COACHES


Dave Lyon
Program Director
Head Junior Coach
Dave continues his tenure as Program Director and Head Coach of SPAC . He is serving his 5th term as a member of PSIA’s elite National Demonstration Team. In his free-time Dave leads ski and ski racing clinics and summer camps throughout the U.S. He is the education chair and member of the ACC for PNSA. He works for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association as a clinician and certification examiner for alpine race coaches and most recently, he has been spending time working with US Ski Team athletes and coaches on a number of special projects.Click here to read more about Dave

Nils-Erik Riise
Head MM Coach
Nils’ passion for skiing and coaching/teaching began at a very early age. He grew up skiing in Olympic Ski School at Stevens Pass and got his start in ski racing at age five. He then gradually transitioned into ski teaching at the age of thirteen. His passion for skiing and ski racing continued throughout his teens, which lead him into coaching for the Mission Ridge Buddy Werner Program and teaching for Mission Ridge Ski School. Those early years at Mission Ridge laid the foundation for a full time career in ski teaching and coaching.

In the 1990’s, Nils added Telemark skiing into his repertoire, and quickly found himself drawn back into competing. He raced in the Northwest Telemark Series for many years and also competed on the National Telemark Circuit and Telemark World Cup. His time in the race course was balanced with a full time ski teaching career, as well. This naturally led him into working for PSIA-NW as a Divisional Clinic Leader in Telemark and Alpine skiing and also the Northwest Technical Team from 2010-2013. The last 20 years of his career have mostly been spent at Stevens Pass Ski School, with a year spent as Ski School Manager at Crystal Mountain. In 2005, he landed a job as Training Director at Stevens Pass Ski School. This job paved the way for combining his TD responsibilities along with the responsibilities of working as “On-Snow Supervisor” for the ski school. The winters of 2008-2012 were spent managing and training the Stevens Pass staff of over 160 instructors, as well as being involved with the instructor training and educational programs for PSIA-NW.

Nils loves working with youth athletes and looks forward to every ski season when he get back on the snow and ski with the team.

Certification:
• PSIA Level III – Alpine
• PSIA Level III – Telemark
• AASI Level One – Snowboard
• PSIA Divisional Clinic Leader – Telemark and Alpine (Current)
• Former NW Technical Team Member 2010-2013
• PSIA ACE Level One Children’s Certification
• USSA Level 100
• USSA Level 200
Email address: nils@spacracing.com


Sean Bold
Masters Coach
Sean is very excited to share his knowledge and passion for skiing with the athletes and looks forward to learning as much from them as he is certain they will learn from him.  When not coaching Sean loves to free ski and takes great pleasure in skiing non-stop, from top to bottom…his motto “chair lifts are for stopping and talking, not ski hills”!

Certification and education:
• USSA Level 100 coach
• PSIA Level III Alpine with Children’s and Freestyle Accreditation
• PSIA-NW National Examiner and clinician
• Board Certified Pedorthist


Larry Calvin
I started late to skiing – should give all of you hope – skiing for the first time at Snoqualmie Pass when I was 14 years old. And only then because I begged my mom to let me tag along with my older sister. The next winter I was enrolled in lessons at Ski Acres, where I took lessons for the next three winters. By the time I was 19 I was hooked on skiing and figured out that if I taught skiing I could get a free seasons pass. Admittedly, a poor motivation to teach, but as a college student it was the only way I could afford skiing. Since then, skiing has been apart of my and my families life and I am excited to share my passion for the winter environment and help others become the best skier that they can be. Larry or Lieutenant Larry as I am fondly referred to by the athletes offers a proficiency oriented approach to coaching that aims to develop mastery of the skiing fundamentals through spaced repetition and attention to detail.

