Coaching Staff

Jim Reilly

Jim Reilly has been the KSEF Program Director since 2009. He has been ski racing since his childhood and competed at an NCAA level in college. Jim is a USSA Level 100 Certified Coach and also holds USSA certifications as Chief of Race, Chief of Course, Race Official and a Referee and is also PSIA certified. Jim loves Kirkwood and giving back to the community. He is passionate about skiing and has done a fantastic job running the program and maintaining an outstanding coaching staff. Jim, his wife Lisa and their younger daughter are in the program, while their elder daughter joined University of Utah after graduating from KSEF.

Darryl Whitaker

Returning to the Eastern Sierras after spending 12 years in the Rocky and Intermountain Divisions along with a second tour with US Skiing working in the Development and Education Departments. A Level 500 Certified Coach and Level 3 PSIA Instructor along with high Race Officials levels of accreditations . Been involved in the sport as an athlete, coach, parent, race organizer, Program Director, Official, Coach Developer and a member of several Divisional/Regional/National committees involved with development of ski racing. Excited about the return “home” to KSEF where Darryl is a former Program Director from 1995 – 2001 and the J-3 coach in 2008. Working along side some of his former athletes and coaches from the past has also brought an enthusiastic  “Big D” back to Kirkwood.

Jim Bell

Jim Bell “JB”, has been coaching with KSEF for 15 years. He is a USSA level 100 coach and holds certifications as a competition official, race administrator, referee, and timing official. During the week, JB teaches Adapted Physical Education at Sequoia Union High School in Redwood City. He holds a BA in Kinesiology and Physical Education, and has won numerous awards for innovation, including Teacher of the Year by the State of California. JB loves to coach and push our athletes to new levels. He especially loves Kirkwood powder days and taking our kids “off piste”, introducing them to new chutes and terrain.

Bryce Wehan

Bryce lives in South Lake Tahoe with his wife Mei and son Eizen. His 15-year ski racing career brought him to many places and races, every one of them different in their own way. This experience extended to the Nor-Am level and other continental cups, except for the Europa-Cup, ultimately specializing in Downhill and Slalom. During college, he raced for UNR and helped the team transition from the NCAA to USCSA league. After so many years, this experience opened his eyes into a different world of ski racing, where recreation and diversity were much more present. Afterward, Bryce finished his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and worked studying native plant ecology for the University and then 5 years at the USDA-ARS. A few years into this career, Bryce came back to the skiing world as a coach for KSEF. In the 17/18 winter, he took on the role of Head Coach. Due to beginning a Master’s degree and starting a family, he stepped down and took a year off. Bryce is now actively back in Kirkwood pursuing a new career in Real Estate and Property Management. The 20/21 year will be his 7th year of coaching. Though busy working in the Kirkwood valley, he enjoys spending time coaching the athletes and showing them what the mountain has to offer. Whether we get a year of only powder skiing, a year of hardpack training, or somewhere in between, there is nothing quite like falling down a mountain.

Patrick Traynor

Patrick Traynor joined KSEF as their Masters coach in December 2015. Previous to this, he was the Masters coach for Team Mountain High in Wrightwood, California. A USSA Masters competitor himself when his schedule permits he is a level 300 USSA certified coach with Referee, Chief of Course, and Chief of Race certifications. He is also a Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Level 2 ski instructor working on his Level 3 certification, with a Children Specialist 1 certificate. He also enjoys the lighter side of the ski profession as a Jets coach for Kirkwood Ski Resort when not coaching within the KSEF arena. His professional background is in education having been a high school teacher, both elementary and middle school principal, district office director, assistant superintendent, state director of assessment, and finally superintendent of schools. Dr. Traynor also takes nutrition and fitness seriously, himself being a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).

Dana Keith

This will be Dana’s fifth season coaching for the Kirkwood Ski Team. She was born on the Big Island of Hawaii and moved to Truckee at the age of 4 where she started skiing for the Mighty Mites team at Squaw Valley. In High school, she competed in CNISSF races & then coached at Amador High after graduation and was a teacher at Pioneer Montessori. Dana holds a PSIA level 1 and USSA level 100 coach certification along with an EMT background and CPR- First Aid certified. Her offseason is always filled with exciting outdoor adventures! Dana wants to continue to improve her coaching skills and instill a lifelong love of skiing in the kids.

Alisa Ferrier

Alisa grew up skiing and ski racing in the Pacific Northwest and completed her competitive years with the Western Washington University Ski Team in Bellingham, Washington. Her passion for skiing brought her to the Lake Tahoe area where she now lives with her three boys. After college, she became an active member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America and has continued her commitment since 1995. She holds a PSIA Level 2 and a Child-Specialist Certification, as well as USSA Coach 100, Race Official and Race Referee certifications. When not skiing, Alisa works for Barton Healthcare in South Lake Tahoe and enjoys scrapbooking, hiking, paddle boarding and watching her boys compete in local high school level athletics. Her favorite color is white, such as in white fluffy powder and her bunny Sugar.

