by Julia Seyferth | Apr 1, 2019
Years with SVSEF: 3
Hometown: Old Forge, NY
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Lefty Bowl on a bluebird day
Ski background: Grew up ski racing in the northeast, then went on to ski Nor-Ams and NCAA in college.Coached in Vermont for 20 years at Smuggler’s Notch and Cochran’s Ski area, then moved to Sun Valley and started coaching here three years ago.
Why you coach: I love to see the big smiles and pure joy on the kids faces. I like helping kids develop the tools to achieve their goals and overcome their fears both on and off the hill.
Hobbies/other interests: Hiking, backcountry skiing, waterskiing, cross country skiing, flying, biking and skating.
Certifications: USSA L200
Years with SVSEF: 14
Hometown: Ketchum, Idaho
College: Bates College
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Coaches’ Climb
Ski background: Grew up skiing with SVSEF before skiing one year in college at Bates.
Hobbies/other interests: Hockey, rafting, Calvin the dog
Certifications: USSA Level 300 Cross Country Ski Coach, Wilderness First Responder
Accolades: Coached internationally, USSA Cross Country Sport Committee, recipient of the USSA Cross Country Coach of the Year (3 times)
Years with SVSEF: 32
Hometown: Hailey, ID
College: Michigan Technological University
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Any place that includes a desperate thrash while short of food and water with darkness looming
Ski background: Raced at Michigan Tech then coaching took me to Washington and Alaska before coming to Sun Valley. Its pretty sweet getting to go skiing every day with such a great group of athletes and coaches
Hobbies/other interests: Fly fishing, exploring and camping with my wife Bridget
Years with SVSEF: 6
Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Education: University of Washington
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: International & Mayday Bowl
Work background: 25 years working in the corporate sales & management industry in Seattle before relocating back to the valley. The experience I gained has translated well to my position in the business and administration department here at SVSEF; I’m driven to “make a difference” every day, and SVSEF allows me to do just that!
Why SVSEF matters to you: The culture & tradition of ski racing, along with the resort town lifestyle, is very dear to me; I’ve been skiing in Sun Valley since the mid 1970s and ski racing runs deep in my family. There’s nothing more exciting to me than alpine ski racing, and to be able to work for one of the best junior programs in the country is an honor. Beyond my own experience, I have witnessed the positive and life changing impact that SVSEF and our coaches have had not only for my nephew but for most of the kids that participate in our programs.
Hobbies/other interests: Skiing, music, horseback riding, motorsports, and sailing
Years with SVSEF: 5 coaching, 4 in office
Hometown: Bennington, Vermont
Education: Williams College, B.A. History, B.A. Studio Art
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Prairie Creek loop
Work background: Experience in marketing, writing, design, account management and social media in textile, fine art and advertising industries.
Why SVSEF matters to you: I spend most of my time in the office, but have the unique opportunity to coach cross country with SVSEF, as well. I’ve seen firsthand how impactful this team can be; the relationships formed and the experience of exploring and growing outside together are a rarity. Growing up cross country skiing has significantly improved my life and influenced my trajectory, and I consider myself lucky to be able to share my love and appreciation for this sport and lifestyle with a wonderful group of kids.
Hobbies/other interests: I enjoy drawing and painting, hiking, low-maintenance house plants, playing soccer, good coffee, art museums, musicals, baking and spending time with my family and friends.
Years with SVSEF: 5
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK
Education: University of Oklahoma
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: It’s Idaho! Too many trails to name and too many mountains yet to explore.
Work background: Kelly’s professional experience has been in sales, business management, and the educational realm.
Why SVSEF matters to you: How could I not love my job at SVSEF; I am surrounded by people who are positively impacting the lives of children and our community.
Hobbies/other interests: Kelly can always be found cheering on her kids in all of their athletic endeavors, around a campfire with family and friends, or on a long hike with her German shepherd, Shiloh.
Years with SVSEF: 3
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Education: B.A., JD
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Running Proctor Mtn.Trails
Work experience: 25yrs in legal, business and educational sectors. Favorite job, aside from working at SVSEF, is being a mother of four children.
