Our Amazing Coaching Staff
Paige Elliott, Head Coach, Durango Nordic Ski Team & U20/U18/U16 Race
Paige Elliott is a former Durango Nordic athlete who considers the time she spent skiing under the stars and mountains of Southwest Colorado after school the single coolest part of her upbringing. She attended Dartmouth College as a member of the women's cross country ski team and graduated with a degree in creative nonfiction in 2013. She moved back to Durango shortly after and has been sharing her glitter and ribbon stash as the U14/U12 head coach ever since. Paige is passionate about promoting Nordic skiing as a lifestyle sport and hopes to create lifelong athletes. When Paige is not coaching, she works as the Marketing & Grants manager at the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. In addition to skiing, she loves trail running, writing, animals, sewing, and all things Harry Potter.
Kevin Lindlau, Assistant Coach, U20/U18/U16 Race
Hello, my name is Kevin Lindlau, and I am the assistant coach for the U20/18/16 Ski team this 2016/2017 season! My home town is Waukesha, Wisconsin, and I have lived in Durango, Colorado for the past 5 years. I have competed during high school as a road cyclist, as well as in XC Skiing. Now in college I compete in Ice Climbing, Rock Climbing, and am also an avid Slackliner! I have coached multiple age groups with the Durango Nordic Ski team in previous years, as well as for the Peak Nordic Ski team in Wisconsin. I am excited to Coach once again here in Durango to help our sport progress, and grow, so future generations can enjoy skiing as well! My favorite place to ski is Lapham Peak Ski trails, in Waukesha Wisconsin, as well as the Michigan Tech ski trails in the U.P.!
Gunther Ott, Head Coach, U14 Race
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.
Mike Dietzman, Assistant Coach - U14 Race
I played competitive hockey as a kid and up through college and that turned out to be my conduit to skate skiing; skis were just giant skates for me, and the rush of going fast on snow hooked me! Starting nordic at the ripe young age of 34 ( I am now 54) , I now have done more than 150 nordic races I'd guess, 17 of them Birkies, with 15 of those Birkies skiing out of the elite wave. Cycling is my other passion and my background is in road racing, but now consider myself more of a mt biker living in Durango these last 4 years. This will be season 5 with Durango Nordic, and I also have coached Devo for 4 years. During and out of college I worked outdoor ed for 14 years full time so now coaching for me is sorta like coming back around to my love of working with kids.
J Burnite, Assistant Coach - U14
J Burnite grew up in Durango. Loves to do outdoor activities with his wife, Heidi and daughter, Nola. He skied on the Durango Nordic team when he was in high school and has had many years of ski teaching experience. For the last 5 winters, J has instructed within the Durango Nordic Burner program. J is a high school art teacher with more than 20 years in the school district and has also coached 6 yrs with Durango High School's cross country and track teams.
Jack Turner, Head Coach - Middle School Development
Jack comes to us coaching his first year of nordic, though not a new face to the community. He has participated in adult nordic for the last few years but most the kids know him best as their coach for Durango Middle School Trail-runners cross country team. Jack began instructing nordic seven years ago at Eudora, near Nederland, CO. Ironically, his first students were from a middle school in Boulder. And thus, began his career in coaching this age group....
Ailish McDonald, Head Coach - U10 Race
I grew up in Boulder skiing and racing with Boulder Nordic junior racing team for 9 years. My sophomore year I went abroad to Argentina for a year; with rotary youth exchange and when I came back no longer had the desire to race but wanted to stick with the team and still be a part of the ski community. So I started coaching the u10 age group my senior year. I'm now a freshman at Fort Lewis studying elementary education.
Erin Casey, Head Coach - Elementary School Development
My name is Erin Casey I have lived in Durango my whole life. I grew up nordic skiing I started at 5 years old and skied on the Durango nordic team until I was 17 years old. I went to junior olympics in Truckee, California and Michigan. I wanted to coach to be back in nordic skiing and help kids enjoy the fun of nordic skiing. I like to spend my free time taking my dogs running and hiking on trails around. It is what relaxes me.