skip navigation

Ski Team Coaches 2020-2021

Diamond Peak Ski Team Head Coach

Konrad Rickenbach

Konrad comes to the Diamond Peak Ski Team with a rich background in ski racing.  This is Konrad’s fifth year as the Head Coach of  DPST.  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.”


U19 Coaches

Rick Cole - U19/U16 Coach


U16 coaches

Richard Cole -  U19/U16 Coach


U14 Coaches

Pete Lewis - U14 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 U14 Coaches

Edward Schelert

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 fifth season coaching with DPSEF and currently practices emergency medicine as a physician assistant.

Eric Anderson

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 joining DPSEF’s caching staff this year.

 


U10/U12 coaches

Kayla Wieczorek - U10/U12 Lead Coach

Kayla, a year-round employee, 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.

Tahoe Leauge Lead Coach - Samantha Ladich

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.

U10U12 Assistant Coaches

Will Toney

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.

CJ Bawden

Rachel Meyer

Fiona Zieir

Samir Somji


Mighty Mites Coaches

Deedee Driller - Mighty Mites Director and Lead Coach

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.  Currently, she is a nursery school teacher 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. 

 Peter Van Peborgh - Lead, Orange Group 

Peter has been teaching skiing and snowboarding to children and adults for more than 20 years.  His philosophy is Safety, FUN and then learning. He hopes to instill the joy of skiing into his athletes. Skiing should be FUN foremost. We ski as much as possible, challenging athletes to new terrain and new skills, scaffolding them as we go, modeling appropriate behavior, keeping safe as possible while recognizing skiing's inherent risks.

Jim Weiss - Lead, Teal Group

Jim's passion for skiing defines him. This will be Jim's 32nd consecutive ski season in Tahoe, having coached on and off with DPSEF since his very first season. Jim looks forward to getting back on the snow with the Mighty Mites this season... his edges will be sharp as he will have just arrived back from his 2nd ski season down under in New Zealand!

Geno Stiles - Assistant Coach

Geno grew up skiing the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, at Granlibakken when he was three years old and even skied Ski Incline (Diamond Peak) it's opening year! 

In high school, with ten of his friends he started a racing team that competed in the FWSA program. The first year they raced at Tahoe Ski Bowl, then Sierra Ski Ranch (now Sierra at Tahoe), and finally two years with Norm Sayler at Donner Ski Ranch. During his senior year in high school Geno was the team captain and came to know Norm personally, as well as Starr Walton, whose family owned the Ranch prior to Norm. Both Starr and Norm have a rich Olympic history. Starr Walton told Geno many stories about her experience with Vladimir "Spider" Sabich. Yes, there really was a Spider Sabich...

Geno's number one rule in life is you have to have fun! He wants your athlete to remember how fun their days are on the mountain. As Dr. Taylor says, "when they're engaged, results will follow." We want your children to have healthy participation in sports that will serve them in all aspects of their lives." So let's have FUN!

Kaitlyn McCabe - Thursdays

Born and raised in Incline Village, Kaitlyn grew up racing on the Diamond Peak Ski Team. Her passion for the sport started when she was a little girl. One of her greatest joys in life is sharing that passion with others, especially kids. Skiing was a huge part of what shaped her into the healthy, productive, and happy woman she is today.  Skiing required a lot of time, dedication, and sometimes pain.  Skiing taught her about healthy competition, independence, accountability, and balance. She loves to coach and hopes to inspire her kids to learn some of these valuable life skills on and off the hill. 
 

Margarita Welczek - Thursdays

Clara Weiss - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni

Shane Green - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni

Niklas Pietzke - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni

Kaci Meyer - Jr. Coach & DPST Alumni


Shredders

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, don’t sweat the small stuff and catch them being good, with the goal of keeping it fun and safe. 

Peter Figgins 

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.

All Mountain

Mark Bernstein - All Mountain Lead Coach

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.  

Assistant All Mountain Coaches

Mike Peyton

Austin Schrage

Masters

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.