Meet Our Coaches

Our exercise methodology is based on our personal experience as well as the systems popularized by the brightest minds in the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition and Injury Prevention.  CFS provides professional grade coaching because our team is passionate about what we do - helping our clients reach their fitness goals.

Coach Dan 

Dan Goldberg – Owner, Head Coach, Personal Trainer & Remote Coach


Education, Experience & Qualifications:  Union College 2005, Certified Personal Trainer from American College of Sports Medicine, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, Kettlebell Athletics Level 2 Coach

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Level 2, Endurance, Kettlebell, Mobility, Gymnastics Level 1, Competitor’s Course, Judges’ Course

Competitive Experience: 2009 CrossFit Games Northeast Regional (35th place), 2010 CrossFit Games Northeast Regional Qualifier (DNF), 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games Northeast Regional (12th place), 2011 Skinny Man Triathlon, 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Northeast Regional (9th place), 2012 WNY Hammerhead Challenge (1st place), 2013 WNY Hammerhead Challenge Dewitt Event (1st place), 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Northeast Regional (DNF), 2013 Beast of the East (9th Place), CrossFit 315 1 Ass to Risk 2013 (1st Place), 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Open (7th place), 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Northeast Regional (23rd place), 2014 CNY Throwdown (2nd place)

I starting lifting weights at 14 years old to get stronger for football.  In my waking life I have spent more time in gyms than anywhere else.  In 2006 I decided to leave law school and made my love of fitness a career at an Equinox in Manhattan.  In 2009 my love for my wife Ellen (the redhead at the front desk) brought me to Syracuse.  When I moved up north I was disappointed to find a very limited number of CrossFit gyms.  I knew that Syracuse’s active community would embrace another CrossFit gym and that is why we are here – to help the people of Syracuse discover their physical potential and improve their lives. In all of the years of training myself and others I have never found an exercise methodology better at changing bodies and lives than the brand of CrossFit you will find at our gym.  Whether your goal is to run a marathon pain free, become a CrossFit competitor or just look better in your clothes, CrossFit Syracuse is the best place in town for you to realize your goals. I am currently training under world-renowned coach James Fitzgerald in hopes of finishing in the top ten at the 2015 Northeast Regional.  Outside of the gym I use my fitness to more completely enjoy my life and I love knowing that I am physically capable of whatever life has in store of me. I love CFS and I’m very blessed to be able to share my passion for fitness and the experience I’ve gathered in my own pursuit.

Coach Mike  

Michael Elliott – Coach & Personal Trainer


Education, Experience & Qualifications: BS in Kinesiology/Exercise Science SUNY Cortland 2005, attained CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) thru the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2005, CPR certified.

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Mobility, Judges’ Course

Competitive Experience: 2012 WNY Hammerhead Challenge, Reebok CrossFit Games Open 2012, 2013 & 2014, 2012 Binghamton’s Fittest Competition, 2013 WNY Hammerhead Challenge, 2014 CNY Throwdown

I began personal training in 2004 while attending SUNY Cortland.  I got my first experience in strength and conditioning while working with the US Women’s Handball Team from late 2004 through early 2005.  After graduating in 2005, I began my personal training career.  Throughout the years, I have worked with a variety of individuals: professional athletes, children, grandmothers, and everything in between.  I have worked with people with a wide array of physical conditions, including back problems, knee problems, pregnancy, diabetes, the physical effects brought on by cancer, etc.

Every minute of my training experience has been extremely fulfilling.  My passion is helping people reach their fitness goals.  The results my clients get extend far beyond the physical; the effects are truly life changing.

Like many others in this country, I have struggled with weight issues.  In January 2011, I tipped the scales at 235lbs.  I decided it was time for a change and committed myself to a CrossFit training regiment and strict paleo diet. I now weigh around 190lbs.  I am not only lighter on the scale, but I have more energy, my mood is better, and my head is clearer.

I have experienced the changes first hand and know what it takes to reach those goals.  This is why training others is so fulfilling for me.  I understand what people are going through, both physically and mentally, and know what it takes to change.

Please feel free to visit my personal blog to help you change your life!

