Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

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Alpine

Coaches

Adam Chadbourne, Alpine Competitive Program Director

Adam Chadbourne, Alpine Competitive Program Director

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As former Alpine Program Director for the Burke Mountain Academy (Vermont), Snowsports Director at Waterville Valley (New Hampshire), and a four-year U.S. Ski Team coach, Chadbourne is well-prepared for his new role as Alpine Competitive Program Director. He was honored by both the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and the Vermont Alpine Racing Association as their Coach of the Year in 2010. In 2007, he led the Burke Mountain Academy alpine program to USSA Club of the Year honors. In his coaching roles, Adam has worked closely with multiple Olympic medalists, including Mikaela Shiffrin, Andrew Weibrecht and Ted Ligety. While working in the Eastern Region of the USSA, Chadbourne was the chairman of the Eastern Development Committee, where he focused on enhancing training and competition opportunities for Eastern alpine ski racers.

Ryan Wilson, Head FIS Coach

Ryan Wilson, Head FIS Coach

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Ryan grew up in Red Wing, Minnesota and skied for the Buck Hill Ski Racing Club. He spent his PG years with Guenther Birgmann before qualifying for the US Ski Team in 2009. Instead of accepting his nomination, Ryan chose to accept an athletic scholarship and race for the University of Utah where he was a 3 time NCAA first team All-American. Ryan studied Sports Management and business and graduated in fall of 2013.

Ryan, entering his second year of coaching with SSWSC, is motivated to continue growing as a coach in his new role as Head Coach of our revamped post-graduate program.  In his time off snow, Ryan is an avid golfer and mountain/road cyclist.

Mike Bansmer, Head Men's FIS Coach

Mike Bansmer, Head Men's FIS Coach

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Andrew Keating, Head Women's FIS Coach

Andrew Keating, Head Women's FIS Coach

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Andrew, a Vermont native, came to us last year from coaching in Taos, New Mexico. There he coached a variety of age groups ranging from U-10 to U-16’s. Last year was his first year with the club working with the U-16 age group and is excited to start a new year. While ski racing in VT he attended Burke Mountain Academy for his high school years, followed by a Post Graduate year at Winter Park. Following that he skied NCCA Division 1 for St. Michaels College for four years. In his free time he loves to do all outdoor activities and will play any and all sports.

Ty Upson, Assistant U19/U21 Coach

Ty Upson, Assistant U19/U21 Coach

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Head Coach Ty Upson got his first taste of telemark skiing in New England as a child after watching some hippy rip down the VW Bug sized bumps on “Goat” at Stowe, Vermont in 1976. He has been a closet nordic skier ever since, recently moving to the telemark side from alpine. He attended the Whiteman School as their first ski racer. Ty started coaching at the University of Colorado in 1987 and then returned to the Winter Sports Club. He has been coaching at the FIS, Nor-Am and World Cup level and has worked with numerous NCAA champions, US Ski Teamers and Olympic racers. Along the way he has picked up full certification with the PSIA in both Alpine and Telemark and the same with the US Ski Coaches Association.

In his free time, Ty volunteers with Routt County Search and Rescue and the Clark Colorado Volunteer Fire Deptment The Marine Corps added some saltiness to his already intense personality and spending two years in Mesopotamia taking on bad guys did little to tone down his zest and enthusiasm for skiing. Ty is also the proud father of a Tele Devo daughter. He enjoys reading, empty spaces and sea glass collecting. The one thing he loves about telemark racing is the camaraderie, sportsmanship and multi-element and long distance nature of the events (as well as getting to go to Europe every year!)

Ben Brown, U16 Head Coach

Ben Brown, U16 Head Coach

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Ben grew up racing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He continued his racing career at Western State Colorado University, competing Division 1 NCAA. After graduating college Ben continued racing full-time at the Continental Cup level in pursuit of his goals. He began ski coaching at Loveland Racing Club. After 3 years at Loveland, Ben coached 1 season for a private team, Iced-Out Racing, based out of Summit County. Most recently Ben spent 3 years coaching FIS athletes at the Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont. Ben was invited to coach in several Regional and NDS Camps, as a representative of the Eastern Region. Ben is excited to be back in Colorado coaching, and enjoying his favorite hobbies of bike racing and back-country skiing.

Kelsey Locke, Assistant U16 Coach

Kelsey Locke, Assistant U16 Coach

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Born and raised in Lake Placid, NY, Kelsey Locke joins the SSWSC team this Fall after working as a Health Coach and Medical Assistant at Dartmouth Health Connect in Hanover, NH. Kelsey graduated from Burke Mountain Academy before she went on to race on the NCAA circuit for Saint Michaels College. After earning her degree in Psychology, she accepted a lead coaching position at Ford Sayre Academy.  While coaching, Kelsey solidified her eagerness to work with young, motivated athletes who are driven in a sport that instilled in her a set of core values she continues to live with today. Kelsey strives to lead by example and demonstrate how commitment, work ethic and a strong sense of team spirit can influence the experience of an aspiring athlete.  Aside from coaching ski racers, Kelsey has a passion for discovering and understanding the connection between how we fuel our bodies and our athletic performance. While living in Austria, Kelsey broadened her nutritional education background before returning home to the states where she spread her knowledge to a panel of 700 patients at Dartmouth.

