Team EFT

President and Founder: Elias Karras

For the last 25 years, Elias Karras has had the privilege of training hundreds of athletes in all sports ranging from youth, high school, and collegiate athletes, all the way to top-level professionals and Olympians. As one of the most sought after Sports Performance Enhancement Specialists in the country, Karras has built a reputation for developing speed, strength, and muscular power through the use of break-through training concepts. His desire to make athletes’ stronger, faster, and more explosive is his foundation for his continued success.

Karras graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a degree in Natural Sciences with a minor in Nutrition.  He was later honored by the United States Olympic Committee with a Special Recognition Award, received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Sports Sciences Association, and was presented with the Professional Recognition Award from the IDEA – Health and Fitness Association. Karras also served as an Operational Performance Enhancement Specialist to the Military’s Special Forces Personnel.  His hard work and dedication to EFT Sports Performance has resulted in its being named the highest rated NFL Combine Preparation Facility in the Chicago area.

In 2003, he founded the Beyond Sports Foundation, a program geared towards helping under-privileged high school athletes excel in both the classroom and the athletic field.  To date, the BSF has produced 4 NFL Players and numerous NCAA Division 1 Athletes.

Nutrition Specialist/ TrainerJordyn Kurgan

Jordyn graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater with a B.S. in Health, Human Performance, Recreation, and Coaching with a minor in General Business. After playing 4 years of varsity softball at UWW, Jordyn continued her passion for sport and athletics by getting into the fitness industry in 2012. With a background as a Strength Coach as well as a CrossFit coach she continues to put an emphasis on continuing education collecting certifications from: NASM-CPT, PTA Global, CrossFit Level 1,  USAW Level 1, PICP Level 1 and 2, Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) Level 1 and 2, Precision Nutrition, and Poliquin BioSignature Level 1. In 2017, Jordyn moved from only training into the General Manager role. She can now be found splitting her time between running day to day operations and training on the floor.

Trainer/Skill Coach: Landon Cox

Landon Cox was a three-year football starter at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City, IL, before playing wide receiver at Northern Illinois University. Landon played in the NFL teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Landon began training at EFT Sports Performance in 2007, including his NFL Combine/Pro Day training. Landon specializes in 40 yard/60 yard Dash training, as well as high school and college performance training for strength, speed, and agility.

Trainer/Skill Coach/ Head Trainer Carmel Catholic LocationKristof Ifkovits

I was recruited to play football at Western Michigan University. I played four years and received a degree in Exercise Science. My passion of working out started in high school. I knew i had the talent to play division 1 football but i was not strong enough. That’s when i looked to the weight room and it has helped me become the athlete and man i am today. After I graduated i did an internship at EFT and was hired and took over as the head strength and conditioning coach at Carmel Catholic. I have helped numerous athletes reach goals that they thought were never possible. I work with every athlete imaginable anywhere from hockey to motocross. I am Westside Barbell Personal Training And Athletic Coaching Certified.

The best part of being a trainer is when i see kids develop a huge amount of self confidence. I love helping kids achieve things that they never thought were possible. As a strength coach i play a huge role in the development of your child not only in the weight room but in life. Many life lessons can be taught in the weight room. But the biggest take away is how hard work will pay off that why i believe in testing athletes on a regular bases so they can see their progress and i can. Weak things break and the weight room will decrease injury rate.

Trainer/Skill Coach: Michael Buchanan

Michael Buchanan, also known as Buke, is a former American football defensive end. Buke went to Homewood-Flossmoor High School, where he was selected to the Champaign News-Gazette All-State team, and was rated as a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com. He continued on to play college football at the University of Illinois where he was selected to the Second-team All-Big Ten in 2011 and 2012. Then during his senior season, he was selected to the Illinois Fighting Illini’s Outstanding Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman. Michael Buchanan was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Then in 2015 played for the Buffalo Bills and BC Lions, and Toronto Argonauts in 2016. Michael has been training at EFT since 2010 and started training athletes in 2015. At EFT Buke specializes in performance training for strength, speed, and agility, and specific football development training.

Trainer: Lexi Leneau

I attended Illinois State University and graduated with a degree in Sports Management. Coming to EFT as an athlete in high school and some of my college career is what pushed me to start taking my own training more seriously, and I then began to realize that training was something I loved and wanted to pursue as a career. After graduation I studied to become an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, took on an internship at EFT and I have been training athletes at EFT/Carmel Catholic since April of 2018.

My favorite thing about being a trainer is seeing athletes succeed and helping them become better versions of themselves as athletes and as people. My goal is to help people see their potential, reach it, and then push them beyond it. Any athlete that wants to get better is an athlete I want to work with, but being a female trainer I take pride in empowering female athletes, especially the younger girls I train. The stigma that girls shouldn’t be “too strong” turns a lot of them away from the weight room, lifting heavy, and taking their training seriously. I want them to be comfortable in pursuing their goals as athletes, and to be strong for that purpose, not for the approval of anyone else.

Trainer: Jackson Davenport

My name is Jackson Davenport and my favorite part about being a trainer is coaching and educating as many people as I can on how to take care of their bodies.  My goal in training is to teach people how to move correctly, live a life without pain, and help them meet their health/fitness goals. My experience as a trainer started with training at EFT Sports Performance as an athlete in high school and college.  I then obtained a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am a dedicated follower of the Conjugate and the Functional Range Conditioning systems to enhance strength and mobility capabilities. I currently am pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy.

Trainer: Stephanie Vasquez

As a student of human sports performance, Stephanie has acquired knowledge of a variety of sports, associated exercises and strength programs for a range of athletes’ individual needs. Having earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science at Loyola University Chicago, Stephanie had the opportunity to intern as a Sports Performance Specialist at TCBOOST where she was exposed to speed and agility training. While at school, she worked and gained experience working as a rehabilitation aide and personal trainer. Since her youth she’s played soccer, participated in gymnastics, dance and volleyball. Stephanie’s professionalism and outgoing demeanor, makes it a point to ensure her clients are always satisfied and happy. Stephanie is currently working towards her Clinical Strength and Conditioning Certification from NSCA, and is also continuing her education at Loyola University were she will be earning her Masters degree in Exercise Science.



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