Coach Brian 

Dr. Brian Stalnaker, DPT – Coach


Education, Experience & Qualifications:  Bachelors in Health Sciences, Utica College of Syracuse University 2008, Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Utica College of Syracuse University 2010

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Mobility, Judges’ Course

Dr. Brian Stalnaker, DPT is excited to call CrossFit Syracuse his home. Dr. Stalnaker has been CrossFitting for over five years and independently coaching CrossFit for the past year outside his physical therapy career. With his professional background as a PT, educating, resolving and preventing movement dysfunction and injury is a standard component to Dr. Stalnaker’s coaching.  He emphasizes the importance of active recovery and educating others on the proper steps anyone should be able to do to foster quicker recovery, resolve old injuries, enjoy greater fitness, and avoid future orthopedic injury and dysfunction. Hiking/climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, kayaking/canoeing, and paddling are all sports he enjoys spending his free time doing with his wife, Nicole, and pup, Zoey.


Coach Piston

Dan Piston – Coach

Education, Experience & Qualifications: US Navy Veteran, Syracuse University 2017, New York State EMT-Basic

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Gymnastics Level 1, Judges’ Course

Competitive Experience: Festivus Games (Apr 2013), CrossFit Open 2013, Tough Mudder Buffalo 2013, 1 Ass to Risk Competition (Oct 2013)

I have never been an overall fit person.  Sure, I had been in shape doing calisthenics/running for the military but I minimally participated in strength work.  It was not until my last Navy deployment in 2012 that I made two significant life changes: cleaned up my diet and started strength training.  Most of the credit goes to one of my friends for motivating me to go down that path.  It was also on this deployment that I was introduced to CrossFit with my first WOD including handstand pushups and ring dips.  It’s safe to say I did not do very well on my first WOD but it opened my eyes to the challenges offered by CrossFit.  As soon as I returned from my deployment I signed up for my Level 1 certification course to further my education while starting to train with some friends in a garage gym.  After leaving the Navy in February 2013, I returned home to Syracuse to attend college at Syracuse University.  CrossFit has made such a large impact on my life that I decided to pursue Health and Exercise Science as my course of study.

Being a member at CrossFit Syracuse has been an amazing experience.  I love being around so many people that are constantly striving to challenge themselves physically and mentally.  My goal as a CrossFit coach is to help inspire and guide others to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Coach Pat

Pat Commeret – Coach & Personal Trainer

Education, Experience & Qualifications: MVCC (AS) 2010, Certified Personal Trainer from National Strength & Conditioning Association, National Council on Strength and Fitness Certified (NCSF), SUNY Youth Sports Coaching certified (SUNY YSI), CPR/AED Certified, USA Boxing certified

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Level 2, Gymnastics Level 1, Judges’ Course

Competitive Experience: Watertown boxing amateur level 2008-2009, MVCC Soccer 2009, MVCC lacrosse 2009, 2013 & 2014 CrossFit Open, 1 Ass to Risk 2013, CNY Affiliate League 2013, 2014 Hammerhead Challenge, 2014 Survival of the Fittest (4th place), 2014 CNY Throwdown, 2015 Fittest on Headson (1st place), 2015 CrossFit Dewitt Ultimate Fitness Challenge (1st place)

Growing up, I’ve always had a passion for sports and fitness. In high school, as well as college, I participated in soccer, lacrosse and boxing. My involvement in these activities enlightened me to a broad array of strength training modalities. I was first introduced to CrossFit at a local high school gym in Watertown. CrossFit made an immediate impression on me, and further proved that my other previous training programs were inadequate.  After moving to the Syracuse area and becoming acquainted with the CrossFit community, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to become a part of this movement. My experience with CrossFit has been nothing short of a positive, motivating, self-improving program to assist individuals in achieving their physical, emotional and mental goals. My decision to become Level 1 certified was greatly influenced by the positive impact it was making for me, as well as the other members of our gym. I consider it a privilege to be part of this tremendously talented group of coaches. I look forward to a bright and fun future with CrossFit Syracuse.