Thomas Karam, Assistant U16 Coach

Thomas Karam, Assistant U16 Coach

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Thomas was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He started skiing at the age of three, chasing his older sister around the mountain. He skied and raced at Elk Mountain in Northeastern PA where he was ranked among the best skiers in the state. During High School he attended Mount Mansfield Winter Academy in Stowe, VT where he raced both USSA and FIS. Deciding to forego racing in college, Thomas started coaching at his home hill. After five years of coaching, he was put in charge of the U16 age group and the weekly night training. Thomas has a great passion for the sport and is committed to helping develop young athletes to the best of their abilities both on and off the hill. Thomas graduated from the University of Scranton with a degree in Political Science. When not on the hill, Thomas enjoys hunting, fishing, playing tennis and golfing. He is also a major fan of Notre Dame Football.

Erik Gilbert, U14 Head Coach

Erik Gilbert, U14 Head Coach

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Erik grew up in Richmond, Vermont at the world famous Cochran’s Ski Area. From there, he attended Mt. Mansfield Winter Academy and Mt Mansfield Ski Club in Stowe, VT for high school winter academy and post-graduate training. He then went on to study at the University of Vermont in the Fall of 2006, where he skied NCAA Division 1 for four seasons. During the 2006-2007 winter, Erik was named UVM Alpine MVP, EISA Rookie of the Year, and was the overall points leader on the EISA circuit in GS. During the remainder of college, Erik represented UVM in 4 consecutive NCAA National Championships, earning 1st team Athletic All-American honors during his sophomore year. He was a 3 time NCAA Academic All-American and was named captain of the UVM Ski Team during his senior year. He graduated from UVM with a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources with a concentration in Resource Planning.

Erik moved to Steamboat in September of 2010 and spend his first two winters coaching J3’s. He then became the Head U14 Coach in 2012 and has remained in that position since. Erik’s hobbies include origami, Sudoku, training world class show dogs, and summiting peaks that nobody else cares to climb.

Matt Graves, U14+ Assistant

Matt Graves, U14+ Assistant

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Matthew “Mack” Doro, Assistant U14 Coach

Matthew “Mack” Doro, Assistant U14 Coach

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Mack grew up outside of Buffalo, New York. He spent his weekends skiing at Holimont in Ellicottville, New York with his family. He joined Holimont’s freestyle team as a J5.  He decided to take up ski instruction during his high school years. After a brief hiatus nordic ski racing in college, Mack returned to ski instruction at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville New York. In 2011 Mack moved to Steamboat Springs to work at Steamboat Resort as a ski instructor. The following season he joined the U12 coaching staff at SSWSC and has been there ever since. This past season Mack headed the Tuning Program for SSWSC alpine athletes.

Chris Puckett, Vice President, Member of Executive Committee and Development Comittee, Chairman of Investment Committee, & U14 Assistant Coach

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Chris was born in Boulder, CO, and raised in Crested Butte, CO. He attended Burke Mountain Academy and was a three time World Junior Team member placing 4th overall in 1988. He was on the US Ski Team from 1987-2001. His accomplishments include being a member of the 1992 US Olympic Team competing in Albertville, France, member of the 1993 and 1996 World Championship Team in GS and 4x US National Champion (3 Overall, 1 DH).

Chris joined the SSWSC Alpine staff as an Ability Coach in 2002 then became Alpine Director and Head Ability Coach in 2005. In 2007, Chris joined a financial services firm here in Steamboat Springs. He continues to coach at the U12 level. Chris and his wife Wendy have two sons, Cole and Cooper, in the Alpine programs at SSWSC. Chris joined the Foundation Board in 2011 to help the organization that he helped coach for five years and that his kids be a part of for many years to come.

Chantal Knapp, Alpine Head U12 Coach

Chantal Knapp, Alpine Head U12 Coach

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Wes Barken, Assistant U12+ Coach

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Chad Fleischer, Assistant U12 Coach

Chad Fleischer, Assistant U12 Coach

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Chad grew up skiing in Vail, CO and is a ten year veteran of the US Ski Team.  He spent a post graduate year with the SSWSC which helped launch his remarkable career.  Chad was a Member of Five World Championship Teams and Two Winter Olympic Teams, has two National Championship titles and earned the silver medal in the World Cup Finals in 1999.  One of his most memorable performances came on home turf at the Beaver Creek World Championships in 1999 where he finished 6th.  He calls Steamboat Springs home with wife Renee and has two boys who are aspiring ski racers age 8 and 10.

