Konrad comes to the Diamond Peak Ski Team with a rich background in ski racing. This is Konrad’s sixth year with DPST.
As Athlete Development Director, Konrad will be focused on the development of the DPSEF athlete program. Areas of development include DPST’s year-round training program, including the use of the DPSEF Learning Center and Ski Deck and working with athletes to encourage their development through freeskiing, when not gate training.
For three years before Konrad joined DPST, he was the USSA FIS National Training Group Coach out of Park City, UT. Prior to that assignment, Konrad was the Squaw Valley Head Men’s FIS Coach, culminating in an award as the Alpine Domestic Coach of the year in 2012. In their press release announcing the award, the United States Ski & Snowboard Association wrote "Rickenbach has consistently produced some of the most well-rounded skiers in the West, and has had many athletes nominated to the U.S. Ski Team. He uses his coaching to promote positive attributes in all aspects of young racers’ lives. As a former U.S. Ski Team coach (…), he is an example of what a good coach is - a mentor, a teacher, and a friend."
Konrad has coached every age group ranging from under 12 years old to World Cup athletes, including several assignments with the US Ski Team. He has also had Olympic experience, coaching Phil and Steve Mahre to their respective Gold and Silver medals in the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
Konrad is incredibly well-respected by athletes, administrators, and coaches around the world. In July 2019 Konrad was honored by the Lake Tahoe Ski Club Foundation as the first-ever recipient of the Hans Standteiner Passion for Coaching Award!
Perhaps one of the best athlete quotes about Konrad came from U.S. Ski Team member Bryce Bennett after he went from a 57th place start in the Val Gardena downhill to a 6th place finish. Bryce credited his parents and the lessons he learned from his coach Konrad Rickenbach, "He saved me from myself and brought me to a point where I believed in myself to become a better person."
Konrad believes strongly in the philosophy of building complete athletes in their approach to process, accomplishment, and character. In a recent discussion, Konrad said, “We will focus on character-centered coaching – helping athletes make decisions that are focused on attainable results, and helping athletes to look within to uncover their potential. We will foster athlete ownership, self-discipline and self-respect to produce well-mannered, humble, grateful and confident athletes. This approach will be the foundation on which we will build DPSEF to be the benchmark club in the United States.”
DeeDee Cole Driller
Deedee Cole Driller grew up skiing and racing in Vermont and raced for the University of Vermont and the US Ski Team before heading to Tahoe, for just one winter, in 1984. For more than 35 years, Deedee has been coaching skiers of all ages and ski racers as well as two of her very own; both of her children graduated from and raced for Montana State University in Bozeman.
Prior to becoming the DPST Mighty Mite program director, Deedee coached and managed ski teams at Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley and Homewood. Deedee’s ski racing and management experience is what will allow her to lead with success become as the team’s Program Director.
Says Deedee Cole Driller, “Accepting the role of program director with the Diamond Peak Ski Education Foundation is very exciting for me and a great honor. Having coached athletes and managed ski teams since college this is the Capstone project of my career. Despite the challenges we will be facing with a skiing season with COVID-19, I am confident that we will have some great learning this year and loads of fun!”
**Don't worry - Deedee is still the program director for the Mighty Mite program!
Pete Lewis - U16/U19 Lead Coach
Pete was born and raised on the New Jersey Shore. Watching the 1980 Winter Olympics at the age of six opened his eyes to skiing in a big way. Red plastic skis soon followed and life was forever changed. Pete started coaching at Stowe, VT in 1994. He went on to coach at Alpine Meadows from 1996-2015, acting as head coach for the Development Team 2013-15. After that Pete worked with The U.S. Ski Team as a serviceman before arriving at Diamond Peak.
Pete is our team's tuning expert. He began tuning skis in his basement at age 14 and went on to work for a few different ski shops in Lake Tahoe between 1998 and 2002. He then bought some equipment and converted his garage into a tuning shop and New Heights Tuning Company was born (2002). Pete has tuned for racers and masters in the North Lake area, and was mentored by Doug Willis. Working for the US Team with Peter Lange and tuning for Brian McLaughlin and Tanner Farrow furthered his knowledge and how to work with high-level athletes.
Pete hopes to inspire young skiers to challenge themselves, develop love the sport of skiing, learn solid fundamentals and have a lot of fun. Pete is a USSA level 300 coach. He holds two B.S. degrees from the University of Vermont 1996 and The University of Nevada, Reno 2012. In the warm seasons, Pete is an avid fly fisherman, surfer, and sailor.
