HIGH PERFORMANCE Coaching updates for 2017-18 season By Terry L. Davis, Editor

U.S. Olympic Mixed Doubles Team Trials, 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games and world and national championships on the horizon. On the Olympic program side, Derek Brown begins his sixth season as


Director of High Performance, and Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.), Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.), Jake Higgs (Ontario), and Dave Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) will continue in their current coaching positions. World Champion Al Hackner (Ontario) will return to the national coaching program this fall. Ann Swisshelm is leaving the USA Curling program aſter three seasons

as women’s national team coach – a career highlighted by Nina Roth’s fiſth- place finish at this year’s World Women’s Championship. “I am proud of the work accomplished as a coach for USA Curling,

highlights being my work with Team Nina Roth and Team Erika Brown at their respective World Championships,” said Swisshelm. “Tese success- ful championships secured our country’s 2018 Olympic position where the athletes of Team USA will achieve great things. I step away having treasured every minute with those athletes. Moving forward, they have my unwaver- ing support and continued gratitude.” Swisshelm became a national coach aſter retiring from a highly success-

ful curling career that included two Olympic Games (2014, 2002) and a world championship title (2003). “We wish Ann all the best as she pursues her next great opportunity,”

said Derek Brown, USA Curling’s Director of High Performance. On the Paralympic program side, longtime wheelchair national coach Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.) also is not returning. Rusty Schieber (Portage,


Longtime National Coach Phill Drobnick (leſt) strategizes with Team John Shuster during a game at the 2017 USA Curling National Championships this spring.

Photo by Rich Harmer for USA Curling

SA Curling’s High Performance Program (HPP) current coach- ing staff for the upcoming season has been announced as a big season awaits with the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, 2018

Wis.), who has served as assistant national wheelchair coach since 2008, has accepted an initial one-year term as national coach for the program. Likewise, one-year terms have been agreed to with Tony Colacchio (East Falmouth, Mass.) as an associate national coach, and Marc DePerno, who will continue in his role as National Wheelchair Outreach and Develop- ment Program Director, a position he has held since 2007. Under Jensen’s leadership, the Junior High Performance Program will

add Keith Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.) to replace Wayne Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), who retired from his coaching role. Jensen also will be sup- ported by junior national coaches Mark Lazar (Toledo, Ohio), Bev Schro- eder (Stevens Point, Wis.), and Bill Rhyme (Green Bay, Wis.). Q

Members of the USA Curling High Performance Program recently visited hospitals in the Twin Cities and Colorado Springs to deliver “brave gowns” to children as part of Athletes for Hope events. Athletes for Hope’s mission is “to educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same.” USA Curling’s athetes have been participating in events with the organization for the past few seasons.

USA Curling (( 21

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32