Coach Treistman

Jeff Treistman – Coach & Program Director of Syracuse Barbell Club @ CFS

Education, Experience & Qualifications: Bachelors in history, University of Colorado (2003); Masters in public policy, Harvard University (2010); Masters in economics, Syracuse University (2012); Doctorate in political science, Syracuse University (expected 2016)

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Gymnastics Level 1, Judges’ Course

Olympic Weightlifting Certifications: USA Olympic Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach (Level 1), USA Olympic Weightlifting Advanced Sports Performance Coach (Level 2), USAW LWC Referee, MDUSA Catapult Weightlifting Certification

Competitive Experience: 2013 WNY Hammerhead Challenge, 2013 & 2014 CrossFit Open, 2012 Tough Mudder Tri-State, 2013 Festivus Games, 2013 Catalyst Games, 2013 Battle in the Burn, 2013 WODchester Games, 2013 CNY Affiliate League, 2014 Western NY Open (olympic weightlifting, 2nd place), 2014 Liberty Barbell Classic (olympic weightlifting), 2014 Connecticut State Championship (olympic weightlifting), 2014 American Masters (olympic weightlifting, 3rd place), 2014 Winter Solstice Open (olympic weightlifting, 3rd place)

I was first introduced to CrossFit in 2007 when I was stationed in Iraq with the State Department. Many of my military counterparts attempted to convince me to try a CrossFit WOD, but I was always skeptical and stubbornly adhered to the typical bodybuilding regime. It wasn’t until I returned to the United States when another military friend finally succeeded in getting me try CrossFit. I subsequently began my CrossFit experience on my own by picking and modifying WODs from the CrossFit website. Like most novices, I had no idea what I was doing and lacked the intensity that is so integral to CrossFit. It wasn’t until 2011 when I did my first workout at an actual CrossFit affiliate and I was immediately hooked as it offered a refreshing change to the stale bodybuilding routine. Moreover, I can safely say that my athletic career and general lifestyle has been forever altered by the positive influences of CrossFit.

I have always been interested in personal training and helping others realize the joy of physical fitness. I believe that my own professional aspiration to become a university professor and my passion for teaching has also helped me become a better CrossFit coach. Without a doubt, my favorite part of coaching is when I see athletes smiling and having a good time while working out. Fitness shouldn’t be a chore but instead considered a fun hobby that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and backgrounds. I love working with both new and experienced athletes at CrossFit Syracuse and helping them realize their full potential.

Coach Mia

Mia Bugge – Coach

Education, Experience & Qualifications: Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience, Syracuse University 2014

CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Judges’ Course

Competitive Experience: SU Mayfest 5k 2011, Color Run 5k, “Baby Leave the Stockings On” All Girls Competition 2013, CNY Affiliate League 2013-2014, Reebok Crossfit Games Open 2014, Festivus Games 2014, WODchester Games 2014, CNY Throwdown 2014

“It is a shame for one to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which their body is capable” –Socrates

Sports have always been a huge part of my life. Ever since my days as a tom boy, I was kicking around a soccer ball, shooting hoops, or even just playing outdoors in the dirt with my brother as a kid. I’ve always been up for anything that can test my bravery and my athleticism. Extreme sports- like snowboarding, rock climbing, zip lining- have always been a huge love of mine as well. Being active and living a healthy lifestyle is a great importance to me. I played competitive sports all throughout my childhood and became a three sport varsity athlete in high school as well- basketball, track and field, and soccer. The drive to compete and challenge myself has always been a part of me. Even after high school, I became an avid runner and still play competitive sports on the side to this day whenever the chance arises.

But soon after participating in my first CrossFit WOD ever (“Chase”), the “plot twist” to my life story emerged. It was a nice change up from simply running and trying to stay “fit” at the local Planet Fitness. Not only did I love the improvements of my performance, but I also loved the improvements on my quality of life. I’ve met so many unique individuals through CrossFit Syracuse. It amazes me how much the sport of CrossFit can give someone. Not only does the constantly varied and functional movements help me become as fit as I am today, but the community that has evolved at CFS has been a true eye-opener to my views on humanity and the hearts of individuals that surround me.

I see numerous individuals walk through the doors of our box for their first time and I watch them as they grow and evolve into new and better people, both inside and out. I take a step back and realize that that has happened for me since my first time walking into the “orange box of pain”. Taking the next step forward and helping members meet their goals has helped me with my own personal missions as well. It’s truly a rewarding experience to know that I have the tools to help someone get to where they would need to be, whether that’s simply improving their health and wellness, or competing in the CrossFit Games one day. As a community, we all benefit from the joys that come with better fitness and an amazing group of people surrounding us. I can’t thank CrossFit Syracuse enough for these doors that they have opened for me.