Assistant U16/U19 Coaches
Ski racing has been an integral part of Eric’s life for as long as he can remember. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Eric began his ski racing journey as a member of Ausblick Ski Race Team before heading west during his teenage years to attend Crested Butte Academy. After High School, he attended Steamboat Spring Winter Sports Club’s Post Graduate program, competing in two U.S. National Championships and numerous North American Cup races. Following his PG years, Eric skied NCAA D1 for Western State College and finally the University of Nevada, Reno. These days, Eric can be seen performing as a professional touring musician and singer/songwriter/composer. He’s thrilled to be part of DPSEF’s caching staff.
Raised in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Edward ski raced on an international level including Nor Ams prior to joining the NCAA Division I UNR ski team and participating as a Far West Team member. He is in his sixth season coaching with DPSEF and currently practices emergency medicine as a physician assistant.
Kayla Wieczorek - U10/U12 Far West & U14 Lead Coach
Kayla comes from Duluth Minnesota, having skied competitively with Team Duluth Alpine Club as a FIS athlete, and competing in college for the University of Minnesota Duluth where she obtained her BS in Physical Education with an Outdoor Education and Geologic Studies focus. She is a licensed athletic teacher for K-12 physical education. After moving up through college racing and nationals, Kayla began coaching full-time and has coached a variety of levels throughout USSA and FIS.
Kayla is a USSA level 300 coach. In 2019, she earned her Timing Certification from USSA. Kayla serves as Diamond Peak Ski Team's Race Administrator and is responsible for the technical aspects of hosted races at Diamond Peak.
Assistant U14 Coaches
U10/U12 Tahoe League Lead Coach - Madalyn Johnson
Madalyn grew up in Southwest Michigan. She started skiing at the age of four and started ski racing at eleven years old. Ski racing became a new passion for her as she raced for the Junior Development Team program at the local ski resort. She wanted to share her passion for skiing with others and became a ski instructor at fifteen. Madalyn raced all four years of high school, succeeded in making State Finals three out of her four years, received the precious Andy Miller award, and was also the team captain. During that time, Madalyn attended the advance race camps over thanksgiving break at Copper Mountain ski resorts, further developing her skills, and in 2016 Madalyn obtained her Level 100 USSA race coach certification. Madalyn chose to pursue her skiing passion in life and attend Sierra Nevada University, where she is currently going into her senior year and scheduled to graduate this spring with a major in Ski Business Management and Global Business Management and a Minor in Marketing. She loves to be active when she is not skiing; she loves going to the beach, playing golf, volleyball, and tennis. Maddy believes that through sports, athletes learn how important it is to be a good person, develop time management skills, to be disciplined, and to have respect for others.
U10U12 Assistant Coaches
CJ was born and raised right down the hill in Carson City. He found the love of skiing with the Carson Ski Program on any given Sunday. The need for speed led to race training with the Falcons at Mt. Rose and skiing on the Carson High School Varsity Team for four years. During the summers CJ trained and worked at the Mount Hood ski camps to enjoy a bit more time on the snow. After highschool, CJ attended the University of Colorado at Boulder earning a BS in Business Administration while riding for their Varsity Rodeo Team. After a long break from skiing, his daughter brought him back to the snow when she started skiing with the Diamond Peak program and graduated to Mighty Mights. During the off time, he enjoys camping, fishing and traveling with his family. As a coaching philosophy CJ believes in maintaining fun and enjoyment of the sport while pushing each athlete to reach the top of their performance level.
Sam grew up ski racing in New Hampshire on the Attitash Ski Team and competed for 18 years. In high school, she attended Burke Mountain Academy, a ski racing academy in northern Vermont. Sam was recruited to the Boston College Ski Team, where she earned a full athletic scholarship for ski racing and served as the co-captain of the team. After college, Samantha earned her law degree at Pepperdine University, School of Law, and her Masters in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School. Samantha lives in Reno, works as an attorney in Carson City, and coaches the Tahoe League athletes on the weekends. She hopes to instill her longtime love of skiing racing with DPSEF’s youngest racers.
