CrossFit Coaches

CrossFit Manassas’ highly trained CrossFit Coaches have expertise, experience, and knowledge in sport, strength & conditioning, fitness, and health. Our coaches are accomplished athletes with many years of CrossFit, Strength and Conditioning, and a variety of other sports experience. Our CrossFit coaches also undergo our rigorous twenty-week, in-house coaches course and have a variety of fitness certifications ranging from sport specific specialties to overall strength & conditioning certificates.

Douglas Esposito – Head Coach and Founder

Coach Doug began his CrossFit journey while on active duty in the Marine Corps. Having been involved with martial arts and fitness since 1978, he was intrigued by these “cross-training people putting up free workouts on their website”. He began incorporating the workouts into his training regimen while stationed at MCB Quantico in 2002, where he served as the Chief Instructor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Soon he had other Marines in his cadre doing the workouts along with him.

As a fighter and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) coach Doug found the workouts to be challenging and a great strength and conditioning program for his fighters as well as for himself. In 2007 when he opened his own MMA gym in Manassas, VA, he continued to incorporate the CrossFit workouts and methodologies with his athletes. By the end of 2008 Doug expanded the gym, became a Level One CrossFit Trainer, and CrossFit Manassas became an official affiliate. Doug has since earned his Certified CrossFit Trainer, or “Level 3” certification and USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach certification.

As a professional instructor, his experience teaching adults has included curriculum design at all levels and literally thousands of hours of formal instruction training, programming, and coaching.

Doug still coaches CrossFit athletes, Olympic Weightlifters, Strength and Conditioning clients, as well as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Thai Boxing, and MMA students on a daily basis. He is continually studying and looking for ways to improve the processes and products available to the members of Vanguard Gym and CrossFit Manassas. Helping people reach and surpass their goals is Doug’s passion, and you can expect a very straight-forward no-nonsense approach when working with him.

Doug has been training, studying, and coaching performance related skills for over thirty-five years. He has extensively trained in Weapons Handling (firearms, bladed, and others), Combative Engagements, Wrestling, Karate, Boxing, Judo, Grappling, Thai Boxing , and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), in which he is a Black Belt under the world famous Leo Dalla. His competition resume includes an undefeated Thai boxing record and multiple Pan-Am medals at the black belt level. He also has his CPR and AED Certifications.

From the Desk of Coach Doug









Contact Coach Doug

I'd be glad to help with your questions, comments, or concerns. Please send me an e-mail.

Jennifer Brannon – Coach

Jennifer began competitive sports at the age of 7. Her love of sports and fitness continued through high school where she played team sports and was a cheerleader. During her summers, she was a lifeguard and coached a local swim team. Since graduating from Virginia Tech she has worked in various fields but has always maintained an interest in fitness. Jennifer has competed in Physique Competitions and coaches others in the sport. Jennifer is a USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach, CrossFit Level Two Trainer, CrossFit Kids Trainer and holds the CrossFit Scaling Course Certificate. She is also CPR and AED Certified.
CrossFit Manassas Coach Jennifer Brannon, CSCS


Blaze Carmical – CrossFit Coach

Coach Blaze has been a part of the Vanguard Gym family for several years. She began her time with us a member of our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program. Blaze has earned her blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and coached our Children’s Martial Arts program. It wasn’t long before Blaze ventured over to the CrossFit gym. She proudly represented our Country as a member of the United States Marine Corps and brings a fantastic focus and dedication to coaching. Blaze is a CrossFit Level I & Level II Certified Trainer. She is also a USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach.


Kris Ellingsen – CrossFit Coach

Kris has been a competitive distance running athlete since 2000 and completed 5 marathons including competing in the Boston Marathon twice and over 30 half marathons. He competed at the local level in Hampton Roads, VA, from 2008 until 2013 receiving the Peninsula Track Club’s 1st male award in their 2010 Grand Prix championship, and is a member of the J&A Racing Half Marathon Pacer Team for their events in the Virginia Beach area. He started his CrossFit journey in Newport News, VA in 2010 and completed his CrossFit Level I trainer course in March 2013. He has volunteered as a judge and competed in local area CrossFit competitions since 2012. Kris has served for 23 years and continues to serve as an active duty member of the US Air Force. His personal fitness goals are to continue to expand his CrossFit certifications, help continue to grow the CrossFit Manassas athletes and community.
Kris Ellingsen

Taylor Rempe – CrossFit Coach

Coach Taylor started his CrossFit journey in 2010 with CrossFit Manassas and gained his Level 1 certification in 2012. Prior to that, he was an active endurance runner (up to half marathon), sprint triathlete, and command PT coordinator in the US Navy. He has competed in several individual and team CrossFit competitions.
Want to sit down, discuss your goals, and decide what way forward is best for you with the guidance of one of our professional coaches? No-pressure, no hassle, no sweat; just great advice to help get you started on your journey.

No Sweat Intro FREE
Are you an experienced CrossFitter or have an extensive athletic background? Get started for $19.99. This includes 3 classes. These classes are a great way for you to experience our great community, learn from our experienced coaches, as well as experience how classes function. Click below to sign up now!

Three-Class Trial $19.99
Always wanted to try CrossFit and experience its amazing fitness benefits, but too nervous to jump right in? We have a six-week fundamentals program that you can try with no obligations to see if it is a good fit for you and your goals!

6-Week Fundamentals

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