Freestyle Coaches

AVSC is proud of the outstanding caliber of our Program Directors and coaching staff. They embody our core values of commitment, teamwork, and integrity. They are terrific role models and mentors and their dedication throughout the season is the reason for our athletes' success both on and off the hill. AVSC's legacy of athletic excellence is thanks to their efforts.
 
Eric Knight AVSCEric Knight  |  Freestyle Program Director 
eknight@teamavsc.org 

Eric has worked for AVSC for over 20 years! Under Eric's leadership, the Freestyle Team has grown from 17 to over 200 athletes. In Eric's words, "Coaching with AVSC for 20 years has given me the opportunity to see kids grow through our programs, developing into athletes and young adults. It's clear how much of a positive impact AVSC has had on their athletics, lives and personal growth." Over Eric's 18 years as Director, numerous athletes have medaled and won X-Games, National and Junior Nationals Championships in Moguls, Aerials, Halfpipe and Slopestyle. Eric was a mogul skier and competed in Nor-Am, Europa Cup, World Cup and World Pro Mogul events around the world for over 10 years and brings his knowledge and experience from the highest levels of freestyle skiing to AVSC.
 

Forrest Aley AVSCForrest Aley  |  Big Mountain Head Coach
faley@teamavsc.org 

Forrest grew up in Little Annie Basin on the backside of Aspen Mountain. Growing up in the backcountry, his passion for the mountains and for skiing started at a very young age. He raced Buddy Werner and for the Powderhorn Race Club, although his passion was always freeskiing and big mountains. As he's grown older, he's put his focus into big mountain skiing in the CO backcountry. Forrest has diverse experience in the ski industry, having been involved in everything from snowmaking to driving cats to managing events, patrolling, instructing, and of course, coaching! He has extensive experience with outdoor wilderness medicine and has worked as an EMT. He attended school at CU Boulder and Colorado Mesa University, after which he began coaching for AVSC. This will be his 4th year as head coach and he's excited to continue to work with an all-star staff, grow the team, and help athletes realize their fullest potential.

Eric Knight AVSCJohnny Rossman  |  Big Mountain Head Coach 
jrossman@teamavsc.org 

Johnny grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota skiing moguls and racing. After moving to Colorado he competed in slopestyle and eventually transitioned into big mountain competitions. He was a top ranked skier on the Freeride Tour (2007-2014) with multiple podium finishes. Johnny started coaching skiing in 2007 with Team Breckenridge and has coached numerous USSA and IFSA champions. In 2013, he earned his Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership & in 2014 his Masters of Conflict Management at Regis University. This will be Johnny's fourth year coaching with AVSC! Johnny has earned his IFSA level 100, USSA level 100, WFR, Youth Leadership & Coaching Certificate from the Restorative Leadership Institute. When he's not on snow, Johnny's biking, surfing, playing hockey, or watching hockey.
 

Eric Knight AVSCGreg Ruppel  |  Park & Pipe Head Coach
gruppel@teamavsc.org 

Greg competed in slopestyle and halfpipe on the east coast in college before forming the Loon Freeski Team and serving as its head coach for three seasons. He then went on to coach for the Holderness high school team before coaching and teaching at Waterville Valley Academy. While there, he drew up the initial plans and helped build a four-season air bag training facility. Over his eight seasons at Waterville, he coached athletes like Nick Martini, Cam Riley, and Clayton Vila who went on to become professional freeskiers. He also coached Anna Lisa Drew and Julia Krass who went on to compete in the Sochi Olympics. He moved to Aspen in 2012 to become the competition coach for the high level AVSC freeski athletes. He is a level 4 certified USSA freeski coach.

Eric Knight AVSCSam Ferguson  |  Park & Pipe Team 1 Head Coach
sferguson@teamavsc.org 

Sam Ferguson was born and raised in the Valley and attended kindergarten-12th grade at the Aspen School District. He started skiing at Snowmass as a Big Burn Bear and later found himself at AVSC in the Ridgerunner program. This ultimately led Sam to find Eric Knight's freestyle program. After competing in moguls for a couple of years, Sam found he loved jumping and moved on to skiing in the Pipe and Park. From there, Sam competed nationally and travelled internationally to pursue his passion and fostered many life long friendships and memories along the way. After attending the University of Colorado and graduating with a finance degree, he decided to head back home and give back to the program that gave him so much growing up. This will be his 6th year coaching at AVSC. When not skiing, Sam enjoys climbing, fishing, hiking and travelling. He recently obtained his real estate license and hopes to follow in his dad's footsteps as a realtor down the road.

Colby Lee AVSCColby Lee  |  Head Mogul Coach
clee@teamavsc.org 

This will be Colby Lee's third year coaching with AVSC after having spent thirteen years as an athlete in the freestyle program! In Colby's words, "growing up as an athlete in AVSC programs, I never questioned whether or not I would return the following  year. Now as a coach, it just feels like an exciting new step in a place I consider home." Colby is a USSA Level 100 Mogul coach. When he's not at the AVSC Clubhouse or on the hill with his athletes, Colby spends time with his family and his siblings, wire wraps stones, and enjoys any activity outside in the mountains.
 

Eric Knight AVSCTim Shepard  |  Telemark Head Coach
tshepard@teamavsc.org 

This is Tim's third year with AVSC. He is thrilled to continue passing on his passion for skiing and winter to future generations. He doesn't mind getting to ski every day, either. He grew up ski racing in Massachusetts and Vermont, where he also ran cross country, nordic skied, and ran track in the spring. Between his time in New England and Colorado, he spent 4 years in Alta, Utah. He is an IFSA Level 100 coach and a registered EMT. When he's not at AVSC, he can be found running around in the mountains with his fiance, Bridget (also an AVSC Big Telemark Coach!) and their Golden Retriever, Alfie. 



 

Eric Knight AVSCAmy Mishkin  |  Devo Head Coach
amishkin@teamavsc.org 

Amy Mishkin grew up in Marblehead, MA, skiing moguls and park for Sunday River. She then moved west to attend CU Boulder, where she competed big mountain and on their freestyle team. This will be Amy's seventh season with AVSC, she's looking forward to getting to know a new group of athletes this year as well as seeing some familiar faces from last year. And, of course, powder days! When Amy's not coaching, she's either working on her master's degree in speech language pathology or playing in the mountains.