Why SVSEF matters to you: I believe sport is an extremely important aspect of developing the whole child – physically, mentally and socially. SVSEF exemplifies the qualities of an exceptional community sport centric organization. How can SVSEF not matter?
Hobbies/other interests: Snow sports, hiking, racket sports and family…..including dogs!!
Certifications: US Ski & Snowboard Certification: Alpine Level I and Children’s Specialist
Years with SVSEF: 25+
Hometown: Hailey, Idaho
Education: B.S. University of New Mexico (biochemistry), MBA Boise State
Certifications: Level 300 USSA/USASA Coach, US National Team Rookie Halfpipe Coach 2017-2018, IMD Snowboard Sports Committee Member
Years with SVSEF: Started in 1993 as a coach, PD 1999-2013, Progression Coach 2014-2016.
Hometown:Born in Sun Valley, raised in Portland, Oregon
College: Pacific Northwest College of Art (drop out)!
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Front country specialist!
Ski/Ride background: 100+years of skiing in my family! Skateboarding brought me to snowboarding. Never looked back!
Why you coach: Watching the fire get lit never gets old!
Hobbies/other interests: Skateboarding, fishing, art and family time.
Certifications: Level 3 USSA Freestyle
Hometown: Portland, ME
College: Maine College of Art (MECA)
Ski background: I hail from in Portland, Maine where I started my coaching career at the age of 17 for the Freestyle Development program at Gould Academy/Sunday River. During college, I continued coaching weekends at CVA/Sugarloaf, where I later coached full-time for Carabassett Valley Academy.
For 6 years prior to joining SVSEF, I was the Director of Freestyle Development at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, where I helped grow and develop one of the top freestyle programs in the country.
Hobbies/other interests: Fly fishing, bow hunting
Certifications: USSA Level 100 Aerials, PSIA Level 1 and CS 1
Years with SVSEF: 2
Hometown: Durango, CO
College: Washington State University/University of Idaho
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Copper Bowl at Copper Mountain
Ski background: I grew up competing in the Colorado USSA circuit. After a
few injuries I decided to become a coach and went to college for sport psychology. I have been coaching for 7 years.
Why you coach: I truly enjoying aiding in the development of athletes both on and off the
hill. Shaping kids into highly functioning adults is what I pride myself on.
Hobbies/other interests: Fly fishing and mountain biking.
Certifications: US Ski and Snowboard Freeski level 300 USASA Freeski 100, 200, First Aid + CPR
Hometown: Johnsonburg, NY
Ski background: Tyler started his skiing journey competing in slopestyle, big air and rail jam events. This led to specializing in slopestyle and halfpipe as a freeski coach. Tyler worked as head coach and assistant program manager for Team Breckenridge Sports Club. On his journey, he refined his skills on all things extreme sports, specializing in trick progressions and techniques to help athletes reach their goals. His objective in coaching is to make sure that skiing continues to be fun and is a lifelong activity. He likes to continue to push what is possible in snow sports.
2009-2016 Head coach and assistant program manager for Team Breckenridge Sports Club
2009-2016 Woodward at Copper Coach
2008-2009 Head coach Tahoe Freeride
2005-2006 Coach as Terrain Park Specialist Stratton Vt.
2002-2005 Coach as Terrain Park Specialist Mount Snow Vt.
1998-2001 Freeski influencer
Certifications: Level 1
Years with SVSEF: 3
College: Tufts University
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: So hard to choose!… Winter: Rip & Tear, Prairie Creek Loop, Torin’s Tucker. Summer: Alice-Toxaway Loop, and exploring new peaks in our backyard!
Ski background: Started out chasing Laurie Leman, begging for SPK’s (Sour Patch Kids) around the Lake Creek trails, and was hooked. Moved on to Prep Team with Kelley Sinnott, then to Comp to ski with Ashley McQueen (Knox), Rick Kapala, and Chris Mallory. Thanks to all their great coaching in life and on skis, I qualified for Junior Nationals four times. I stopped competing after high school, but skiing will always be one of the most important parts of my life.