Rachel started skiing at the age of two and was put through the Diamond Peak Child Ski Center’s “learn how to ski” program at the age of three or four. She joined the Talent Squad, now Mighty Mites, program at the age of five because her parents just wanted her to be able to keep up with them when her family would go on family ski trips. She loved the sport so much that her parents signed her up to race Tahoe League at the age of eight. Rachel raced Far West from the ages 11 until her Senior year of high school at the age of 18. In addition to racing Far West, she was also one of the top contenders on the Incline High School Alpine Ski Team all four years of high school. She helped win back-to-back state championships during her first two years of high school. She was named MVP her junior year, received the Eric Hayes award her senior year, and was team captain starting as a sophomore in high school.
After graduating high school in 2018, Rachel is now attending the University of Nevada, Reno. She is currently studying Public Health following a Pre-Physician Assistant track in hope of becoming a PA for an orthopedic surgeon in the future. She is currently in her junior year at UNR and can graduate in the Fall of 2021. Starting in the winter of 2019, she raced for the UNR Wolf Pack Alpine Ski Team as the top athlete on the female team. She brought her team to nationals in both 2019 and 2020. Rachel has always had a passion of coaching and passing her knowledge of ski racing to the next generation of athletes. In 2019, Rachel received her Level 100 USSA race coach certification to allow her to pursue that passion. She coaches based on respect for yourself and others and how to develop time management skills. When Rachel is not skiing, you can find her in the library with her nose deep in her textbooks or in her tuning room making sure her skis are in pristine condition.
Trish McKowen - Shredders Lead Coach
Trish grew up in Incline Village having moved to town as a 5-year-old in 1968. She began racing at age 8 in Ski Incline’s Recreational League before joining Incline Village Racing where she competed in the Far West Ski Association from age 8 to 19. Her senior year in high school she was named to the Far West Junior Olympic team and competed in both the Slalom and Giant Slalom at the Junior Olympics at Squaw Valley in 1981. After high school, she attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where she continued to race and train as a member of the Universities B team. She is the owner of Lakeside Personal Training an in-home personal training business. She also works at the Incline Village Recreation Center. Trish's coaching philosophy is to focus on progression and the mastery of foundational racing skills. She feels it’s important to recognize and highlight the efforts of each athlete, with the ultimate goal of developing a strong team bond where unity, safety, fun, friendship and love of skiing are shared between all teammates. “Praise the good stuff and you will get more good stuff.”
Peter Figgins, Lead Shredders Coach
Peter has lived in Incline for 13 years and worked at DP part-time every winter as a ski instructor or race coach. When he is not skiing, he is traveling as a captain on the Challenger business jet. He is a certified PSIA Level 2 and USSA Level 100. Peter was born in London and grew up in Andorra and France, and started skiing and racing at age 7. His coaching philosophy is to achieve a balance between hard work and discipline with team building and fun rewards.
Mike Vester - Assistant Coach
Mike’s passion for skiing started at age 3 when he first learned how to ski at China Peak Ski Resort located outside of Fresno, California. He ski raced as a young boy for a couple of years, but then became an avid soccer player. He played competitive soccer throughout high school and his college career at Dominican University, but skiing remained his first love. Each winter, Mike could be found honing his skills on the mountains of California and Colorado. For the past seven years, Mike has competed in Masters Racing in the Central Valley and Lake Tahoe.
Mike has a wife, an 11-year-old daughter, and 7-year-old son, who have all fallen in love with skiing as a result of Mike’s knowledge and love for the sport. Their skills have grown tremendously because of his coaching. He believes, first and foremost, that skiing should be fun, but that hard work and perseverance are also key to improving as a skier. He is extremely excited to be a part of the Diamond Peak Ski Team.
Deedee Driller - Mighty Mites & DPSEF Program Director
Deedee Driller is the Mighty Mites Director for Diamond Peak. For the past 35 years, Deedee has been coaching skiers and ski racers as well as managing ski teams. She grew up skiing and racing in Vermont and raced for the University of Vermont and the US Ski Team before heading to Tahoe, "for just one winter", in 1984. She has taught nursery school at the Tahoe Community Nursery School in Tahoe City and sits on the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board.
Fun Fact! Deedee raced under Diamond Peak Ski Team's Head Coach, Konrad Rickenbach as a junior racer in Vermont. Both her children, Tenaya and Garret, were coached by Konrad as well!