Certifications:
  • PSIA Level 3 Alpine
  • PSIA Children’s Specialist
  • USSA Registered Coach
  • USSA Referee
Experience:
  • Stevens Pass Ski School 1979-1981
  • Ski Laufer’s Ski School 1981-1989 
  • Christian Ski and Snowboard School 1997-2004
  • Lyon Ski School  2003-2006
  • Team Lyon -2005-2010
  • Deer Valley Ski School 2010-Present
  • SPAC 2011-Present
Linda Cowan
Training Director
I grew up in Maple Valley attending school in the Issaquah School District. I learned to ski at age 7 at Snoqualmie Pass and took lessons through high school. In addition to skiing, I started playing soccer in elementary school and continued through college ending up as a 2 time All-American playing for Western Washington University.
Coaching Beliefs: To provide every athlete the opportunity to grow technically and tactically, but most importantly, racing teaches so many intangibles: responsibility, respect, teamwork, perseverance, patience and our job as coaches is to help guide athletes along this journey, both as athletes and young citizens developing lifelong skills.
Certifications:
• PSIA Level 3 Alpine
• PSIA Divisional Staff 2000 – present
• PSIA Technical Team 2002 – 2017
• PSIA Examiner 2012 – present
• PSIA Children’s Specialist
Experience:
• Bellevue Ski School (Snoqualmie Pass) 1987 – 1989
• Christian Ski School (Stevens Pass) 1990 – 2002
• Lyon Ski School Training Director 2007 – 2009
• Coach Team LYON 2002 – 2012
• Coach SPAC 2012 – present
Professional:
• Northshore School District elementary teacher 1992 – 2013
• NSD Induction Coach 2013 – present
• UWBothell Affiliate Instructor 2016 – present
• OSPI State Mentor Faculty 2016 – present

Michael Graves
Mike Graves was born and raised in the local Cascades. He learned to ski at the age of 4 at Snoqualmie Summit, started having fun at Alpental, and began to ski fast with Team Alpental. The surrogate mountains of Colorado continued to hone Mike’s alpine prowess while attending CU Boulder. He is a USSA level 200 coach with over two decades of alpine coaching experience throughout the PNSA division.

Alec Grimm
My name is Alec Grimm and I grew up skiing at Stevens Pass and racing for SPAC. Several members of my family have raced and coached for SPAC over the years. I have always liked skiing fast and racing for SPAC was the perfect place for me to do that. I am currently an elementary P.E. teacher on Bainbridge Island at Blakely Elementary School. I coach multiple sports including high school football, ski racing, and middle school track and field. I have always believed in a very technical approach to ski racing, I also value training time on the hill as well as spending quality time with my teammates and coaches. I have always considered SPAC family and I look forward to working with the amazing athletes & coaches on the team this season.
Racing Experience:
• 
Raced for SPAC from 2000-2011
• PSNA Junior Olympic Team Member: 2008, 2010, & 2011
Coaching Experience:
• 
Coach for SPAC: 2016 – present

Michael Grimm
Mike Grimm grew up in a ski family, due to his father’s passion for the outdoors and his love of alpine competition as a youth in Montana. Mike started skiing at the age of 5, skiing at Yodelin, Stevens Pass, Mt Baker and Hurricane Ridge ski areas and then settling down at Steven Pass with the SPAC race program to train and race along with his sister and 2 brothers for 10 years.
Coaching goals:
To develop young racers to ski fast using solid technical and tactical skills, while having fun doing it.
Certifications:
• USSA Level 2 Coach
• PSIA Cert
Experience:
• Coaching career spans 1981 to 2017
• SPAC Staff JR Coach 1982-1984
• Staff Coach for Mission Ridge Ski Academy 1985-1986
• Head Coach for Mission Ridge Ski Academy 1987-1992
• SPAC Staff JR Coach 1994
• Head Jr SPAC Coach 1995-1999
• SPAC Staff Coach 2003-Current
• Represented PNSA as Head Coach for Western Regional and J1/J2 Olympic events

Bre Huston
U14 Lead Coach
Growing up with Stevens Pass as a home hill, Bre is no stranger to the adventures that exist at every bump and turn. She grew up racing for Team Lyon and raced shortly in college before discovering a new passion through teaching for the Big Sky ski school before coming back to Stevens to coach. In Bre’s words, “part of the fun having been a racer and now a coach is that I get an awesome opportunity to work with some amazing athletes and hopefully inspire them in the same way I was growing up.”
Coaching/Teaching Experience:
• PSIA Alpine Level 3
• PSIA Children Specialist 2
• USSA Level 100
• Big Sky Ski School – 2009-2013
• SPAC – 2013-Present

Sara Larson
I grew up ski racing at Mt Hood, Oregon on the Mt. Hood Race Team.  I also raced for Bogus Basin Ski Racing Alliance.  I raced in Junior Olympics, U.S. Nationals, and NORAMS.  I continued to race through College on scholarship at Montana State University.  In 1987 I was crowned the NCSA National Slalom Champion.  I was an All-American my Junior and Senior year, and captain my senior year.  I started my coaching career at Bridger Bowl Montana during my last year in College and have been coaching since.

