FULL NAME: Kevin Vanblarcum
HOMETOWN: Shandaken , NY
Job title at NYSEF: Head U14 Coach NYSEF Belleayre
Additional job, not at NYSEF: brewer for Westkill brewery, deputy supervisor town of Shandaken and author.
Did you ski race, if so, where/when/why? I grew up skiing at Belleayre. My sister and I were on skis as soon as we could walk, and I think it was pretty much game over after that. I raced through high school and skied USSA for Belleayre until I was 16 before focusing on freestyle for a few years.
What motivated you to start coaching? I quit my job in 2013 and was trying to focus on things that made me happy. Skiing was it. I got a job coaching soccer for the local high school and applied to coach at Belleayre with current director, Jim Catalano. We talked for a while and I ended up working every day that season on snow. I couldn’t have told you that it would turn into a 7 year career– coaching in three different sports, but that’s life. I truly love it.
What do you like/love most about snowsports? The Snowsport culture? I think the culture is what I love most about snow sports. It’s bonding over a mutual love of waking up early and going outside to play in the snow. It’s people from all these different walks of life who get to the mountain early trying to get first chair, and hang out in the lodge to share how awesome their day was. As a kid who grew up skiing at Belleayre, I’ve always described it as family.
What do you like to do in the off season? During your free time? What hobbies do you have? I’m lucky enough to have most of my hobbies as jobs, brewing, writing, and skiing. In the off-season I try to get outdoors as much as I can. Whether that’s reading by the creek or skating around the reservoir. I also like archery. Particularly traditional re-curve. That’s kind of my off-season therapy. We have a range at the brewery so I shoot most days.
How do you feel connected to NYSEF, the program, the history? I was never a NYSEF athlete. That said, as a coach being able to work with such a prestigious organization, has been game changing for me personally. When you look back at some of the people that have worked with or come out of these programs it’s daunting just to be a part of it. It has without a doubt raised the standard at our mountain not only for the athletes, but also for the coaches.
Anything else you would like to add? Super bummed that arguably the best part of our season got cancelled, but I am super stoked to get on the hill for the 20/21 season.