Why you coach: I coach because I want to share the love I have both for the sport and for spending time outside with kids at a young age. The best part of coaching is watching as skiers progress; whether that’s putting their skis on by themselves or making it up and down the steepest, longest hill on the trail system without falling.
Hobbies/other interests: Environmental protection, conservation and sustainability initiatives, trail running, back country skiing
Hometown: Utica, New York
College: University of Vermont
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Alice/Toxaway Loop
Ski background: Learned to ski on fish-scales in the backyard in upstate NY. This is right after watching Thomas Alsgaard win Olympic ski races on television in the 1998 Nagano Games. From there cross country ski racing became more challenging and more ingrained with my state of mind.
Why you coach: I enjoy making the most challenging sport in the world seem easy
Hobbies/other interests: Wiffle
Hometown: Hailey, Idaho
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Blasting down Plaza with six inches of fresh!
Ski background: I grew up in Hailey, Idaho, skiing Baldy hard till the age of 15, when I started attending a ski academy out of state. I competed professionally out of Breckenridge, Colorado, for eight winters, frequenting the Dew Tour and X-Games throughout my time on the circuit. I left the competition scene to follow a more creative path, which led me into the world of ski films and backcountry exploration.
Why you coach: I coach because I want to help create the best well-rounded skiers possible and give the kids every tool they need to have the best day on skis, no matter the conditions or where they are in the world.
Hobbies/other interests: My hobbies include a little bit of everything: skateboarding, surfing, fishing, backpacking, biking, hunting, soccer, golf, snowboarding, woodworking, and photography.
What are you looking forward to as head coach for SVSEF big mountain?
I’m looking forward to so many aspects of coaching for SVSEF. One of the biggest would be the chance to work with such high quality athletes and avid skiers looking for new challenges, with the drive to push their skiing to new levels.
What are some of your initial goals for the season?
The most important goal for me is creating an environment for kids to feel comfortable with any type of skiing that is thrown their way. A big part of developing skills in or out of the backcountry is trusting the people around you. This trust and reliance comes from time spent with a group and the experiences you share together. A big priority for me is building a close-knit crew that feels like an extension of family, rather than just a team.
How do you expect your ski background to inform your shift to coaching?
Skiing professionally for so many years, I have had the good fortune of traveling, exploring and skiing some of the most amazing locations in the world. I was given these opportunities because I had such a well-rounded ski background. The time I spent on SVSEF and Carrabassett Valley Academy, and the eight winters I spent training and competing out of Breckenridge, CO, combined with the countless years in front of the lens making ski videos and exploring backcountry locations all over the world is what collectively pushed my career to where it is today. I think this large variety of experience is what coaching is all about. I’m excited to be able to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated through my experience with the next generation of shredders at SVSEF, as well as help our athletes gain an understanding and an appreciation for being a well rounded skier and human being.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned through skiing, that you hope to share with your athletes?
Skiing has given me everything that is important in my life: it’s given me a relentless passion, a career and a future. Skiing has taught me how to be a businessman, how to navigate not just ski terrain but the world as well. Skiing is the cornerstone to my life and sharing that with these athletes is paramount.
I grew up in Sun Valley. I’ve been skiing since I could walk and raced with SVSEF’s alpine and nordic programs. I attended Hemingway Elementary School, Wood River Middle School and Wood River High School, and ended up graduating from Community School in 2007. I was a middle of the pack alpine racer and I had a few podium finishes at some cross country events. However, my junior year in high school I asked my dad to take me to a Jr. Big Mountain Competition in Crested Butte, and I’ve never looked back. I didn’t compete very well during my first competition, but I left feeling like I had finally found the type of competitive skiing that was fun and at which I could excel.
After high school, I briefly attended the University of British Columbia, but ended up leaving to pursue my dream of becoming a professional rider on the Subaru World Tour, and on the Tough Guy Productions Telemark Series. I skied all around the world and worked to build relationships with equipment sponsors. I was featured in a telemark ski movie, various ski magazines, and I’ve even had my photo on the front of Sun Valley Resort’s trail map.
