NICA Coach Rockstars

This month we want to show our appreciation for our amazing NICA Coaches. There are over 6,000 licensed coaches across the country who put in hundreds of hours each year to help get #morekidsonbikes.

We think all of our coaches are awesome, so we wanted to hear from the NICA community which coaches you felt have made positive impacts for your team and league. The coaches highlighted here were nominated by their community for their dedication to furthering youth development through interscholastic mountain biking. Thanks to everyone for your input – and we’d like to introduce you to some of our super awesome coaches from all across NICA!

Jackie Mueller, Wisconsin League
Team: Pewaukee Pirates
Years Coaching: One
Coaching Ride: Trek Superfly Hard Tail
Favorite Riding Fuel: Oatmeal & Peanut M&Ms
Why do you coach? “I aspire to inspire young women to have the confidence to mountain bike! “

Eddie Montero, Georgia League
Team: Forsyth County Composite
Years Coaching: 4
Coaching Ride: Specialized Stumpjumper Hard Tail
Favorite Riding Fuel: CLIF Builders Bars
Why do you coach? “I LOVE cycling and the difference it makes in peoples’ lives, especially kids. It teaches them to respect themselves, as well as each other. It gives me joy when their parents start showing up to ride and then take the plunge to join in the ranks of team leadership.”

Julia Tellman, Idaho League
Team: Teton Region Composite
Years Coaching: 3
Coaching Ride: Surly Krampus
Favorite Riding Fuel: Beef jerky!
Why do you coach? “I’m constantly amazed by the huge improvements kids undergo during the season and by how much enthusiasm they can pack into even mundane things like skills practice. Plus they call me Coach Coolia, which is rad.”

Kyle Dixon, Nevada League
Team: Galena High School
Years Coaching: 2 with the Nevada League, 18 total
Coaching Ride: Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
Favorite Riding Fuel: Bananas
Why do you coach? “Pretty simple really…I just love mountain biking. When I started racing at age 15 in the Washington DC area there weren’t any junior programs or teams like we have today. But all I wanted to do was be on my bike (that hasn’t changed). Now we have the Nevada League and Junior Devo programs around the country for young athletes to learn to race and train with friends on a team. I’m so jealous these didn’t exist in the 90’s! Coaching allows me to be a small part in providing the opportunities available today that I wish I had as a kid. “

SueMay Lewis, North Carolina League
Team: Cape Fear Fins Composite
Years Coaching: 2
Coaching Ride: Specialized Epic Evo 29er
Favorite Riding Fuel: PB&J, Fluffer-nutter sandwiches, pickles and beef jerky.
Why do you coach? “I began coaching in an effort to give back and share what so many have shared with me. Now, I do it for my compassion for the sport and our kids. It’s a pretty amazing feeling knowing we are making a difference in these kids’ lives. They bring just as much to the table as we do as coaches. We live, love and learn together at least for a treasured while. It’s absolutely priceless. Plus, I get to meet so many super awesome people along the way.”

Joel Flory, Wisconsin League
Team: Rhinelander-Northwoods Composite
Years Coaching: 2
Coaching Ride: Specialized Carve
Favorite Riding Fuel: Pop Tarts
Why do you coach? “I love to see the camaraderie of the kids and the interactions between the age groups. Also love to see them go out and do things they couldn’t do before as their fitness and skill levels progress throughout the season. “

Jason Thomas, Pennsylvania League
Team: Elizabethtown School District Mtb Club
Years Coaching: 3
Coaching Ride: Cannondale
Favorite Riding Fuel: Chocolate chip cookies (hopefully my kids that have gotten the nutrition speech aren’t reading this 😀)
Why do you coach? “I love to see the camaraderie of tI’ve been a cyclist for 25 years. I enjoy giving back – helping to create a love for the sport. “

Matt Bloch & Rachel Sabin, Wisconsin League
Team: 906 Composite & Marquette Senior High School
Years Coaching: 3
Coaching Ride: 2018 Specialized Endure Pro 29 / Specialized Stumpjumper 29er
Favorite Riding Fuel: Stuffed Clif Bars!
Why do you coach? “To bring the sport of cycling and it’s benefits to the next generation.” ~ Matt, “I coach mountain biking because I believe biking is a powerful for for your overall mood, presence, and perspective on life. I show up to practice to help student athletes learn that you’re only one good mountain bike ride away from a good mood!” ~ Rachel

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