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SSAA Staff Members

Mark Marsala
Director of Athletic Operations

Mark comes to the SSAA with over 32 years of athletic coaching and administration experience at the high school level in Florida.

Mark served as the Athletic Director at the Seacrest Country Day School in Naples Florida, as well as at St. John Neumann High School and South Fort Myers High School over the past 26 years. Along with his experience as an Athletic Director, he brings extensive experience in the high school athletic association area. Mark served with the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) as President of the Board of Directors (2015-2017), as well as, the Chairman of Operations for the Board of Directors, a Board of Directors Member, a Section Appeals Committee Member, a Representative Assembly Member, and a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Member. Mark also has served with the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (FIAAA) and as the President of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. 

Mark graduated from Kean University with a Bachelors in Management Science and from Nova Southeastern with a Masters in Physical Education. He is married to his wife Jennifer and has 3 children, Mark, Meghan, and Marissa, as well as grandson, Lorenzo.  


Stephanie Martin
Sports Administrator (Indoor Volleyball, Beach volleyball,  Soccer, New Members)

Stephanie recently retired from Fort Myers High School where she was a Physical Education Teacher and Varsity Head Volleyball coach for 27 years. She led her team to 5 State Runner -Ups and 4 Final Fours, compiling 695 wins. She has 31 years of teaching and coaching experience at the high school level. Stephanie,  also was a Graduate Assistant at FIU for a season working with the Volleyball Team. She played collegiate volleyball at Stetson University (1984-88 as a setter). Currently she is coaching club Volleyball with Florida Gulfside Volleyball Academy in Naples, Florida.

During her time at Fort Myers, she sat on the FHSAA Volleyball Advisory Board, Florida Athletic Coaches Association State Chair for seven years and Local Chair for more than 20 years. She was inducted into the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame and recently Inducted into the Lee County Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. 

Stephanie is married to Greg Martin and has two beautiful Children daughter Kirby and son Clay.  “ I am looking forward to working with SSAA. I have always enjoyed working with student athletes, building relationships and being able to give back to the sport I have so much passion for.”


Gage Brown
Sports Administrator (Football, Softball, Baseball)

Gage Brown comes to the SSAA with 6 years of experience working with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the past 3 in Port St Lucie, FL. He has coached baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis at all levels from recreational leagues to high school competitions. He is excited to see the SSAA continue to grow and build relationships with the schools, coaches, and athletes in the State of Florida! 

Gage graduated from Union University with a B.A. in Christian Studies with a minor in athletic coaching and is joined in Florida with his wife, Megan, and their 6 kids!

Carlos Merced Cruz
Sports Administrator (Cross Country, Golf, Girls Basketball, eSports)

Carlos Merced Cruz arrives at SSAA with 5 years of high school basketball coaching experience; currently for the past 4 years at Windermere Prep (FL), and previously with Providence School of Jacksonville. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has lived in Florida since 2012. As the newest staff member joining SSAA, Carlos is excited to help grow the conference and work on cross country, golf, basketball, and track & field. Sports have always been a major part of his life and he sees working at SSAA as an opportunity of a lifetime.

Carlos graduated from Jacksonville University with a B.B.A in Sport Business and a minor in Spanish, and a M.S in Sport Management.

Mario Jackson
Ambassador Program Coordinator

Born in Quincy FL, and raised in Palatka, FL. I attended  Palatka High School and accepted a football scholarship to the University of Central Florida from 1999-2002 as a TE. I graduated with a BS in Healthcare Administration and a minor in health and fitness with a concentration in coaching football. In 2003 I was signed to the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. In 2005 I signed as a free agent to the AFL Austin Wranglers. In 2006 I signed as a free agent to NFL Europe Cologne Centurions. 2008-2015 I managed and directed admissions departments in hospitals for HCA (Hospital Corporations of America). 2016 Offensive Coord/RB Coach at Suncoast Community High School. 2017-present Head Football Coach/Assistant AD at Berean Christian School. My wife is La’Shea Jackson, children in chronological order Kendall Jackson, Zoie Whitaker, and Kai Jackson

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Sunshine State Athletic Association | P.O Box 1881, Valrico, Florida 33595 |