I retired from competing full time in 2013, after a fifth place result at a freeskiing event at Targhee. After skiing for my own personal goals, I was lucky enough to find coaching as a way to continue my life in the mountains. Being a coach gives me a sense of purpose and I’m so happy to be able to share my passion for the outdoors with the athletes. I coached the SVSEF Park & Pipe Comp Team from 2014-2017 (four years), and last season (2018) I took on a head coaching roll and developed a Big Mountain and Backcountry program.
When I’m not coaching you can probably still find me in the mountains. I love backpacking and exploring with my dogs, fishing at alpine lakes and creeks, and riding gravity. When I get the chance I love to play in the ocean, and I find surfing to be a really fun challenge. I have also logged over 100 SCUBA dives and am working towards getting my dive master certification.
Certifications: Alpine Level 200, Level 1 Referee, CPR + First Aid, Wilderness First Aid Training & Certification (WFA)
Years with SVSEF: My First!
Hometown: Duluth, MN
College: University of New Mexico. Everyone’s a Lobo
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Sun Valley: Warm Springs cutback to Greyhawk, I haven’t been able to explore yet! Or more general: Sol 1 – Valle Nevado, Chile
Ski background (3 sentences or less): Skiing at Spirit Mountain with Team Duluth is where my love and appreciation of the sport and culture really began and helped shape me into who I am today. I also, sheepishly, loved the idea of continuing my passion in areas with more favorable temperatures. I continued on to Colorado during high School /PG and then skied for the University of New Mexico. I knew my passion for racing and skiing was something I wanted to pursue and be a life-long leaner, teacher and supporter.
Why you coach: Part of the reason I love coaching, is because I have been incredibly fortunate to have had amazing coaches during my racing career. They inspired and motivated me to challenge myself and do it with all heart and no regrets. Skiing was a huge part of my life and because of them I am still loving it!
The second part is that I believe in believing. Having the opportunity to be part of an athletes development and growth in a sport we love is something that I am incredibly passionate and excited about. I am thankful to share the journey of success, working through challenges, and being a part of a strong community with the athletes and families!
Hobbies/other interests: Running, boating, Scrabble, MN Vikings. Interested in learning to fly fish.
Certifications: USSA Coaching Level 200, CPR and First Aid Certified, Concussion Cert and Experienced in Concussions
Hometown: Medford, Oregon
Ski background: In high school I was reintroduced to skiing and it changed where I am today; I moved to Ketchum in 1982.
Hobbies/other interests: Surfing, cycling
Certifications: USSA Level 200, NICA Level 3 (mountain biking)
Years with SVSEF: 9
Hometown: Spokane WA
College: University of Washington
Ski background: My parents ski. I ski. My kids ski.
Why you coach: Sharing the love of skiing
Hobbies/other interests: Mountain biking, backcountry skiing
Certifications: Level 200 USSA Coach
Years with SVSEF: 1981-1983 (racing), 1993-present (coaching)
Hometown: Fresno, CA
College: College of Idaho – BA – Accounting and Business Administration 1993
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Warm Springs top to bottom, Lower College and the Bowls
-1983-89 – US Ski Team
-1986 – Vail World Cup DH – 6th
-1987 – Crans Montana, Switzerland World Championship Team
-1988 – Aspen World Cup DH – 11th
-1989 – NorAm DH Overall Champion
-1990 – NCSA Slalom, GS and Overall National Champion for the College of Idaho
-2003 – Inducted into the College of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame for Skiing and Tennis (went to NAIA Nationals for tennis 1991-1993)
-2003-2010 – Founded Rotarun LASAR program with Pat
Why you coach: Connecting with these kids in all aspects and I really enjoy seeing a kid smile when they finally understand what you are trying to teach them.
Hobbies/other interests: Tennis, hiking, hunting, golfing, mountain biking, gardening and baking
USSA Alpine Coach Level 200
AAI Avalanche Level 3
AAIRE Avalanche Instructor
AMGA Ski Guide Course
Hometown: Bedford, MA
College: Dartmouth College
Ski background: I grew up ski racing in New Hampshire and Vermont. From there I went on to race at Dartmouth College, where the highlight of my career was being a part of an NCAA Championship ski team. Since graduating college I have worked as a ski coach and have also really enjoy backcountry skiing and soul shredding.
