Meet Our Coaches

Coaches for the 2019-2020 season. (A work in-progress.)

Quick links:

Head Coaches

Ford Sayre Nordic Head Coach:
Hilary McNamee – Hilary hails from the most Northern reaches of Maine, where winter lasts nearly all year. Hilary began coaching with Ford Sayre in 2011, during her undergrad years at Dartmouth and later worked for four seasons as the Dartmouth Ski Team Assistant. She has a background in biathlon and attended five World Junior Championships representing USA. In her role as Ford Sayre Nordic Head Coach, she oversees all Nordic programming in addition to being the head coach for the Junior Nordic Team (JNT), Ford Sayre’s high school racing program. Her other passion in life is growing and arranging flowers.

BKL Head Coach:
Jay Davis – Jay started skiing in Bethel, ME, where in elementary school he witnessed the Torger Tokel league change to the Bill Koch League when young Vermonter Bill won a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics. He lives in Lyme and works with first generation and low income students at Dartmouth College, where he captained the collegiate team as an undergraduate and then coached the college team for two years after graduation. He has two kids who have loved being part of Ford Sayre skiing and racing, and he has coached all grade levels with Ford Sayre in the 21 years he has been with the program.  He is now the Head Coach for the K-8 BKL Programs, which allows him to learn and laugh with kids and coaches of all ages.

Our BKL Head Coach is responsible for the organization, preparation and direction of our fabulous coaching team. Please address all coaching inquiries to Jay at HeadCoachBKL@FordSayre.org.

Grades K-2

Program Head: Susie Matter – Susie grew up downhill skiing in northern California. She only began nordic skiing six years ago when her family moved to New Hampshire. She loves that cross-country skiing is an activity that her whole family can do together, and it gets them outside in nature all winter long. She and her husband have three kids, and they have all been involved in the Ford Sayre program for the last six years.

Lead Coaches:

Heidi Trimarceau – Heidi Trimarco, of Hanover, started nordic skiing as a child and now enjoys skiing with her own children. Heidi loves that skiing is a sport that the entire family can do together. Her goal is to teach the youngest skiers how much fun skiing is. Heidi and her husband have three daughters, ages 8, 6, and 4. This is Heidi\’s fourth year volunteering with the Ford Sayre program as a coach for the K-2 program.

Andy Hilton – 

Gabe Brooks – 

Group Coaches:

Tricia Groff – Tricia is known for pulling around her crew of tiny skiers (Ingrid 9, Heidi 7, Anders 4, Aksel 2) – often with a carrier on skis in tow. She didn’t learn to ski until adulthood, but now it’s her favorite activity and she hopes to share her passion with families of the Upper Valley. She is excited to support the youngest skiers learning to get comfortable on snow!

Mike Barton – Mike lives in Hanover with his wife and twin girls. He began cross country skiing at a “Dorchester” meetup sometime around 2004. He was also the lead-out skier in his first and only ski relay appearance held in nearby Strafford, VT around 2014. This is Mike’s first year coaching with the Ford Sayer program, recruited by local legends Jay Davis and Lou Bregou.

Dave Dostal – Dave grew up as an Alpine skier in the feast-or-famine powder of Tahoe and still does not know how to use the edges on a downhill ski. Over time, the accessibility and strenuous exercise of Nordic skiing has won his heart. Having received little formal coaching, he is interested in helping others learn more quickly and with fewer missteps than he did. He has a 2nd grade daughter in the Ford Sayre Nordic program and a pre-K daughter in the queue.

Gillian Sowden – Gillian started Nordic skiing in Scotland, a country not really known for its skiing or snow. At age 16, she moved to Geilo, Norway to train at a ski academy (NTG), where she took up biathlon, and competed in Europe as a member of the British biathlon team. At age 20, she moved to the US to attend Williams college, where she was a member of the Williams Nordic ski team. Gillian now prefers a more leisurely approach to skiing, and enjoys getting out on snow with her twin boys, Ian and Stewart.

Melissa Mellen – Melissa and her family enjoy skiing in the Upper Valley. When not “uphill skiing” you might find them “downhill skiing” at the Dartmouth Skiway. Every year at Christmas time she writes a note to Santa Claus asking for a really great snow year.

David Lysy – David is a lover of all things winter, snow, ice, and cold. This includes nordic, ski jumping, and telemark, as well as ice climbing and winter camping and mountaineering when not sliding on snow. He raced nordic and biathlon through high school and was the only tele ski patroller at the Dartmouth Skiway in the mid-’90’s as an undergrad (leather boots, 3-pin, skinny skis). This is his 3rd and last year coaching with the Ford Sayre K-2 program, as his 2nd grade twins (Hunter & Mairaed) move up to the 3/4 program next year. David alternates coaching the boys vs. the girls each year.

Grades 3-8th Program Heads

Dennis & Elisabeth Kulakowski: Dennis & Elisabeth live in Corinth, VT.  They had run their own BKL club up north and have joined Ford Sayre in 2017.   Immersed in all snow activities, they are now Co-Program Directors for the BKL program, Grades 5-8.

