Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

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Crosscountry

Coaches

Brian Tate, Cross-Country Program Director

Brian Tate, Cross-Country Program Director

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Brian has coached for the SSWSC Nordic Program since 1998. The first three years were spent coaching with the Ability Nordic Combined Team. From 2001 until present, Brian has been coaching the Ability Cross-Country Team. In 2009 a new position was created and Brian was offer the Cross-Country Program Director position. Brian coaches the Ability Cross-Country (XC) Team along with Josh Smullin. He also oversees the five other XC programs at SSWSC. He presently holds a seat on the Rocky Mountain Nordic Executive Board, the regional XC governing body. Brian holds a USSA Level 100 Cross-Country Coaching Certification. His enthusiasm for sport and fitness is strong.

Josh Smullin, U20/U18/U16 Head Coach

Josh Smullin, U20/U18/U16 Head Coach

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Josh is a coach whose passion for training, outdoor adventure, and competing extends far beyond his coaching responsibilities. He believes in leading by example; teaching his athletes to become “complete” endurance athletes that can participate and be competitive in a multitude of sports is a priority. 
“What really got me hooked on coaching was the breakthrough moments I was seeing from athletes I coached.  These moments are achieved when an athlete has prepared well, and then shows up to a time trial, or race and puts forth a performance beyond what they ever thought was possible.  I love to watch the athletes in those moments, and then guide them as they consider what might be possible next.”

Josh began his role as head coach at the club in 2008. During his tenure, the program has produced 1 US Ski Team member, 29 NCAA skiers, 6 Junior National Champions, 8 World Junior Championship Athletes and 3 NCAA All Americans. Josh, himself, was a 4 year NCAA Qualifier and team captain at the University of Colorado, an Assistant Coach for the University of Utah, and raced professionally for Team Rossignol and XC Oregon.

Josh holds Level 200 U.S. Ski and Snowboard coaching certification and graduated from the University of Colorado B.A Kinesiology + Psychology and the University of Utah M.S. Sport Psychology. He has been a National ski team tech and coach at 3 World Junior/Under 23 Championships

The XC Program has enjoyed historical success during Josh’s tenure. The SSWSC is excited to have a coach of Josh’s caliber as part of the XC Program. Josh and his wife, Nikki, feel fortunate to raise their son, Simi, in Ski Town USA!

Ben Barbier, U14 Head Coach

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Ben grew up in Steamboat Springs. A cyclist first, Ben realized that his true love was gliding down tracks on Nordic skis. He joined the club and skied for SSWSC between 1986 and 1990. Ben first coached for SSWSC in the 1994 – 1996 seasons as an Age Class U14 coach. He decided to enter graduate school to become a teacher and 5 years later rejoined the club to take charge of the U14 group over the last 13 seasons. Ben also teaches math and science at the Steamboat Springs Middle school. He has two kids in the younger programs at the club and enjoys watching them move through the Nordic pipeline at SSWSC. Ben believes in leading by example and he can often be found showing his athletes how to push through pain by entering the local Nordic race series and marathon distance ski events.

Deb Rose, U12/U10 Head Coach

Deb Rose, U12/U10 Head Coach

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Deb was born in Iowa City, Iowa and moved to Bemidji, MN at an early age. She began her athletic competitions in the pool and moved to winter sports. Deb competed in the 100km Minnesota Finlandia which led to numerous cross country ski competitions and triathlons in Colorado. Deb has been coaching the Nordic Development Team at the Winter Sports Club for many years and takes pride in the accomplishments of her athletes. She loves working with all abilities and seeing them acquire skills for a life-long sport.

Bill Philip, U12/U10 Coach

Bill Philip, U12/U10 Coach

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Bill Phillip has been a mainstay on the SSWSC XC coaching staff since 2000. He has been an U12 Assistant Coach, supporting Head Coach, Deb Rose. Coach Phillip’s coaching philosophy is centered around building quality technique with an underlying theme of fun and enjoyment: “Relays instead of intervals, no way to sugar coat distance training, promote togetherness- team, not exclusion, treat each other with respect, not every kid will be a champion skier but I think all the kids end up quite athletic through participation in our program- this is an element that will be important throughout life-certainly health wise but also important socially, an area that Deb and I work on is to be positive with the kids; encouragement, correction in a positive manner.”

Chris Sias, XC Cruiser Head Coach

Chris Sias, XC Cruiser Head Coach

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Chris started Nordic skiing in Sun Valley in 1983 and continued to seek out snow despite living in Southern California for over twenty years. A full-time resident of Steamboat Springs for four years, Chris leads the SSMS Nordic Club and is thrilled to coach XC Cruisers for SSWSC, where all four of his kids are enthusiastic Nordic skiers.

Greg Burkholder, XC Cruiser Assistant Coach

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Tim Cunningham, XC Cruiser Assistant Coach

Tasha Thrasher, U14 Assistant Coach

Tasha Thrasher, U14 Assistant Coach

Tasha grew up in Stowe, Vermont as an Alpine racer.  She continued her racing career at Bates College competing Division I NCAA.  She moved to Steamboat in 1996 and began coaching for SSWSC in Alpine.  She is excited to return to coaching as a Nordic coach.  She has been Nordic skiing for over ten years now and competes in the local races as well as traveling to Wisconsin each year to participate in the American Birkebeiner.  She enjoys working with the young athletes and takes pride in their accomplishments.  She and TJ have a son, Tristan who is currently working his way up the ladder in the SSWSC Nordic program.  She enjoys competing in running races and triathlons along with TJ and Tristan.

Nicole Olexa, Mini Cruiser Head Coach

T.J. Thrasher, U14 Assistant Coach

T.J. was born and raised in Steamboat Springs where he spent much of his early youth in various SSWSC programs.  He fully embraced Nordic skiing at the Masters level where he quickly advanced to compete at an elite level in both Nordic and Triathlon.  He found his passion for sharing the gift of endurance sport through volunteer coaching, and has now joined as a U14 Nordic assistant coach.