Why you coach: The opportunities that I was given through being involved in ski racing have proved to be invaluable. When I retired from racing, I wanted to continue to be involved in the sport and community. I enjoy working with athletes each day and being able to teach them about the mountains and watch them improve. Working with athletes of all ages keeps me inspired and motivated.
Hobbies/other interests: Dancing, crochet, mountain biking, climbing, and adventures in the hills.
Years with SVSEF: 4
Hometown: Manchester, NH
College: University of New Hampshire
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Rotarun
Ski background: Grew up ski racing in New Hampshire until I was 21. I fell into coaching though I think I always knew that’s where I was headed. After college I decided to move out west to make less turns and meet a cowgirl.
Why you coach: I have deep, passionate and intimate love for the sport of ski racing and believe I have spent enough time with it to offer valuable perspective.
Hobbies/other interests: JamesTautkusMusic.com, host of Piste OFF: the Official Podcast of Fantasy Ski Racer
Certifications: Level 400 USSA, Level 3 Referee
Hometown: Portland, OR
College: Eastern Oregon University
Ski background: Coached from 1994-1999 at Burke Mtn Academy with Men’s FIS and 1999-2002 at Ski Club Vail with Men/Women’s FIS. From 2002-2014, was the Team Program Director for FIS/U16 at McCall Ski Racing, and from 2014-2016 was Jackson Hole Ski Club Head U16 Coach.
Years with SVSEF: 12
Hometown: Grew up in East Aurora, NY
College: Lees-McRae College
Ski background: I spent four years ski racing on the USCSA college circuit along with playing Division Two soccer, before moving out west to Park City. I joined the Park City Masters’ Team, and spent the next four seasons training with the Masters while competing on the FIS circuit. When my ski racing career ran its course, I took a job in Sun Valley as a coach for the Hailey Ski Team. I spent two years coaching for the Hailey Ski Team before taking the Head FIS Coach position with SVSEF in the 2007-08 season.
Hobbies/other interests: Hanging out with wife Sarah and son Evan, golf, mountain biking, camping, watching America’s team the Buffalo Bills
Certifications: OEC, USSA Level 2, AAIRE Avalanche Level 1
Years with SVSEF: 7
College: Fort Lewis College
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Warm Springs, top to bottom
Ski background: I grew up in the SVSEF program, and came back to coach as soon as I could!
Why you coach: Being able to impact the growth of young athletes, as well as the community as a whole, is what motivates me as a coach.
Hobbies/other interests: I am a fly fishing guide for Silver Creek in the summer.
Certifications: PSIA L3
Hometown: Spokane, WA
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Anywhere in the trees
Ski background: Will raced with the Spokane Ski Racing Association, and later at Schweitzer Mountain. He was named to the U.S. Development Team in May 2006. Will finished second in the giant slalom at Alyeska at the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2007, was a member of the 2010 Olympic Team with a best place finish of 10th in the super combined, and was part of the U.S. Team for the 2011 World Championships. His best World Cup finish was sixth place in a slalom at Kranjska Gora in March 2012, and he won the combined at the 2013 U.S. Alpine Championships. Will was the Western Region Development Coach for U.S. Ski & Snowboard for the 2017-2018 season, before rejoining SVSEF as Alpine Program Director.
Why you coach: I love the sport of ski racing and the growth that it provides the individual.
Hobbies/other interests: Anything to do with lakes, golfing, mountain biking
Certifications: USSA Level 100, AV1, WFR, CPR
Hometown: Stowe, VT
College: Colorado College
Favorite run/trail/backcountry lap: Exhibition & Warm Springs
Ski background: Josie started out ripping Easy Street on Spruce in Stowe, kept with it through high school, went to college out west, started skiing for fun, and finally bought some fat skis!
Why you coach: I attribute my independence and love of the mountains to ski racing. I want the kids I coach to make lifelong friends, appreciate this amazing place and learn to love skiing – just like I did when I was growing up!
Hobbies/other interests: skiing, hiking, baking, my dog Birdie