All administrative or coaching questions for skiers in Grades 5-8 should be directed to Dennis & Elisabeth at: BKL@FordSayre.org or by phone at 802-461-6891.

Grade 3 & 4

Lead Coaches (3 total):

Ashley Milliken – Ashley grew up alpine skiing every weekend on Cannon Mt, but after her husband introduced her to nordic skiing, she never looked back. She loves the peace of classic skiing in the woods, the great workout skiing provides, and sharing the sport with a strong community of family and friends. Ashley’s background is in teaching and in addition to coaching skiing, she coached girls lacrosse for 11 years. She has two daughters, both of whom went through the BKL program and are now 17 and 19 years old. Her husband is a lead coach for the 5th-6th grade program.

Theresa Lust – Teresa started nordic skiing in college after a childhood on alpine skis. Along with her husband and two children she has participated in the Ford Sayre program in one form or another for going on nine years. She loves how cross-country skiers make the most of Upper Valley winters. Who else can hit the trails in sub-zero temperatures and two inches of snow and call it perfect conditions and the best day ever!

Aricca Van Citters – Aricca began skiing as a child, and raced from elementary school through her college years at Dartmouth. She loves skiing for fun with family and friends. Aricca has coached Nordic skiing at the high school and elementary levels.  She lives in Hanover with her husband and their three children. This is her sixth year coaching with the Ford Sayre program.

Group Coaches (9 total):

John Griesemer – John lives in Lyme and began coaching five years ago with Karl Furstenberg when Scottie Eliassen found them both thrashing around at an undisclosed ski location in Dorchester, NH. They found their way into the Grade 3-4 group and never left. He and Karl believe in skills and fun. Not necessarily in that order.

Viva Hardigg – Viva Hardigg started nordic skiing at age four when, in the era of pine pitch, her family gave two Toggenburg goats to the Putney School in exchange for cross-country ski lessons. After four years of racing at Dartmouth, she spent a fifth and happily memorable year in Hanover running the K-2 portion of Ford Sayre. Years later, she has returned to a house near Oak Hill with her husband and two sons and is thrilled to be coaching again.

Karl Furstenberg – Karl has been coaching since 2009 with Ford Sayre. His goal at this level is to build enthusiasm and a solid skiing foundation that will help young skiers if they choose to continue with the sport.  He has been involved in long distance running and xc skiing for many years.  Karl had a long career in the senior administration at Dartmouth and lives in Lyme.

Janet Hardy – Janet has been skiing, in some form or another, well… forever. Over the years, she was a BKL skier, raced a bit, backcountry skied, guided visually-impaired skiers, and was a co-program head and coach for Ford Sayre BKL (2002-2009). These days she’s as happy off piste as she is on groomed trails. She definitely misses the years when her kids were BKL skiers, but is happy to be back in this great community surrounded by young, enthusiastic skiers.

Charlie Hackett – Charlie grew up on the New Hampshire seacoast and has been part of the Ford Sayre community since 2004. His children sampled both alpine and nordic but preferred alpine. He doesn’t mind too much. What’s important to him is seeing kids find friendships, fun, and confidence through sports. Charlie has also coached with Hanover Hockey.

Laurent Perreard

Irina Perreard

Zoe Snow

Bryce Walker

Grade 5 & 6

Lead Coaches (2 total) 

Rob Walsh – Rob started cross country skiing as a freshman at Dartmouth and had his first coaching experience with Ford Sayre his senior year. After many years of pursuing his own skiing, he returned to coaching when his kids joined the BKL program. After spending several years with  the 3rd & 4th graders he has now settled into coaching the 5th & 6th grade group.

Peter Milliken – Peter started skiing as a child with the Bill Koch Ski League and raced seriously through college (Williams). His idea of a perfect day include an epic day of classic skiing with family and friends after a new snowfall – ending with a sumptuous meal of course!

Group Coaches (5 total):

Kirsten Gleeson – Kirsten started out cross-country skiing on wooden skis with her first “lollipop” race at age six in the Torger Tokle League, before it became the Bill Koch League. A couple of years later she had her first coaching stint, teaching her best friend who had never skied before. She raced for 24 years, including competing for Williams College on both the eastern circuit and national races. She has ski instructed and coached all ages and levels of skiers at Royal Gorge, CA and took this experience to coach Ford Sayre BKL from Kindergarten to 8th grade. She has worked for over 20 years at DHMC as a sport/orthopedic physical therapist and has enjoyed watching her 2 daughters develop their love of the sport as skiers in Ford Sayre BKL.

Caitlin Haedrick – Caitlin grew up skiing with Ford Sayre BKL and JNT. She recently to the Upper Valley to work at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab. When she’s not nordic skiing, Caitlin enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking and trail running.

