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Mr. Flaiz, Head Coach

Mr. Flaiz teaches 8th grade Tech at Miller Place North Country Middle School and VEX Robotics at Miller Place Highschool. He holds a Masters degree from SUNY Stony Brook and a Bachelors degree from SUNY Oswego. He has been a Team 514 FRC Coach since 2004 leading all aspects of the team from organization, recruitment and fundraising to design, build, test and competition at annual FRC events. He enjoys back-country snowboarding and raising chickens.

Mr. Hirdt, ASST. Coach

Mr. Hirdt is serving in his second year as coach of Team 514. He has recently finished his Mathematics teaching certification. He was a member of Team 514 from 2008-2011. He then served as team mentor from 2011-2017. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from St. Joseph's College of New York. He brings his experience working at Brookhaven National Laboratory and for the Department of Defense to Team 514. In college he was involved in Division I Fishing.

Mr. Arnold, Mentor

Mr. Arnold has been an IT professional since graduating from Auburn University in 1987. Through his career, Mr. Arnold has worked as a Developer, Technical Manager, Director and Architect. Mr. Arnold has been Team 514’s programming mentor since 2008, teaching team members to use Java and Eclipse to design, develop, test and deploy the code that operates the team’s robot.  Students learn all phases of software engineering, network fundamentals and the software development life cycle. He has a blackbelt in Jiu Jitsu.

Mr. Hughes, Mentor

Mr. Hughes returns to Miller Place after retiring in 2007, where he taught Tech Ed at NCR.  A co-team leader of FIRST Team 273, which became Team 514 in 2001..  A Woodie Flowers award winner & 19 yr. veteran of FIRST, he has mentored countless teams in all levels of competition in FIRST. He is a member of the LONG ISLAND FIRST LEGO LEAGUE planning committee and is thrilled to be back where he started, helping team 514 POWER UP in 2018!


Rob Lipori, Mentor

Rob Lipori was a team member of 514 for 3 years in high school. He was a leader on the team, a programmer and was also a member of the Drive Team. Rob is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Adelphi University. Rob helps students on all facets of the robot during the build season and he is the Drive Team coach. He has a motorcycle.


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Marc DiFilippo, Mentor

Marc DiFilippo was a member of Team 514 for four years in high school. He was a member of the programming team for three of those years and after graduating from high school now helps out the team as a mentor. Marc was also a member of the Drive Team in the 2017 season. Marc is currently attending Stony Brook University studying Computer Science.


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Erick Ecker, Mentor

Erik has been a member of FIRST Robotics since 2013, and graduated in 2017. Erick was team captain in his senior year as well as a member of the drive team and is currently pursuing a Liberal Arts Degree at SUNY Suffolk. He also boasts a collection of 17 lawnmowers.

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Gary Hawrylko, Mentor

Gary is an enthusiastic Grandfather, mentoring the team in his free time. He has been mentoring the team for three years, and is a retired teacher and U.S. Customs Officer. In his free time he enjoys playing Call of Duty.