Melissa Jones, U12 Assistant Coach

Melissa Jones, U12 Assistant Coach

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Melissa Jones (MJ) grew up in Holderness, NH and skied for Waterville Valley’s Black and Blue Trail Smashers in Waterville Valley, NH. Melissa graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, ME in 2008 with a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Chemistry. During her time at Bates, she was a member of their NCAA Division 1 Alpine Team and served as Captain her senior year. After college, she relocated to Colorado, where she was an Age Class Coach and then Assistant U16 Coach at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail for 4 years.

In the fall of 2014, MJ relocated to Steamboat and started as an assistant U12 Coach at SSWSC as well as a Science Teacher at Steamboat Springs High School. Some of MJ’s favorite things include dorking out on chemistry, rock climbing, attempting to fly fish, cheering on the Red Sox and bacon.

Gavin Okoniewski, Assistant U12 Coach

Gavin Okoniewski, Assistant U12 Coach

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Sasha Okoniewski, Assistant U12 Coach

Sasha Okoniewski, Assistant U12 Coach

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Blair Seymour, Development Program Director & Cycling Program Director

Blair Seymour, Development Program Director & Cycling Program Director

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Blair grew up in Minnesota as a competitive figure skater and enjoyed skiing through her youth. Blair moved to Steamboat in 1992 and taught skiing with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp for 7 years. She started her career with SSWSC as a Buddy Werner League coach in 1992.  She is a PSIA Level 3 certified instructor and USSA Level 100 coach. She has had director experience in a variety of youth sports including cycling and soccer and has a passion for teaching kids and educating parents. In the summer she is the Cycling Director for SSWSC and started the Steamboat High School Mountain Bike Team in 2013. Blair and her husband John have three boys that are alpine ski racers and competitive mountain bikers. In her free time she enjoys skiing, mountain biking, spending time with her boys.

Deb Armstrong, Head U10 Coach

Deb Armstrong, Head U10 Coach

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Deb was employed by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation in the Ski and Snowboard School during the past winter season. She is a two time Olympian, 1984 and 1988 and won a Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo in Giant Slalom. Over the past 20 years Deb has remained relevant and influential in the ski industry. Deb’s involvement has bridged the best of what the racing and instructional worlds bring to the slopes. In the racing world Deb has been a guest coach for a number of the USSA National Development System Camps (NDS) and was the Assistant Coach for the University of New Mexico Ski Team. She also has been a part of the USSA Coaching Certification program conducting Certification exams for USSA and its coaches. From the ski instruction standpoint she is a PSIA examiner, a member of the PSIA Alpine Team (Demonstration Team), one of 13 members nationally and most recently has been the Technical Director for the Steamboat Ski and Snowboard School. Prior to that she was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1981 to 1988. Deb grew up in the Pacific Northwest where she was an avid racer, skiing to a US Junior Olympic Championship GS Title, National Champion GS Title, and is an inductee in the National Ski Hall of Fame.

 

Andrew Beckler, Head U8+ Coach

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Linda Curzon, Head U8 Coach

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Growing up in Bucks County, PA, Linda spent her youth skiing in the Catskills of New York. She started teaching skiing in high school then ski raced in college. After graduating from Amherst College, she moved to Steamboat Springs in 1990 and taught skiing full time for 10 seasons at Steamboat and Telluride including 3 in New Zealand (Treble Cone, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak). Linda started her career with SSWSC as a Buddy Werner League coach in 1997. As a PSIA Level 3 certified instructor, Linda is passionate about her Head Coach/Trainer role creating a great experience for our U8 athletes, their families, and our coaches. Linda and her husband Michael have 2 children who have spent many seasons racing alpine and XC and also junior coaching with the alpine youth programs and mountain biking programs. In her life off the mountain she is a professional people manager in the outdoor industry.

Sherry Aitken, Head U6 & Little Toots Coach

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Born and raised in Alaska, at the ripe old-age of 10 years Sherry learned to ski in typical Southeast’s rainy, icy conditions at just above the beach Eaglecrest in Juneau, AK.  After thru-hiking 2100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2000, Sherry and her husband moved to Steamboat Springs looking for powder and a “real” ski town as their winter residence.  Starting as a SSWSC Little Toots coach, Sherry now guides the fun for super young and sometimes new to skiing Steamboat area kids as the U6 & Little Toots Head Coach.  Never tempted to move up age levels, Sherry feels lucky to be coaching at the very start of hopefully life-long lives of skiing and maintains she gets way more back then she gives.  Sherry, her husband Greg and son Gabriel (a tele-devo athlete) still spend their summer months back in Sitka, Alaska where she wrangles tourists for a living.