By Chris Dehnel
News Editor
May 23,2010
Accolades for KMS's Newson

Deb Newson, Killington Mountain School's freestyle program director and mogul coach, has been named the recipient of one of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's Gold Awards, the 2010 USSA Development Coach of the Year.

Newson accepted the award at the USSA Spring Congress Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah in early May.

The USSA's Gold Awards represent the single highest honors in the organization. Among the USSA Gold Awards, the USSA honors a deserving representative from each sector of its structure: an athlete, a volunteer, a coach, and a club. These recipients represent the vision, mission and values of the USSA to be best in the world. Coaches of the year are recognized for their leadership, commitment, sport knowledge, and passion, including proven ability to foster athletic excellence amongst their constituents or teams.

Newson Photo
Matt Gnoza & Deb Newson.

"I am honored to accept this prestigious award amongst so many great candidates, and I am happy to be recognized as a valid member of this coaching community," Newson said in her acceptance speech. "As Lou Holtz stated in his recent autobiography, 'Coaching gives one a chance to be successful as well as significant. The difference between those two is that when you die, your success comes to an end. When you are significant, you continue to help others be successful long after you are gone. Significance lasts many lifetimes. That is why people teach, why people lead, and why people coach.'"

In order to be nominated, Newson was first selected for the sport-specific award of USSA Freestyle Development Coach of the Year by the USSA awards working group, with ratification by the USSA president and chairman. These sport specific awards are made each year to a USSA staff or USSA Competition Club coach based on outstanding contribution to either the domestic program or international program, resulting in high-level performance of his or her athletes in domestic or international competition during the past season.

As a result of Newson's award as the USSA's Development Coach of the Year, her name will be forwarded to the United States Olympic Committee for its Development Coach of the Year Award process.

"It's an honor to be recognized for the work you do, especially when it comes from your peers," said Newson. "The freestyle coaches I work with across the country are a dedicated group of individuals that want to see young athletes thrive at all levels. If we all work together to train athletes and promote the sport, we will all benefit."

Newson's day to day life is saturated with freestyle skiing, from her program director and coaching duties at KMS, to volunteering, promoting and encouraging all aspects of the sport, to the point where her two young sons, Sam and Charlie, are known to build kickers at home in their front yard. Additionally, Deb's spouse, KMS Head Mogul Coach and KSC/KMS Competitions Program Director, Matt Gnoza, was the USSA Freestyle Development Coach of the Year in 2003.

Originally from Marshfield, Mass., Newson, who spends summers on Cape Cod with her family, has been involved with freestyle skiing since 1995, having coached every level of Killington's freestyle program, both for the Killington Ski Club and for KMS. She serves as the chair of the USSA Eastern Division, the chair of the USSA Freestyle Sport Committee membership sub-committee, and the organizer of the Nor AM athlete invite list for the national office. She also co-operates Planet Ski International's Bandit Ramp Camps, a freeride and mogul camp program in Whistler, B.C., Lake Placid, N.Y. and Perisher, Australia. She holds a master's degree in education from Castleton State College.

KMS Freestyle and KSC/KMS Freestyle had several notable accomplishments for the 09-10 season:

  • 10 athletes competed on the 2009-2010 NorAm international tour; multiple finalists, 1 podium
  • 40+ Eastern Division A and B level podium finishes
  • 19 athletes qualified for 2010 Jr. Olympics; 7 Jr. Olympics finalists, 2 Jr. Olympic podiums
  • 13 athletes qualified for US Championships; Multiple finalists
  • 1 Olympian (Michael Morse – Vancouver)
  • 2 athletes qualified for US Development Group (Bryan Zemba, Bridgewater Corners, VT and Nick Keating, Waterbury, VT)

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association provides opportunities for athletes in the most exciting Olympic action sports. It is driven by a vision to be best in the world with an emphasis on building character through strong personal values. The USSA's programs provide education, development and competition opportunities for young athletes from grassroots USSA club programs up through national teams and the Olympic Winter Games. The USSA provides athletic programs in six sports including alpine skiing, cross country, disabled alpine and cross country, freestyle, ski jumping and Nordic combined, and snowboarding. Programs are implemented through a national network of 400 USSA Clubs. The USSA has 30,000 members, including over 22,000 athletes, with over 50,000 fans and donors providing ongoing support.

Killington Mountain School is a fully approved Vermont independent school whose mission is to inspire students to pursue excellence in academics and athletics in a culture that promotes integrity, leadership, responsibility, and respect. KMS freestyle alumni include: 2010 Olympian Michael Morse '99, 2008 National Champion; Olympian Evan Dybvig '97 - Nagano and Salt Lake Olympics, Two-time National Champion; Olympian Chuck Martin and 4 time World Pro Mogul Champion; Luke Westerlund '98, 2004 US National Mogul Champion; and Evan Rapps '96, one of the originators of the freeride movement.

To learn more about the school, visit or call (802) 422-KMS1.


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