Mighty Might Coaches
Mimi Meyer - Lead, Shooting Stars
It’s hard not to have fun skiing with coach Mimi. Just look at her family who is always laughing, joking, and playing on the ski hill. She is the mother of two daughters who are alumni of DPSEF, Kaci 18 and Rachel 20 who is currently racing for the UNR Wolf Pack. She is married to one of Diamond Peak’s very own National Ski Patrollers, Gordon Meyer. Most kids know him by this quote, “And Remember boys and girls….SKI FAST, TURN OFTEN, but do it safely. Especially when doing those twisty, turny, flipply things.” This is where Mimi’s most important rules for the hill come from: Rule number 1-safety first, Rule number 2-it’s all about the fun.
Both daughters learned the fundamentals and fun of skiing with their mother through the Child Ski Center at Diamond Peak while it was under the direction of “the best” Bee Ferrato. Originally just wanting to be a volunteer at the ski center to be with her children and see how they learned, she approached Bee and Bee’s response to Mimi was “Due to liability reasons, we do not have volunteers. But I can teach you how to teach children to ski. And you can work for me.” Mimi was taught how to teach and create a learning environment for a child from 2 years and above. During her time at the child ski center, she began to coach with the Diamond Peak Ski Team.
Always looking to learn more about the development of kids on the hill, when her oldest moved up to what was then known as the Talent Squad, now Mighty Mites, Mimi would always ask her daughter what she did that day and got the response of “skied.” When it was time for Kaci to move forward she asked the same question and got the day's events. From how to be patient waiting in line for the chairlift, how to load it safely to following rules, like what you DON’T do with your poles; and let’s not forget making new friends. Both being taught by the same coach, being raised by the same parents, they had different ways of learning. Over the years, she has been able to create more “tools to put into her toolbox” as she has watched her two daughters race through the program.
She has been both a child ski instructor and a coach for 16+ years. She is a level I and level II ski instructor and has her coaching level 100 fundamentals. She has always had a passion for working with what she calls the “littles” and playing with them to enhance their abilities.
“My goal as a child instructor/coach is to help create a learning environment that establishes confidence, creativity, passion, responsibility, and respect for all things.” (quote by Coach Mimi).
She coaches on the aspects of fun by “playing games and finding activities that allow the kids to use the fundamentals that will enable them to improve their abilities.”
Following in their mother's footsteps, Kaci and Rachel are now using their passion for kids and skiing by coaching for the Diamond Peak Ski Team.
Mimi's Disclosure: There are twenty pairs of race skis in our garage, six helmets, multiple pairs of custom-fit boots, speed suits galore, a tuning bench that takes up a hallway, ski clothes for every winter condition imaginable, ski passes to every hill visited, and tons of memories that will last a lifetime.
Kait Flocchini, Assistant Shooting Stars Coach
Kait came later in life to skiing, but has taken to it with gusto. She honed her skills setting an example for her daughters, who are now athletes on the Diamond Peak race team. As lifelong athlete, Kait's coaching philosophy is to give our newest team members a safe place to become confident skiers and develop a love of winter mountain sports.
Joseph Thompson, Lead Teal Group
Todd Davis - Lead, Silver Group
Todd and his family come to Incline and Diamond Peak from western NY. Interestingly enough, he learned to ski on an old garbage dump in Greece, NY called Frisbee Hill. It was skiing the old-fashioned way… hiking up and skiing down. At some point his parents started taking him to Ski Valley south of Rochester every weekend and he fell in love with ski racing. He raced through college (even at Diamond Peak at USCSA Nationals one year!) and then coached for 15 years at Ski Valley, Bristol and Hunt Hollow. Many of his athletes went on to high school ski teams, ski academies and college ski teams and several have become ski coaches themselves.
The last few years he has spent the winters teaching his children Brayden, 9, and Harper, 7, to ski in Ellicottville, NY at Holimont and looks forward to watching them improve at Diamond Peak now that they have more than 600 feet of vertical to work with. It’s going to be hard to top the Davis family record of 52 runs in a day set this past February, but we are going to take a run at it with the Mighty Mites!
Mariah Hartley - Lead, Yellow Group
Mitch O'Brien - Lead, Orange Group
Jay Struven - Orange Team
Kaci Meyer - Teal Group & DPST Alumni
Niklas Pietzke - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni
Niklas Pietzke, an Incline High School Senior and this is his second year coaching Mighty Mites. He has been skiing since the 7th grade and loves teaching younger kids to ski and Niklas has had lots of practice with three younger brothers who all ski. When not skiing, he likes to go out for runs or go to the beach and relax. Niklas on the Incline High School cross country and track teams. Niklas' favorite memory from last season was when he and Coach Mimi took the little ones on a break next to Red Fox and we had a snowball fight and the kids dogpiled on him. (He's fun!)