Davy Kitchel

Erika Breton

Ben Alford

Grade 7 & 8

Lead Coaches (2 total) (website updates needed for both coaches):

Emily Stitt – Emily Stitt, sometimes described as “The Energizer Bunny,” is originally from Jericho, Vermont where she grew up alpine skiing and kicking around on classic skis in the woods. She started nordic ski racing in high school and then competed for Middlebury College. After graduating in 2014, she spent 3 years living and ski coaching in Norway before moving to East Thetford to start medical school at Dartmouth. When she’s not nordic skiing or studying, you’ll find her playing up in the mountains on her AT skis, her mountain bike or in her running shoes. This is Emily’s second year with Ford Sayre, this year working with the 7th/8th grade group, just trying to share her love of the sport and boundless enthusiasm and energy with the kids!

Leif Johnson

Group Coaches (5 total):

Kate Crawford – “Kate grew up skiing in New England and raced seriously from middle school through college (UVM). She continues to ski at every opportunity and has fallen hard and fast for backcountry skiing in the White and Green Mountains over the past decade. Kate returned to Vermont in 2018, after several years in the Boston area and works as a postdoc in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She is excited to be joining Ford Sayre for her second season.”

Julia Harrison – I grew up skiing in Minnesota, where I competed for my high school team as well as for Loppet Nordic Racing. As a true Minnesotan, I played hockey until high school, when I saw the light and joined the ski team. I came to Dartmouth and quickly discovered that I needed to work on my downhills and learn to apply klister. I raced for Dartmouth for 4 years and captained the women’s team in 2015, my senior year. I have continued on in the Upper Valley as a medical student, coaching when I can!

Russell Primeau – “Russell grew up skiing and occasionally training on the Memphremagog Trails in Derby, VT. After racing for Dartmouth, he’s stuck around the Upper Valley, and looks forward to imparting his accumulated knowledge of jump construction, snowball strategy, and other fundamentals of the sport to newer skiers.”

Tom Weir – Tom grew up in Hanover and started out skiing with Ford Sayre BKL. He loves classic skiing and and can think of nothing better than an Extra Blue day. Tom lives in Lyme and is the Youth Program Director for the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA).

Elissa Bradley – 

5-8th Adventure Program

Lead Coach (1):

Susan Frankenstein – Susan says that any day on skis is a good day. She used to race, but now is happiest seeing where that old road or opening in the woods goes. On skis, one can get to so many places that are too wet in summer. Susan loves to see the kids grow and gain confidence on skis and hear their stories as they search out the next adventure. When not skiing, she likes to mountain bike, hike, garden, and read.

Group Coaches (2 total)

Derek Krater – Derek is a former Ford Sayre Athlete who moved to Hanover from Jackson Hole, WY. He later became a Coach for Ford Sayre, during his collegiate years but was forced to move away for work. Good for us, things have a way of coming full circle! He has moved back to the Upper Valley and returned to coaching! This time bringing with him his Fiancee; Kelsey, a coach on the Alpine team and his yellow lab Oliver. You will surely notice Derek either by his loud laugh or his bright smile.

Laura Bashor – This is Laura’s second year volunteering with Ford Sayre. Originally from Minnesota, she loves getting outside and exploring the extensive trail networks of Vermont and New Hampshire on skis.

Charlie Hackett – 

Friday Race Cinic:

Lead Coaches (2 Total):

Luke Costley – Luke joins Ford Sayre this winter as the JNT Assistant Coach and lead coach for the U14/U16 Race Program. Luke, a graduate of Williams College and a member of its Nordic ski team, grew up in Williamstown, MA. He loves being a part of ski teams that feel like families, the joy and challenge of skiing fast, and the close-knit world of skiing in New England. Prior to this year, Luke worked for Overland Summers, leading hiking and biking trips for high school students, and spent two years teaching 9th grade English in New York City. He’s thrilled to be the Upper Valley for the winter, and he’s excited to get to know the Ford Sayre community!

Kate Crawford

Assistant Coaches (4 total):

Carly Wynn – Carly is a lifelong skier and endurance junkie, now a part-time nomadic adventurer and an endurance coach specializing in running and Nordic skiing. Carly has years of National and International level competition experience in Nordic skiing and biathlon, and has been racing on the Super Tour circuit since graduating from Dartmouth in 2015. More about Carly’s travel & adventures, ski racing, and coaching can be found at www.CarlyOutside.com

Dennis Page – Dennis is a New Hampshire native who has been coaching with Ford Sayre since 2010. He grew up in Bennington, NH and was on skis from about the time he could walk. Since then he’s skied his way through the SWNH Bill Koch program, ConVal High School, and the Dartmouth Ski Team. He still races regionally, and can be found out skiing in the hills until every last patch of snow is gone each April.

Ella Hall – Ella grew up skiing in the Methow Valley in Washington state where she raced with MVNT before moving to Hanover to attend Dartmouth. She raced the collegiate circuit for three years before turning to coaching. She enjoys spending time outdoors, enjoying the snow and having fun on skis.

Elissa Bradley – 

Program Directors

All administrative or coaching questions for skiers in K-4  should be directed to: JuniorBKL@FordSayre.org