Evan Elliott, Head Coach, Durango Nordic Ski Team & U20/U18/U16 Race
Evan Elliott is a Colorado native, born and raised in Durango, Colorado. He grew up skiing for Durango Nordic Ski Club (DNSC), attending multiple national championship races. He attended Fort Lewis College, where he competed in their multi national championship cycling team as a member of their downhill mountain biking group. He began his coaching career in 2007 and quickly moved up to the assistant head coach position for DNSC, a title he happily held though the 2013 season. He continued his coaching career as the assistant head coach for Boulder Junior Nordic Race team for the 2014-2015 race season. He then made his way to the Vail valley, joining Ski and Snowboard Club Vail in the summer of 2015. He has been named as a coach for the Junior National team, Rocky Mountain Division annually since 2012, and was the head glide wax technician for the US team at the U23 World Championships in 2016.
Hannah Peterson, Head Coach, U14/U12/U10 Race
Hannah Peterson grew up in Durango, Colorado and began skiing for the Durango Nordic Ski Club in 2008. She continued competing for DNSC through her senior year, competing in 4 Junior Nationals, and making All-American in several races. From there, Hannah attended the University of New Hampshire and skied for their ski team. She traveled the East competing for UNH's carnival team from 2014 - 2018. Hannah was senior captain of the team in 2018. Hannah graduated from UNH in May of 2018 with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and was eager to move back to Durango where she returns to DNSC as a coach for the U14/U12/U10 Race Team.
Gunther Ott, Head Coach, Cruisers
I started skiing with the Durango Nordic team when I was ten years old and competed until I graduated from high school in 2011. After that, I took a couple of years off working on a cattle ranch in Montana, and a vineyard in Germany. Upon returning to the States, I joined the National Guard’s Biathlon team. Winning the Western Regionals in Alaska was the highlight of that chapter of my life. At that point, I decided I didn’t want to continue as a professional Biathlete, and started working full time in the summer with my family on the James Ranch, and coaching the Nordic Team in the winter. This winter is my third season of coaching for the Durango Nordic team, and my first year running my own pastured pork business. I find my job as a coach to be very fulfilling as it affords me the opportunity to instill my love of skiing in future generations. Being friends with the amazing athletes on the team and helping them reach their full potential, while having fun, is my passion.
Chad MacCluskey, Assistant Coach - Cruisers
Chad MacCluskey is quite the renaissance figure who gravitated towards music at an early age. He not only has performed countless times, strumming a broken tennis racquet on his mother’s living room floor, to an audience of G.I. Joe dolls, but also to human audiences in Africa, Australia, Indonesia and the USA. He has a passion of performing Jazz, Celtic and Brazilian music on guitars with seven or eight strings in unconventional tunings.
Mr. MacCluskey has a Bachelors in Neuroscience, a teaching degree, a Masters in Elementary Education/ Information Technologies, and many endorsements in Special Education. His latest academic endeavor was in becoming a Certified Academic Language Therapist. Mr. MacCluskey has been in public education for over eighteen years. He has also started his fourteenth year coaching youth cross country running with his team The Durango Trail Runners. Fairly new to the art of Nordic Skiing, Mr. MacCluskey has “skated” his way into supporting the Nordic team with his second year of coaching this season.
Sarah Tescher, Head Coach - Nordies
Sarah Tescher has been a coach for the Durango Nordic Ski Club for 12 years, mostly with the younger groups. Her favorite skill game is Red Rover and her favorite trail is Lower Powerline on skate skis, Boyce Lake on classic, Haviland Lake Trails on scale skis, and Silverton Town Loop on her fat/snow bike.
She is currently the head coach for the Nordies - The nordic club's program for skiers who just like to explore and adventure on scale skis. When she is not leading her group in snow cave building, jump creating, or a game of camouflage, she is off skiing in the back country or working at her local business: Durango Academic Coaching.