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
Years with SVSEF: 3
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
Hometown: Ketchum, Idaho
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
Years with SVSEF: 2
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