Meet the CrossFit Coaches

WORLD CLASS COACHES

Our coaches are experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated. There's no better coaching team anywhere around. Not only do they know what they're talking about and doing when it comes to prescribing health, fitness and the proper techniques to achieve results, they also practice what they preach. Meet your coaching team.
  • Steve Johnson

    Head Coach, Owner

    Steve has been a lifelong athlete, and in applying his athlete’s drive and work ethic, went on to qualify 4th in the world for the CrossFit Games in 2015 in the ultra-competitive Masters 45-49 division. And while he’s a workhorse dedicated to his personal fitness, he’s truly passionate about having a positive and lasting effect on people’s lives.

    Steve originally owned and operated a Jiu Jitsu studio and found CrossFit when he and his business partner brought in a third partner who ran a CrossFit affiliate. He immediately found a connection with the strength and conditioning program, saw it as an opportunity to help people improve their lives, and over the course of 2 years, became the sole proprietor of CrossFit RDU. He tirelessly strives to provide the best training experience so that his members continue to prioritize fitness in their long, healthful lives.

    In Steve’s words: “We coach effort in every aspect. Physical and mental. There is nothing better to see this sink in and change a person’s life. It’s not about the outcome, it’s about the effort and the results will come.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
  • David Lynn

    Coach

    David was a collegiate and high school athlete, having gone on to play football and run track and field at UNC Pembroke. There, he received the Most Outstanding Student-Athlete award and was the regional champion in the hammer throw. With all that athletic background, David was missing the high-intensity workouts and environment after he finished college with a degree in Exercise Science. David tried CrossFit when an affiliate moved into the gym where he worked out and he loved it. Today, he’s passionate about being the best coach possible, Olympic weightlifting and applying his fitness to playing sports recreationally.

    In David’s words: “I just love to see people improve. Especially when they think they won’t ever be able to do something and you help them start to figure it out. There is a look on their face that is awesome to see.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
  • Erin Miller

    Coach, New Member Contact

    Erin grew up as a competitive swimmer, did some distance running after college, and is a 3-time Ironman.  Upon introduction to CrossFit, the variety of training that it provided reeled her in and she trained for her third Ironman by mixing both CrossFit and endurance training.  As a coach, she wants to give people what CrossFit RDU has given her – a new level of confidence and a willingness to challenge herself to see what’s possible, which has been inspired by the coaching, community, and support of CrossFit RDU.

    In Erin’s words: “Prioritizing good movement standards is the key to laying a solid, long-lasting foundation in CrossFit. My goal is to set an athlete up to be their most confident self, which extends to life both in and out of the gym.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Nikki Prier

    Coach

    Nikki is an accomplished softball player, having played for 12 years and 4 of those as a starter at Jacksonville State University. She was awarded All-Conference for 3 years, and then conference MVP in 2009. After the end of her softball career, CrossFit became her sport of choice. It is her fitness program and competitive outlet. She knew within 6 months of starting CrossFit that she wanted to coach. RDU motivated her to be her best, as an athlete, then a coach. What she loves most about RDU are the amazing environment and great people.

    In Nikki’s words: “I am passionate about seeing the growth of our athletes. Seeing our athletes develop and do things they never thought they could do in the sport of CrossFit is the best part of the job!”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Harper Thorsen

    Endurance Coach

    As a former Division 1 and Division 3 soccer player at Redford University and Roanoke College respectively, and a long distance runner after college, Harper has a ton of endurance experience and the tools to help people build a solid, efficient engine. CrossFit has changed his definition of fitness and his view of being “in shape.” While he has a great appreciation for endurance, his training methods before CrossFit had become tiresome. He loves the variety and efficient training methodology that CrossFit provides and truly loves sharing the knowledge he’s gained over the years.

    In Harper’s words: “Seeing people improve themselves in any aspect of their life is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced. Helping people better their lives is a reward in itself.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Endurance
  • Erin Sayre

    Coach

    Erin was a competitive swimmer while growing up and went on to college with a swim scholarship. When a back injury sidelined her, she took an interest in coaching. After she found CrossFit, which initially looked intimidating to her, Erin started studying endurance and strength and conditioning to become a CrossFit coach. Today, she coaches at RDU and is a swim and high school strength and conditioning coach. She is passionate about being a part of young people’s lives and helping them navigate their personal path into a healthy adulthood.

    In Erin’s words: “My favorite thing in life is teaching life through sport and building community through common goals, passions and circumstance. I also get a kick out of helping people reach goals that they once considered unattainable! Anything is possible after all!”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Endurance
    • USA Club Swimming
    • ASCA Level 2
    • CPR/AED/First Aid
  • Chase Buckner

    Growing up, Chase was a competitive golfer. Always willing to lend a hand to his teammates on the range, and fascinated by bio-mechanics and physiology, it was not a huge leap for him to quickly fall in love with coaching Olympic lifting, as the speed and precision required for both have a lot of similarities. He dove head first into the world of nutrition, gymnastics, and strength training and hasn’t looked back.

    In Chase’s words: “I didn’t grow up a fitness person. In fact, I hadn’t touched a barbell for 10 years before starting at RDU. It took a long time for me to be confident in the gym, but as soon as it happened I knew that I wanted to coach and help our members achieve that same confidence.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
  • Greg Cooksey

    Greg grew up on a farm in La Plata, Maryland, just outside of D.C., where he enjoyed riding dirt bikes, playing golf, and working out with his buddies. He also worked part time as a personal trainer at a local gym where he focused a lot on building younger high school athletes in their respective sports. Greg found CrossFit four years ago when his brother introduced him to it and became most interested in anything with a barbell, and breaking down the movement. He wants to introduce people to CrossFit, share his love for technique, drive, and determination, while watching them grow and push themselves in the sport of CrossFit.

    In Greg’s words: “CrossFit isn’t just working out, it’s a way of life. I’ve met more people with similar goals and interests that can push me to limits I’ve never gone before. I want to give back by sharing my success stories and all the failures I had getting there.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Brandon McEachern

    While growing up in Georgia, Brandon fell in love with athletics, specifically football. After pursuing his lifelong dream of playing college football, he knew he wanted to pursue coaching and was in graduate school when given an opportunity to start a fitness franchise in Raleigh. Since moving to Raleigh he has been involved in coaching athletes of all ages.

    In Brandon’s words: “Coaches were not only instrumental in my development as an athlete, but more importantly as a person, I want to make a lasting impact and feel like coaching gives me the opportunity to do that.”

    Certifications:

    • USA Weightlifting Level 1
  • Philip Farmer

    Head Strength Coach

    Philip has an elite pedigree in powerlifting and strength sports. He has won 14 titles and holds 7 records throughout various organizations, from the youth level to men’s overall championships. He’s a sponsored athlete of 11 years with more than 30 years of strength and powerlifting experience. Today, he applies all his knowledge and experience to helping others achieve their own strength goals. Philips also loves to explore new places and has enjoyed the gift of travel that his elite level competitions have given him.

    In Philip’s words: “The gift of right and proper lifting technique was given to me and I want to give that gift to others who aspire to be their best. I love to see my students do things they never thought were possible.”

    Certifications:

    • Multiple-time US Powerlifting Federation Champion
    • International Powerlifting Federation World Champion

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