MEET OUR SCOUTS
Jason Lauren, who lives in Milwaukee, Wis., is the Owner and a Scout for ScoutU. Since 2008, he has helped over 300 athletes from the Midwest move on to play in college to programs at every level across the country — from major NCAA Division I schools like Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Missouri and Purdue to Division III and JUCOs. The athletes he has guided through the recruiting process have committed to 135 colleges in 25 different states, from Arizona to Florida, Texas to Massachusettes and accross the Midwest.
Jason has implemented recruiting methods for his athletes that have resulted in millions of dollars of scholarships. Through his personal conversations with college coaches over the years and going through the recruiting process with hundreds of athletes, he has learned the ins and outs of how the recruiting process works and how to best guide athletes and their families through it. Jason has established relationships with hundreds of colleges coaches at all levels, most of which have come by meeting in person at games and events. He has given recruiting seminars for many events, teams and schools. Jason has been featured in the Milwaukee Business Journal and has been mentioned in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel many times when his athletes have made their college commitments. He employed two scouts who became scouts with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Jason started his career as an award-winning sports journalist. He worked for the Green Bay Press-Gazette as a sports copy editor and reporter, covering hockey and writing a fantasy football column. He self-syndicated the column to papers around the country, including the Chicago Tribune. He also was the sports editor and a sports reporter for the Freeport (Ill.) Journal Standard. During Jason’s sports journalism career, he connected with several college coaches, learning how to communicate effectively with them. He graduated with a BS degree in entrepreneurship and minored in journalism at Northern Michigan University. He grew up in Ishpeming, Mich., a small town in the Upper Peninsula, and graduated from Westwood High School.
Jason resides in Greendale, Wis., with his wife, Laurie, 8-year-old daughter, Maisey, and their yellow-lab mix dog, Dorsey.
LINDA BLACKWELL BENTLEY
Linda Blackwell Bentley, who lives in Chicago, Ill., is a former collegiate women’s basketball player at the University of Illinois-Chicago – an NCAA Division I school — and has coached both girls high school tennis and basketball. A three-sport All-Conference and All-Sectional varsity athlete in tennis, basketball and softball at a high school with over 3,200 students, she also was named All-State honorable mention in basketball and invited to tryout for the Pan American Games/Junior Olympics after graduation. Linda was recruited by various colleges and still has her National Letter of Intent from the University of Alabama-Huntsville, an NCAA Division II school. She was offered a full scholarship to play in both tennis and basketball there. Instead, she decided to accept a full scholarship and play for Illinois-Chicago and a was a top basketball player during her career there, averaging 14.4 points a game and being in the top 20 in career field goals made. Linda was the varsity basketball coach at Beacon Academy High School in Evanston, Ill., during the 2019-20 season. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and art education at UIC. She has made a career in business of graphic design and created marketing materials for various clients, including the Chicago Blackhawks and Nike. Additionally, she manages an art collection. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired a portion of the collection to become part of its permanent collection.
Tom Contreras, who lives in Bloomingdale, Ill., has been involved in soccer as a player and coach for many years. He played for the Vikings, Real F.C. (Metropolitan Soccer League, Chicago). Tom’s coaching career consists of being the head women’s soccer coach for the University of St. Francis (Joliet, Ill., NAIA), assistant women’s soccer coach for Elmhurst College (Elmhurst, Ill., NCAA Division III), head girls U-19 soccer coach/trainer for the Bartlett Travel Soccer Club (Bartlett, Ill.) and Illinois high school varsity and assistant varsity coaching positions at St. Francis (Wheaton, Ill.), Timothy Christian (Elmhurst, Ill.), St. Patrick (Chicago) and Resurrection (Chicago). Tom holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National C License and an Illinois Youth Soccer Association National D License.
Tom has been married for 28 years.