Tomasz Kalkowski

Tomasz Kalkowski has been coaching KSEF master program for the last 2 years. Born in Poland spent early years skiing all over Europe and became certified ski instructor overseas. KSEF provided opportunity to train regularly as well as race USSA Far West masters. Currently, Tomasz is a USSA Level 200 certified coach and is very excited about the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience. Other than skiing Tomasz loves to rock climb, surf, windsurf and coach karate in his hometown Cupertino.

Maya Hendija

This will be Maya’s second season coaching for the Kirkwood Ski Team. She spent most of her life living and skiing in Europe and joined the Kirkwood ski team upon moving to California. Through high school and college she has raced in USSA and USCSA races for KSEF and UC Davis. When she’s not skiing Maya is a competitive golfer and enjoys traveling and spending time outside windsurfing and hiking. She looks forward to working with the athletes and furthering her experience in ski coaching.

Gonzalo Arnold-Fernandez

My name is Gonzalo Arnold-Fernandez and I hold a level 200 USSA certification as well as a level 2 PSIA. I started my skiing career in my home country, Argentina, in the Patagonia region. I grew up skiing in a local ski club in Villa La Angostura.  I have 2 children, Mateo and Melia. We love the mountain and the sport. I have worked in the Tahoe area for over 20 years now in different roles and ski resorts.  It would be thrilling for me to work at Kirkwood next season, leading the Kirkwood Ski Team into the future. 

Haley Louis

Haley joined KSEF when she was 5 years old as a mighty mite and later moved on to racing in Far West when she was 10. For high school she attended Sugar Bowl Academy and traveled all over to compete in races. She is currently a senior at UC Davis, studying Communication and Coaching Principles and Methods. She is the UC Davis Ski team captain and competes in USCSA races. Haley is very excited to work with the athletes and share her love and passion for skiing. When not skiing, she enjoys being outside, hiking, surfing, skateboarding, and also jamming out on the guitar.

Paul Bradshaw

Paul helped coach the Masters’ Ski Team during the 2019/2020 ski season and is looking forward to returning for the 2020/2021 ski season. Paul is a Level II instructor with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), which he obtained while teaching at Kirkwood for 10+ years. He also trained with Darryl Whitaker in a Level 100 USSA certification class. Paul lives at Kirkwood on weekends during the winter where he enjoys skiing and snowboarding with his wife, kids, and grandkids. After the snow melts, Paul can usually be found on a lake, water skiing, where he continues his addiction to H2O on a slalom course, with buoys instead of gates.

Maia Bickert

Maia found her passion for racing in the local Kinder Kup and joined the Heavenly Ski Team when she was 8. She qualified for the Topolino Shootout when she was 13, and went on to travel and compete internationally with the Western Region Team. Upon graduating high school she moved to a more structured program in Mammoth to further her training under Chip White, US Ski Team Women’s Head Speed Coach. A diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes temporarily flipped her world upside down, and rendered her insulin dependent for life. Just as she got back on her feet and began racing again, she tore her ACL. These series of events shifted her perspective, and now she is currently in her senior year at UC Berkeley studying Immunology & Infectious Disease —what a time to study viruses! She was the Berkeley Ski Team captain, and competed in USCSA for fun. In her (relatively rare) spare time, Maia volunteers with a ski camp for kids living with Type 1 Diabetes, works for a non-profit focusing on global healthcare education, and now is looking forward to coaching kids both on and off the hill. She loves to climb, backcountry ski, run, backpack and enjoy the great outdoors.

Brent Springbett

Brent began his skiing career at 5 years old with the Heavenly Ski team starting with the “Blue Angels” training team.  Brent continued racing in USSA events through High School before turning his energy to coaching.  Brent spent the early years of his coaching at Heavenly, Kirkwood and eventually found his way to Sugar Bowl as both a youth and master’s coach. In addition to coaching at Kirkwood Brent spent several years as a ski instructor and eventually found his passion as a ski shop operator.  Brent began his retail career managing the Kirkwood Mountain Outfitters and then went on to open his own shop in South Lake Tahoe known as Tahoe Boot and Ski Works.  While in and out of retail Brent also worked many years traveling the globe for Dynastar/Lange and Salomon in their race and competition services departments acquiring vast knowledge on the equipment and tuning side of the sport.  Brent is currently working with Blue Zone Sports and looking forward to returning to Kirkwood to assist our growing KSEF program coaching on the hill as well as with equipment fitting needs.