Our Coaches

Bryan Welker – Owner/Coach

Bryan comes from a very athletic background. He played football throughout high school and continued to play in college at Division 3 UW-Whitewater. Following his stint as an offensive lineman, he took on the journey to remain active and become a healthier individual.

After countless years of strength and conditioning for football, he switched his training to be more orientated around distance running and biking. Although this type of exercise was enjoyable, his true love for weight training was rekindled when he found CrossFit in 2013.

Bryan had earned a coaching minor in college and had also spent time coaching football and instructing weight room workouts at McFarland High School. This passion for coaching and desire to help others led him to obtain his Level 1 CrossFit certificate in the Spring of 2014.

Seeing people give their best each and every day is what motivates Bryan to continue his journey. He strives to further his knowledge of movement and the way the human body works in order to share that knowledge through his instruction.

  • CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certified
  • CrossFit Gymnastics Specialty Course
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Certified
  • OutLaw Barbell Course
  • Sam Dancer Seminar
  • First Aid/CPR

Jared Koepp – Coach

Jared’s athletic background started at the age of 6 when he began taking karate classes. He got his black belt at the age of 10 and was ranked first in the state for his age group. He also played football during school, and trained in Brazilian jujitsu and MMA.

After many years of doing the gym bro routine at anytime fitness he discovered CrossFit in 2014. Jared obtained his Level 1 CrossFit certificate in 2016. He loves helping people in the gym and really loves seeing the joy that members get when they do something they originally thought was impossible.

He’s looking forward to gaining even more knowledge by getting his CFL2 and attending other speciality courses. One last bit of information, for you who follow ROMWOD, Jared is the best rebounder to ever live!

  • CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certified
  • CrossFit Judge Course

Alan Kopp – Weightlifting Coach

Alan was always engaged with sports as he was a 3 sport athlete in high school. His drive to better himself as an athlete pushed him into the weight room at a young age where he first started learning the basics of Olympic lifting. This was when he discovered his passion for testing his limits and seeing what he was capable of.

He continued his athletics venture into college at the University of Dubuque were he played 2 years of varsity Baseball before suffering an arm injury. In spite of this, he still had the drive to better himself as an athlete and found Connex after graduating college. Shortly after joining the family, he pursued a certification thru USA Weightlifting to better himself as coach and weightlifter.

He is currently a project manager at TDS Telecom in hopes to transition to a more permanent role as a fitness professional.

  • USA Weightlifting Coaching Education Certificate

Cherise McFarlane – Coach

Cherise’s athletic career didn’t begin until after High School when she found cycling (road and single track) and boxing. She was a competitive amateur boxer for several years and helped with coaching and training outside of the ring. Cherise also enjoys participating in 5k, 10k and half marathon runs.

Her passion for wellness truly lies within her work. Cherise is a Police Sergeant, K9 Handler and tactics instructor. Her skills center around teaching self-defense, defense tactics, ground combat and firearms. She has found that CrossFit Connex has helped bring her teaching/training to the next level.

Cherise participated in her first CrossFit workout in 2013. She was fully intimidated by the athletes at Connex and the programming ahead of her. She knew with 2 young children and a busy career she had to be the best she could be. CrossFit Connex showed her potential she didn’t know she had. The coaches, members/family, and progress kept her coming back for more. CrossFit has helped show Cherise her own athletic side, set goals and smash them.

Cherise is very active with coaching and teaching at work and she is passionate about helping and improving others at work and Connex. She knows how intimidating it is to walk through the door on day one but she also knows the feelings of success and wants to celebrate them with you. Cherise, her husband, 2 kids and 2 dogs live in the Madison area… most of whom you’ll likely see in the gym! “Hammer Down!!”

  • CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certified
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Judge Course
  • First Responder/CCR/CPR/AED certified

Hank Moon – Coach

Hank has been competing in sports since he developed the ability to run. A 3-sport athlete in high school, he was always staying active, but avoided any sort of voluntary strength and conditioning training. This all changed when Hank enlisted in the Air Force after graduating from high school. He was a regular at the base gym and became a squadron physical training leader, where he ensured the fitness and wellness of over 140 coworkers.

During squadron fitness sessions Hank concentrated on high intensity interval training, which led him to try his first CrossFit workout in 2014. After initially falling in love with it, he spent the next few years in and out of different gyms with different routines, before realizing that his true happiness in fitness was with CrossFit.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force, Hank was eager to seek out a new way to help others achieve their health and fitness goals. He completed his Level 1 Training in Northern California before making the long journey back home to Wisconsin. After just a few short days in Madison he was welcomed into the CrossFit Connex community with open arms.

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certified
  • CPR/AED Trained

Michelle Riesterer – Coach

As a kid Michelle, aka Mama Bear, loved watching and attending sporting events. Early on she found her passion for running. She ran track and cross county in high school and college.

Michelle’s career path took her into the military and is currently a detective with the Madison Police Department. She has always placed a heavy emphasis on staying in shape and was willing to try variety of fitness programs. With her passion of watching sports she saw the 2013 CrossFit Games and was in awe of the athletes and intrigued by the diversity of the events.

Michelle tried her first CrossFit class in the fall of 2013 at the age of 48. One of her most memorable moments when starting CrossFit was a WOD involving air squats: and the coach telling her to squat and her response was “I am”. (Too many years of running and not working on her flexibility and mobility.) To this day she is still working on perfecting her less than stellar squat. Michelle’s love for CrossFit grew because of the challenging workouts, learning the movements of lifts and the support from the coaches and the amazing CrossFit community. Soon after joining CrossFit Connex, Michelle decided to share her passion for CrossFit with others and obtained her Level 1 CrossFit certificate in the fall of 2016. She is excited to continue to grow her knowledge and refine her coaching skills.

It is Michelle’s priority to create a welcoming and fun environment for people from all athletic backgrounds and fitness levels into the CrossFit Connex community. She also loves her two yellow labs that enjoy coming to Connex and attending weekly yoga classes.

  • CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certified
  • CrossFit Online Course Scaling
  • CrossFit Judge Course
  • First Aid/CCR/AED

Alison Monday – Yoga Instructor

The label “athlete” is one that Alison Monday has earned in the last few years. Needing a healthy distraction from some challenging times in 2009, she started running. After completing her first 5K, she finally understood the competitive spirit that many had experienced earlier in their lives. It wasn’t long until she was competing in her first half marathon, which continues to be her favorite distance.

Along with running, Alison got her Gold Level PiYo Certification to test the waters as a group fitness instructor. (PiYo is a fusion class of pilates and yoga.) She had been attending yoga classes for years and liked the added fitness element that pilates brought in.

Running and PiYo were a great combination, but she was still looking for upper body strength building, which is what led Alison to CrossFit in the winter of 2011. The three disciplines provide her the overall strength, balance, flexibility and challenge that she wanted, making her an athlete.

In 2015 Alison spent the year getting her 200 hour yoga teacher certification so that she could teach weekly yoga classes at Connex. She loves being able to help her fellow athletes work on their flexibility and mobility, while also helping them recover from the challenging daily WODs.

  • RYT-200 Registered Yoga Teacher
  • CrossFit Judge Course
  • Gold Level PiYo Certified