Jacob Diaz, who lives in Chicago, Ill., has been involved in sports in the Chicago area all of his life. From playing multiple sports in high school to covering sports in college and beyond, it’s been his passion. Jacob graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, where his work covering the Fighting Illini football, women’s basketball and volleyball teams was nominated for multiple awards. Following college, Jacob worked in the sports section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, before spending two years in TV news in Fort Myers, Fla. Now, he’s excited to be returning to the world of sports in the Midwest and reconnecting with high school and college coaches in the Chicago area.
Jon Feyen is ScoutU’s North Carolina scout. Jon owns nine years of experience working in college athletics. He managed events, kept statistics, wrote articles, operated social media and helped coaches with their recruiting. Jon’s resume includes experience at Division I, Division III and NAIA schools. Jon has worked hundreds of college basketball, baseball and football games, so he knows the talent required to compete at that level.
About half of the golfers Jon advised have committed to Division I programs, including Timmy Gannon (Elon), Elise Hoven (North Dakota State), Lorenza Martinez (Loyola), Elliott Nielsen (Northern Iowa) and Connor Brown (UNC-Greensboro). Jon also has worked with prospects in baseball and basketball, including Savannah Walsdorf, who scored her 1,000th point for Dakota State University in 2022.
Jon worked in advance scouting and video for the Milwaukee Brewers during 2018. He is constantly involved in the local sporting scene, owning experience with Minor League Baseball (2013-17), NBA G-League Basketball (2017-18) and several high school state championships. Jon also handled media relations and official statistics for the NCAA Division III World Series from 2008-17. Jon owns a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a master’s degree in sports management from Cardinal Stritch University (WI). His writing profile includes a published book (How Twitter Changed Sports Journalism) and the 2016 Spira Research Award for his thesis, “Analytics: The New Currency of MLB.” Jon and his wife, Brennan, have been married since 2019.
Long Island City, NY
Jon Gill, who lives in Long Island City, NY, has been involved in college football as a player and coach for the past 23 years. He played NCAA Division I football (FBS) at the University of Akron where he was a three-time letter winner. Upon graduating at Akron, he started his coaching career. He rose from a position coach to a coordinator position and culminating with being a head coach at the Division I level (FCS). Jon also was a recruiting coordinator for 8 years at the Division I and Division II levels. He personally has recruited in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Florida and Delaware. Throughout his time as a coach, he has coached 30 all-conference selections, five all-Americans and three NFL players. From the 2014 through the 2018 seasons, four different quarterbacks received all-conference honors and three won conference MVP awards. Throughout Jon’s career, he has coached six different QBs who have made all-conference and four who have made all-American, three of which were Harlon Hill Award finalists (Division II player of the year). Jon has a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees.
Travis Gilliam, who lives in Silverstreet, SC, has been involved in athletics around South Carolina for over 25 years. His love for sports started at an early age, as he competed in baseball, basketball, soccer and tennis throughout high school. During this time, he was All-State in soccer, MVP of his high school team during his senior year in baseball and was part of a state championship in basketball. Travis’s passion for sports led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, with a minor in Religion from Newberry College. He has experience as a high school athletic director, PE teacher, camp director and extensive knowledge in coaching, having coached multiple sports, including baseball, basketball (boys and girls), football, soccer, tennis, track and field and volleyball. He has been involved with numerous state championships in different capacities over the years in baseball, football and volleyball. This includes coaching for four basketball and three volleyball state championships. He has had the honor of being named a three-time basketball and six-time volleyball conference coach of the year. Travis has had the pleasure of helping hundreds of athletes develop their skills from middle school to high school and has coached multiple athletes that furthered their athletic careers in college.
Over the years, Travis has built a bond with countless athletes, coaches and athletic administrators in the Southeast. He understands the importance of making connections and building relationships, and his 25-plus years of experience in athletics has provided him the ability to have a keen eye for talent. Additionally, Travis has worked in HR/recruiting and safety at a transportation company and owns a mobile DJ service, having DJ’d many weddings for former athletes.
Travis resides in South Carolina with his wife, Karla, and their 17-year old (twins), Christian and Cassie.
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