Coaches shuffle spots at Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Current instructors filling vacated coaching positions

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Spen­­cer Tamblyn

— The departure of longtime Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Spencer Tamblyn in the spring has resulted in a lot of changes in the snowboarding program this winter.

But Snow­boarding Director Jon Casson said the program’s di­­rection and its commitment to excellence would not change, and he said the promotion of several of the club’s current coaches would ensure continued success on the snow this winter.

“We are very lucky to have a high level of coaches already in the program,” Casson said. “When we are faced with changes, it’s just natural to look to our own staff first.”

For Casson, the coaching changes at the club are more like a shift. Several of the club’s current coaches are stepping into new positions this winter, and Casson is confident that will result in consistency through the programs.

Tamblyn announced his decision to join the coaching staff of the U.S. Snowboarding Team as its freestyle national development coach at the end of last season.

Casson said the news came as a shock at the time, but he was able to address it quickly because of the quality of coaches already on the staff. Casson said he evaluated the program and felt like he could shift his current staff to best meet the program’s needs.

Ashley Berger, who was the head of the Winter Sports Club’s Juniors Programs and has coached at the club for six years, will step into Tamblyn’s old position as head coach of the SSWSC ProAm Snowboarding Freestyle team.

“It’s really cool, and I’m very excited about it,” Berger said. “I learned how to coach under Spencer. He had a big influence on how I do things, and I feel pretty comfortable stepping up to take his place. I think it should be a pretty good transition for the program.”

Casson said he was excited about promoting Berger, who has been a part of the Winter Sports Club since she was a child.

“Ashley has worked very hard to be a great coach,” Casson said. “She is prepared to step into this position, and there is no doubt she will continue to be a great coach.”

Luke Kessler, another longtime coach, will move up to take the slot of junior head coach, and Colin Jenks remains in his position coaching the high-school-age snowboarding programs.

The changes have not been as easy on the Alpine side, where Casson and Alpine Pro/Am coach Thedo Remmelink are still working to fill the shoes of Adam Casanova, who left the SSWSC this summer to pursue an engineering degree.

Casson said his plan to realign his staff on the Alpine side should be finalized within a few weeks.

There also will be changes in the snowboard cross program, which Casson will lead. He will be assisted by Brett Buckles, who also will be in charge of the ski cross program.

Dylan David­son, Steve Mane­otis, Tori Koski and Rob Peterson will work as assistants this winter. Peterson has been with the program for several years, Davidson was with the program in the past and will return this winter, and Maneotis and Koski are former athletes who have returned to coach at the club for the first time.

— To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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