Coaching goals:  To make sure all kids are “having fun”.  I want to continue to grow as a coach and give back to the kids more than what I got out of ski racing and more!

Certifications
• Level 1 Ski Coach
• Certified Athletic Trainer
• Licensed Athletic Trainer


David Lucas
Coaching goals: To treat each athlete as an individual and work together towards achieving his or her goals.
Coaching vision: Create life-long skiers who enjoy the alpine environment!
Coaching/Teaching Experience:
• PSIA-NW Technical Team Member
• Divisional Clinic Leader
• Alpine Examiner
• Alpine Level III Certification
• Started teaching skiing 1969
• USSA Alpine Coaching Level 200 Certification
• USSA Alpine Coaching Level 300 College
• Started coaching for Team Lyon in 2011
Jason Petek Jason is returning to coaching after following other interests and starting his own business.  He has opened up the time in his life in order to give the athletes what he feels they deserve from a coach.  Jason has always been extremely passionate about ski racing and has been a past member of PSIA-NW tech team and a Level 3 instructor.  He has a special way of relating to athletes that they love.

Heather Roberts
Heather Roberts is a level 3 instructor with PSIA-NW, a former Divisional Clinic Leader, and continues to teach for Stevens Pass Ski School. She is also is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Leavenworth, her specialties include CranioSacral Therapy and Therapeutic Massage. Heather spent 10+ years as a Personal Trainer in Seattle during which she studied Neuro Linguistic Programming (how language programs our neurology). “My philosophy is based in self-awareness; knowing where you are is just as important as knowing where you are going.”  Her approach to ski racing is to help athletes create self-awareness of the physical and mental so they can adjust accordingly.

Coaching/Teaching Experience:
• PSIA Level 3 Alpine
• PSIA Children’s Specialist
• Divisional Clinic Leader 2006-2010
• Everett Ski School/Sno-Tec Ski School 1986-2000
• Team Lyon Coach 2005-2007
• Alyeska 2015
• Stevens Pass 2000 – Present


Aaron Sharp
I have enjoyed teaching skiing for 21 years starting in 1984 with North South Ski Bowl where I helped with the small but energetic race team.  I have taught skiing for Blue Wood, Alpental, Mini Mountain, Lyons ski schools and I have coached for SPAC mighty mite program.  I currently have my PSIA level one Alpine certificate .
Through the years I have encouraged my kids Chandler and Karey to learn to ski well.  While Chandlers ski carrier is purely recreational, Karey has improve her skiing in the SPAC junior program and is now instructing at Mount Baker.   One of my favorite things is to help young skier’s skill set move from wedge to rail.
James Vasatka

Chris VonMelville
Having a father that ski patrolled at Whistler for 10 years when he was young, Christopher started skiing on Mt. Aerosmith just outside of Port Alberni, BC.  Raced for the Mt. Washington ski team on Vancouver Island until 10 years old and carried onto ski lessons through Lyon Ski School before becoming an instructor.  Raced for the Washington State University Ski Team until 2002 and then returned to teach for Lyon Ski School from 2006-2016.   Christopher has 3 children on the mountain, Taytum (U16), Madison (U14) and Dylan (U8).   He served on the board of directors for SPAC from 2013-2017.   Christopher has an individualistic approach to each and every athlete and likes to focus on the fundamentals in skiing excellence and enjoyment of the sport that will help develop the athletes as they progress and provides a very high energy positive learning environment

Certifications:
• PSIA Level 2 Alpine
• Coaching level 100
• Chief of Race
• Lead Juror
• Referee
Experience:
•     Lyon Ski School 1997-1998 and 2006-2016
• Stevens Pass Alpine Club 2017/2018