Created: 24 February 2020

Over 20 years of coaching experience puts Jeff Juneau at the top of the course all year long. 

As a committed cross coach in the winter and Highland Mountain Bike Park Camp program manager in the summer, Jeff Juneau is in the mix of all things mountains and coaching.  With over 20 years of coaching experience, Juneau also finds time to support the next generation of athletes and coaches as USASA’s Coaches’ Representative to the board, working to ensure the next generation of coaches have the systems in place to succeed and grow in the competitive pipeline. So in between hustling from one passion project to another and handling winter and summer coaching opportunities, we managed to track Jeff Juneau down for a closer look at a key member of our USASA community.  

Hi Jeff! It sounds like a busy time of year for you. What have you been up to lately?
First, I’m staying very busy with USASA “stuff”. We have been doing a bunch of great work on the Executive Board since last spring that everyone in USASA should be excited about. Our volunteer board is amazing and super focused on executing at the highest level possible in regards to creating safe, fun events for all levels of snowboarders and freeskiers. The Board has completed so many fantastic projects and initiatives. One of the projects nearest to my heart is the completion of a three-year project to update the Level 100 coach certification. A small group of snowboard and freeski Coach Developers worked hard to add a bunch of killer online resources to the education platform, and we have rolled it out in clinics this season. With the hard work of all the USASA athletes, parents, coaches, series directors, volunteers, and sponsors USASA keeps making our amazing organization even better.  

Jeff Juneau, Highland Mountain Bike Park Camps Program Manager, taking a few moments to himself to arc some turns.

Anything else new or exciting to share?
On a personal note, this summer my wife and I moved from VT back to NH to be closer to family. I have been really lucky- right now my on-snow opportunities include leading USASA Coach Development clinics, working with the Holderness School to coach their Snowboard & SkiCross athletes, and volunteering two days a week with the Chill Snowboard program at the McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester NH. I’ve also taken on the role of Camps Program Manager at Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, NH.

Highland Mountain Bike Park? How did you go from coaching snowboarding to running Downhill mountain bike camps?
I’ve been a mountain biker for as long as a snowboarder (since 1988), but my original coaching path was snowboarding. I started racing mountain bikes almost immediately and was drawn into working in bike shops as a mechanic to support my racing habit. The biking helped my fitness immensely and forced me to develop a whole bunch of visualization skills and comfort at high speeds that helped my snowboarding a ton. Coaching NorAm and International level athletes at Killington Mountain School, we started using the lift service mountain bike trails for cross-training. The results were even better than any of us had hoped. Athletes got more comfortable with speed, more controlled in the air, and were better at line choice. On top of it all, they were having FUN in the off-season. We added a DH race team at Killington Mountain School, and I traveled with our athletes to races when the snow melted. When we left VT to come back to NH, I won the lottery- landing the position of Camps Program Manager at Highland Mountain Bike Park. 

Describe some of the similarities you find between USASA and Highland?

Being outside, pushing yourself with the support of a strong community, and qualified coaches helping you along the way. Our focus at Highland is the same as USASA- develop fun sports opportunities for all ages that attract and build more participants in our sports. Just like USASA, Highland has an amazing culture for riders of all abilities and is a pathway for riders to pursue their dreams all the way to being a pro. Both USASA and Highland have so many amazing alumni that started their love of sports with us- including a bunch of pros that stop by to support the next generation of riders. 

What’s next for you?
Prepping for USASA Nationals. In addition to my usual spot at the top of the Donek Cross Course and our Annual Board Meeting, this year I’ll be working with some members of our Highland staff to support USASA as a Nationals Sponsor. We are working on our tent set up for Vendor Village, promos we are going to run, and opportunities to spread the word about the amazing skills crossover from gravity mountain bike riding to all of our friends in the USASA family. Stop by the tent, say hi, and learn a little bit more about what we do. Hope to see you all at Copper in a few weeks!

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