WRF COACHING STAFF 2020

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Below are some of the most passionate hard working coaches in the business

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Mike Benchimol | U10 Coach

Mike first started teaching skiing at a small ski area called Deer Run (Scotch Valley Ski Area) in the early 90’s. In 1999 he came to Windham and became a coach with the race team. During those years he has worked with U8, U10, and U12 racers. Recently, he has been working with the young racers training to become coaches.

When not skiing, Mike is a middle school and high school science teacher on Long Island. During the summer Mike is a director and a coach of a Junior Sailing program.  He has two older children who skied with the race program and has two younger children who will be joining the race program in the near future.

An avid soccer player, Mike still tries to find time for sailing, mountain biking, white water kayaking, and rock climbing.

Certifications include PSIA Level 2, Children’s Specialist 2, US Ski and Snowboard Alpine Level 200 Coach, and US Sailing Level 3 Coach.

Kevin Cohane | U14 Coach

Kevin has taught every level of Adaptive and Alpine skiing and ski racing since 2002, and now, in his 19th season at Windham Mountain Resorts, is coaching U14s for the Windham Race Factory. PSIA II and US Ski and Snowboard Alpine Level 200 Coach, he also has a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Mathematics, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.

Kevin has been coaching young athletes in all sports for 40 years. In addition to Ski Racing, he is the Head Track and Field Coach at WAJ. Kevin was a World Commodities Trader on Wall Street before moving to Windham and pursuing his passion for education. He is a Math Teacher and Tutors all subjects plus SAT/ACT prep.

He is married to his beautiful wife, Kate, and has 2 boys who have come through the Race Factory and were State Champions, and a daughter, Piper, who is currently racing for WRF. His favorite saying is: “Everything in life requires courage. The measure of your life will be the measure of your courage.” His greatest ski experiences were race camps with Luc Dubois, the ex-Head Coach of the Canadian National Ski Team at Mont Tremblant back when they still had the single chairlift.

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Nicole Cosgrove | U14 Coach

Hailing from the tundra of Minneapolis, Minnesota Nicole joined the Windham Race Factory in 2017. She is an alumni of the prestigious Buck Hill Ski team. Known for it's rope tow and legendary skier's such as Kristina Koznick, Michael Ankeny and Lindsay Vonn, despite it's mere 310 foot vertical.

Nicole attended the University of Colorado where she served as the anchor slalom skier. After two years of collegiate racing Nicole turned in her skis to sail around the world- stopping in fourteen countries along the way.

After graduation she landed an internship in film production in New York City. Nicole is currently a film and television producer in New York City. She has had the honor of working on 30Rock,The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Wolf of Wall Street. Filmmaking and ski coaching are a true symbiotic relationship, because no one likes to make movies in the winter. Nicole looks forward to every weekend at the Race Factory. She hopes to instill her zest for adventure and fearlessness into all of her athletes.

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Ion Puspurica | WRF Race Coach

Ion grew up skiing the high peaks of the Carpathian Mountains.  A digital media executive by day, he turned his life-long passion for skiing and mountaineering into a rewarding quest to pass-on to younger generations his love for the sport, on-snow skills and technical knowledge as alpine race coach.

With a professional, fun and energetic attitude, coupled with his unique experience working with athletes at various levels both in US and Europe and a genuine drive to never stop learning, Ion brings to our program a broad background in sport science and pedagogy along with in-depth snow sports technical knowledge.

Ion is a US Ski and Snowboard Level 300 Coach and holds Alpine Race Official certifications as Chief of Race and Referee.

Once snow melts away, you'll find him sailing the waters of Long Island Sound, coaching competitive sailors, or trying to advance his golf game (a self-imposed, never-ending challenge).

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Henry Rivers | U14 Coach

Henri has been skiing and coaching at Windham Mountain since 2003. He has coached U10’s, U12’s and currently is coaching U14’s. He has been skiing for over 45 years and loves this sport. He is a PSIA level II Certified Master Teacher and Certified Children’s Specialist II.

He is a US Ski and Snowboard Level 200 Alpine Coach, and holds Alpine Race Official certifications as Jury Advisor and Referee.

Henri is the proud dad of triplets, Helaina, Henri IV and Henniyah, all avid skiers and members of the Windham Race Factory.

Henri is currently the Executive Vice President of the National Brotherhood of Skiers, one of the largest ski organizations in the country.

 

Susan White | U14 Coach

Susan (Holes) White is what is called a “flatlander.” Born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, she began her ski-racing career under the tutelage of Coach Georg Neubauer at Powder Ridge, often affectionately referred to as “Powder Bump.” A few years later, she began commuting to Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville, Minnesota, 90 minutes south, to train under internationally-known Erich Sailer, the energetic Austrian who has been Buck Hill's racing coach since 1969.

After being named to the U.S. Ski Team, Susan moved to Vail, Colorado to train at Ski Club Vail, under Coach Scott Wilson. Unfortunately, she sustained serious injuries while training downhill in preparation for the National Championships, and her racing days were over.

Following a lengthy recovery period, Susan began her career as a professional ski coach. She coached full-time, year-round, in both the Rocky Mountain and Central Divisions for over 20 years, including; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, University of Colorado – Boulder, Park City Ski Educational Foundation, Afton Alps Alpine Club, and the Eldora Mountain Ski Club. She was called on numerous times to assist the US Ski Team with training camps in Mt. Hood, and Keystone, as well as the World Championships in Lillehammer.

While in the position of Program Director/ Head Coach of the Eldora Mountain Ski Club, Susan met her husband Brian, then a competitive professional cyclist and ski coach. They have two boys, Brayden (18) and Declan (16), and although the boy’s primary sport is gymnastics, Susan decided to return to coaching part-time. For the last 12 years, Susan has worked with the Windham Race Factory at the U8, U10, U12, U14, U16/U19’s—and now again with U14’s.

Susan’s coaching philosophy is based on establishing honest relationships with her athletes based on trust and respect. She values all athletes primarily based upon work ethic and kindness regardless of apparent athletic talent, and believes that parents are an integral part of the athletic process.

Susan is grateful to the many coaches, coaching mentors, athletes, and athlete parents who have enriched her life through sport. She is especially grateful to her parents, certified race officials in their day, who stood outside on many a subzero day in the flatlands of midwestern ski areas.

Susan received a degree in Journalism/ Public Relations from the School of Journalism & Mass Communications, in Boulder, Colorado.

She holds a Level 500 Coaching Certification with the United States Ski Coaches Association.