.  In 2010, he was awarded the Department of the Navy Distinguished Service Award, which is the highest honorary award the Secretary of the Navy can confer upon a civilian employee.  Shannon also serves on the Board of Directors for the International OCD Foundation, and has published a memoir about successfully defeating obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as a book about his daughter. 

FAYE Katz - Director of Human Resourcesfaye.jpg

Faye brings twenty years of experience in the publishing and marketing field and has held management positions in working with Price-Waterhouse and Holt Renfrew. Faye now overees AYF Staff and Personnel.


KEN Gantt - National Championships Operations and Motivations

JESSICA West- Social Media and Events Coordinator

Jessica has been involved with AYF since 2010. She started out as a volunteer for the National Championships and was recently appointed as a Social Media and Events Coordinator by Joe Galat in January.  Her expertise is in event planning and sports management, having recently completed her bachelor's degree in event management this past December. Jessica is currently pursuing her second masters degree in sports management and at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and she will be focusing on website development and event operations within AYF.

ADAM Laufer - General Counsel

Adam is a laywer who serves as counsel to AYF and supports member organizations with their Legal and IRS Support.


JOE Galat II- IT Director

Joe joined the AYF team 7 years ago after completing his Masters of Education Technology from the University of British Columbia.  He has been the  network administrator and department head of Information Technology at St Thomas Aquinas high school for the past 18 years. Joe is also on the board of the Vancouver Arch Dioceses technology committee. 


JIM Taft- Chairman Emeritus


Jim Taft is formerly the vice president of American Youth Football. He came to American Youth Football with vast experience in youth work and especially football. Jim retired as National Football Commissioner with Pop Warner Football in 1993. In 1996, Joe Galat and Dr. Jack Hutslar asked Jim to join with them in creating American Youth Football. Joe, as did many other football people, felt that a new dimension for youth football was needed to encompass other types of football programs not affiliated with current national programs. Jim served as an executive director with the Boys Clubs of America in Charlotte, NC, Wallingford, CT and Camden, NJ. He is a graduate of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC.    

JULIE Bolton - Giving Back Chairman

DEIRDREA Willis - Step Chairman


New England:                                                                                

Football - Rick Pelletier

Cheer - Keesha Dickey

Big East:

Football -  Lou Montanaro

Cheer - Tina Certo


Football-Orlando Gudes

Cheer- Julie Bolton


Football- Travis Scott

Cheer- Kelly Frazier 


Football- William Tandy 

Cheer- Linda Atkins


Football - L.E. Chamberlain

Cheer- Joyce Sinnette

Mountain Northwest: 

Football- Mark Tyrrell

Cheer- Sandre Nelson  

Desert Pacific:

Football- James McKinney

Cheer- Don Carbiener/Pam Cronauer

Central Midwest:

Football- Robert Morris

Cheer-Tara Salas

Western Regions Ambassador:

Tim Kanavel