Coaches

Ben Grasseschi

Ben GrasseschiBen is currently the Head XC Skiing Coach for Far West Nordic as well as Head Coach for Auburn Ski Club.
Ben grew up skiing in Montana and Idaho and was a member of the College of Idaho XC Ski Team.  Ben’s strengths as a coach are his ability to keep athletes motivated and excited about training and competing.

Coaching/Athletic Highlights

Head Coach Far West Nordic Junior, Seniors, and Master Programs
Head Coach Auburn Ski Club Juniors and Masters Programs
Member of College of Idaho Ski Team
US Ski Team Junior Scandinavian Trip Coach

Jeff Schloss

Jeff SchlossJeff has been passionately coaching XC ski racers for 21 years in the Tahoe area. He coached the Truckee High School Nordic Team to five State Championships before taking over the head Nordic coaching position at the University of Nevada, Reno. At UNR he helped bring the team from a club sport to an NCAA Division 1 team and to a top 10 ranking in the nation. After coaching at UNR, Jeff became the head Nordic coach for the Auburn Ski Club and the Far West Division. He coached Far West juniors to six different Junior National Championships and help place Junior Matt Gelso on the US Ski team. In 2006 Jeff coached the US Ski Team at the Junior World Championships and at the Under 23 World Championships. He loves outdoor adventure and is active in rock climbing, kayaking, triathlon, and masters XC ski racing. Jeff is currently the head Nordic Coach at Sugar Bowl Academy.

Glenn Jobe

Glenn is a former Far West board member and Far West head coach. An Olympic Biathlete in the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, Glenn is highly respected as one of North America’s leading experts on XC skiing technique, particularly classic skiing. Glenn’s coaching for masters skiers is focused on efficiency and “skiing smarter, not harder” which is key for many masters skiers. Glenn began XC skiing in 1972 at the University of Nevada, Reno and was the founder of both Kirkwood and Tahoe Donner’s Nordic centers. Glenn started coaching Far West Junior skiers in 1977 with the Junior National trip to Deadwood South Dakota. He has been instrumental in growing the Far West Junior Nordic Program and is a member of Far West Nordic’s coaches and senior committees.

Coaching/Athletic Highlights

1980 Olympic Biathlon Team
1981 National Biathlon 20km Champion
2002 Group leader for the forerunners at the 2002 Olympics
2002 Inducted into the UNR athletic Hall of Fame.

Nancy Fiddler

Nancy FiddlerNancy is an Olympian and US National Champion with 14 national titles.
Her approach to coaching is to inspire and bring out the greatness in every person on the snow.

Nancy grew up in New England but did not really start XC skiing until she was at Maine’s Bates College. After a six year hiatus from racing, she achieved considerable success on the World Cup and Championship circuit and competed in the 1988 Calgary and 1992 Albertville Olympics. She spent 18 years developing and coaching the Mammoth high school and middle school programs.  Currently Nancy is Assistant Nordic Coach at Truckee High School.

Kara LaPoint

Kara LaPointFar West Farm Team racer, Kara grew up in beautiful Truckee, Ca. and is a proud product of the Far West junior teams. After attending the University of Denver for three years, she transferred to the University of Nevada where she finished her NCAA skiing career and also threw in a year of running. Today, Kara is a triathlete, runner and as always, a skier. She is coahing the North Tahoe High School team.

Skiing Highlights: Competed at the University of Denver for three years. Qualified for NCAA Championships and finished 17th in the 15k classic race in 2007. Competed one year at Nevada (Senior year). Had three top-ten RMISA performances and several top-15s during collegiate career. Finished 41st in the 10k classic race at US Nationals in Houghton, Mich. to earn my best-ever US Nationals result. Other top recent results include 3rd in the Gold Rush and Great Ski Race in 2008, and 13th in the Boulder Mountain Tour in 2009. Competed with the Far West Ski Team from age 13-18, winning several Junior Olympics medals during that time.

Martin Benes

Martin BenesMartin returned to the Truckee area after several years as a student and coach on the east coast. After graduating from Bates College with a degree in Classical and Medieval Studies, Martin went on to coach Nordic skiing at Dartmouth College and Bates. His enthusiasm for the Sierra Nevada Mountains brought Martin back to the Truckee area and to Sugar Bowl Academy.

 

Mary Ellen Benier

After many metamorphoses, Mary Ellen is currently coaching the Truckee Middle School Nordic team, teaching outdoor ed. with Gateway Mountain Center, making lattes at Truckee Book and Bean, and substituting in the school district. The constant thread in her life has been her love of everything outside and hoping to ‘turn on’ that feeling in upcoming generations.

 

Ambrose Tuscano

Ambrose TuscanoAmbrose is an English teacher and assistant Nordic Coach at Sugar Bowl Academy. He has been coaching in the Far West for the past three years, in which time he has coached junior skiers in Soldier Hollow, Mammoth, Bend, and throughout the Tahoe region. His spare time is divided between Nordic and alpine skiing, whitewater and flatwater kayaking, cycling, hiking, backpacking, and trail running.

 

Joel Chew

Joel Chew

Joel is currently the Head Nordic Coach at Presentation High School, Biathlon Coach at Auburn Ski Club and Professional Waxer (Per Peter Holmes).  He has been Coaching at the last two Junior Nationals in Main and Minnesota.  Joel has also been coaching on Far West Trips to Oregon, Mammoth and Utah.

 

Alana Levin

Alana LevinAlana currently coaches Mammoth Junior Nordic Team.
She has 19 years of skiing, racing and instructing in Nordic.
Alana also coaches endurance athletes in the summertime for triathlon, running and biking.
She is the organizer of the June Lake Triathlon, Ned’s Mammoth Rock Race and the Tioga Pass Run.