Hailey Bandelin - Jr. Coach
Conner Dudek - Jr. Coach
Kayla Green - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni
Shane Green - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni
Ella Hennesy - Jr. Coach
Rayna McAndrews - Jr. Coach
Brendan Pietzke - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni
JP Donovan - Lead All Mountain Coach & DPST Alumni
JP, an Incline Village High School and DPST Alumni, slid around on plastic skis at Sheep’s Flats in marshmallow style ski clothes shortly after walking. He learned to be a ski brat in the DPSEF Talent Squad (now Mighty Mites) and ride the bus to ski after school as a Shredder. His Coaches Mark and Kyle turned him and his Far West teammates into all-mountain skiers. They hiked ridges at the other resorts side country. They searched for powder boulders to drop at Diamond Peak. He may be older now, but he says the only thing that’s changed is the chairlifts!
Assistant All Mountain Coaches
Mikey Lampi - DPST Alumni
Sami Lampi - DPST Alumni
Sami is an Incline Village native and grew up with Diamond Peak as her childhood playground. She joined the Diamond Peak Ski Team at the age of five and worked her way up racing. She dominated in Tahoe League but switched her focus elsewhere. At the age of twelve Sami found interest in Freestyle skiing and moved over to the Northstar Freestyle Team. She started competing in every discipline, SkierCross, Slopestyle, and Pipe. In the offseason, Sami also competed in soccer and track. At the age of 15 Sami won 1st Overall Girls at the USASA Nationals in Copper, Colorado. Sami now is a skilled rider with a background in both racing and freestyle. She holds a deep appreciation for the coaches that guided her to stay safe while developing a deep love for skiing. Her goal in the coaching world is to cultivate a safe environment that is inclusive, promotes progression, and is tons of fun!! Her experience will be valuable in coaching athletes to be well rounded, solid skiers.
Mark Bernstein is taking the 2020-21 Season Off but will substitute Coach on occasion and be back in 2021-22!
Mark started his teaching/coaching career at Heavenly Valley in 1978 where the "guru" of skiing, Stu Campbell, was the director of the ski school. He had written all the tech articles for Ski Magazine and published several books on skiing, teaching, and technique. It was fertile ground for understanding the American Teaching System (along with European and NEC) and Mark feels fortunate to have had tutelage under Stu. In the subsequent years he was certified by PSIA and USSA. Mark has taught at Mt. Rose, Northstar, Squaw Valley, and the last 20+ years at Diamond Peak. He started the All Mountain Team 10 years ago as an outlet for the kids (and parents) not interested in racing gates. His knowledge and expertise in teaching and "local knowledge" of other ski areas would give an opportunity to the non-racing crowd to improve their technique and explore off-piste and steeper terrain at DP and other Sierra resorts. The program has been a success for the families involved and has enhanced their greater appreciation and enjoyment of Lake Tahoe, the mountains, and the sport. Mark is grateful and excited to pass his passion for skiing and our beautiful backyard to the next generation of skiers.
Ryan Ritchie - Lead Masters Coach
Pete Lewis, Lead U14 Coach
Kayla Wieczorek - U10/U12 Lead Coach
Ryan has been skiing since age 2 and racing since age 12, beginning with the Bear Valley Race Team and continuing through his tenure with the UC Davis Alpine Ski Team. He led UCD to USCSA Nationals twice and attended once as an individual, earning Academic All-American honors each year. He coached with UC Davis for two years before embarking on his Masters racing "career" alongside his professional career as a Physical Therapist. Ryan has coached various youth sports, including skiing, and now shares his passion for speed with fellow Masters racers at DPSEF.
Ryan's coaching philosophy: We endeavor to provide high quality, individualized coaching with a focus on fundamental skill development through drills both in and out of the course, driven by independent self-analysis so that you feel and integrate what makes for a good turn. I think there’s room for each of us to improve to the extent we wish, and Masters racing with Far West is certainly not limited to super-fast racers. I think you will find great camaraderie, support, and fun there if you choose to go that route.