Diamond Peak Ski Education Foundation (DPSEF) announced that Konrad Rickenbach will fill its new head coach and program director position. In his role, Rickenbach is responsible for all aspects of the team’s programs including coach and athlete development. 

Rickenbach heads to Diamond Peak with a rich background in ski racing.  For the last three years, he has been the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s (USSA) FIS National Training Group Coach out of Park City, Utah.  Prior to that assignment, Rickenbach was the Squaw Valley Ski Team’s head men’s FIS coach, culminating in an award as the Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year in 2012. In their press release announcing the award, the USSA wrote “Rickenbach has consistently produced some of the most well-rounded skiers in the West, and has had many athletes nominated to the U.S. Ski Team. He uses his coaching to promote positive attributes in all aspects of young racers’ lives. As a former U.S. Ski Team coach, he is an example of what a good coach is – a mentor, a teacher and a friend.”

Rickenbach has coached every age group ranging from under 12 years old to World Cup athletes, including several assignments with the U.S. Ski Team. He has also had Olympic experience, coaching Phil and Steve Mahre to their respective gold and silver medals in the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.

Rickenbach is incredibly well respected by athletes, administrators, and coaches around the world.  Perhaps one of the best athlete quotes about Rickenbach came this year from U.S. Ski Team member Bryce Bennett after he went from bib 57 in the Val Gardena downhill to a sixth place finish. Bennett credited his parents and the lessons he learned from Rickenbach. 

“He saved me from myself and brought me to a point where I believed in myself to become a better person,” Bennett said.

Rickenbach believes strongly in the philosophy of building complete athletes in their approach to process, accomplishment and character. 

“We will focus on character-centered coaching – helping athletes make decisions that are focused on attainable results, and helping athletes to look within to uncover their potential,” Rickenbach said. “We will foster athlete ownership, self-discipline and self-respect to produce well-mannered, humble, grateful and confident athletes.  This approach will be the foundation on which we will build DPSEF to be the benchmark club in the United States.”

Ryan Ritchie, DPSEF’s president, is both humbled and excited by Rickenbach’s decision to join Diamond Peak. 

“Konrad’s experience and wisdom are second to none in the world of ski racing,” Ritchie said. “His philosophy of optimizing each athlete’s character development through skiing adds considerable firepower behind the culture that Josee LaCasse and our phenomenal coaches have built. He also recognizes the valuable relationship we have with our mountain in enabling our athletes’ training. Konrad’s approach fits perfectly at DPSEF, by empowering our athletes on their journey to excellence via internal motivation and self-evaluation. They learn ownership of their destiny and success, especially in challenging themselves to risk failure as a process in learning to identify opportunities for improvement. These are life lessons which our athletes will carry forward as the true measure of their success in our program. Josee and I are ecstatic to welcome Konrad.”

Release and photo courtesy of the Diamond Peak Ski Education Foundation