Coaches and Mentors

Bert Abrahamson


Many years on Team 701

Mr. Abrahamson works in the engineering field. He volunteers at whatever FIRST regionals he can, including but not limited to the ones the RoboVikes attend.

Bob Anderson

Welding, Mechanical & Construction Mentor

2nd  year on Team 701

Mr. Anderson is neighbors with Aaron and Derek Lance. His favorite name to call students is "knucklehead" and recently he has been the life and entertainment of the team. He majored in Automotive technology and did set construction and special effects on the movie, "Days of Thunder". Outside of robotics he likes spending time with family and fishing with friends. He likes working in his garage and helping people by fixing things. 

Diego Andrade

Programming and Electrical Mentor

6th year on Team 701

Diego started on the RoboVikes as a Junior and graduated from Vanden in 2015. From there he continued to mentor as he attended Solano Community College, studying computer engineering. He mentors because helping students problem solve is fun for him. Outside of robotics, he enjoys working on projects with friends that include physics and math.

Adam Bender

Design and Manufacturing Mentor

3rd  year on Team 701

Adam works with the 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Travis AFB.  He is also owner of Bender Precision Metalworks in Suisun.  Adam has experience with welding, machining, CNC, 3D Printing, and general metal fabrication techniques.  He began mentoring halfway through the season last year and then had a new baby last March.  He is excited to help out again this year.

Kaylyn Beseler

Design and Manufacturing Mentor

2nd  year on Team 701

Kaylyn is a Design Engineer at UTAS.  She graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona.  She is currently working on her Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree also through the Penn State completing her thesis on combustion next spring. A few fun facts about Kaylyn is that she is from Washington State (go Seahawks!) and loves travel and baking.  She is really looking forward to helping out the team and being able to encourage students to pursue science and engineering careers!

Nicole Fierro

Design and Manufacturing Mentor

2nd  year on Team 701

 Nicole is a Manufacturing Engineer at UTAS.  She graduated from Florida International University in Miami and is currently achieving her Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering through Penn State. She has been mentoring our design and manufacturing committees as to how they can improve the efficiency of their engineering process, including their CAD.

Doug Green

Previous Coach/ Founder

20th year on Team 701

Mr. Green has been the head coach of Team 701 since the very beginning. Though he has now moved on and now teaches at Solano Community College, he is still involved. He loves when students collectively learn about cutting edge technology while applying it to the classroom and the real world. Outside of robotics, Mr. Green enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing and blowing up rockets :). He graduated from UC Davis and majored in Nuclear Physics.

Brent Manuel

Media Mentor

3rd year on Team 701

Mr. Manuel is the video production teacher at Vanden. He is also the founder of Asgard Studios, a video production class. He traveled with the team and played a large role in China in 2017. He aids the RoboVikes in business and media.

Duane Murphy

Programming & Business Mentor

15th year on Team 701

Mr. Murphy has been interested in robotics, specifically with the RoboVikes.... He has a vivid memory of the tetris themed game in 2005 where he was the coach on drive team at a competition simply because he was the tallest mentor.

Ben Pochop

Coach And Engineering Teacher

2nd year on Team 701

Mr. Pochop teaches all engineering classes at Vanden High School, including Intro to Engineering, Engineering Tech 1, Tech 2 and Tech 3. He is passionate about watching students problem solve through the game challenges. He has a young child, named Zach, who he spends lots of time with. He went to college at San Diego State and has a Bachelors Degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Frank Shiner

Design & Media Mentor

11th year on Team 701

Frank started as a RoboVike when he was a sophomore in 2009. He was apart of our design committee but also very involved in mechanical and served as a member of drive team. He mentors mostly in design and media including a lot of work with the logos, merchandise and videos. Speaking of merchandise, his company, Frank E.G Shiner Media is featured as one of our sponsors on our team shirts.

Tom Smith


Many years on Team 701

Mr. Smith loves mentoring the mechanical side of the team and enjoys seeing the students having fun  while learning. He served in the AirForce 6 years active duty and 18 years reserve as a mechanical engineer. On his free time, he likes working on, flying his aircraft, as well as fishing and camping with friends. Recently he came by himself to finish fixing the floor and install the door on our mechanical building.