Competition Program

Whether your goal is to develop a lifelong love of alpine, freestyle, snowboarding, or Nordic, or to compete for an NCAA Division I school and beyond, Gould Academy has the coaches, the teachers, the opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, not to mention the passion to help you achieve your goals.

From regional and national competitions to international events at the highest level, the Gould Academy Competition Program provides an unbelievable educational and athletic experience thanks to our training location at Sunday River Resort located only six miles away.

During the summer, many of our student-athletes receive an extensive strength and conditioning manual and are encouraged to participate in our summer camp programs, including conditioning, trampoline, jump, and on-snow camps.

In the fall, those same student-athletes have the opportunity to take part in an intense strength and conditioning program while pursuing their passion for any number of varsity sports, including soccer, field hockey, cross-country running, and mountain biking. We also work to get our student-athletes on-snow or in pools as soon as possible through trips to Chile, Austria, Oregon, and Quebec City.

Coaching Philosophy

For all programs, a commitment to learning is assured by coaches who are experts in both applied training science and adolescent development. Coaches for the Competition Program have worked at all levels, from grassroots to World Cup, ensuring a challenging, supportive and rewarding experience for each student-athlete.

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Gould Academy Competition Program

Kurt Simard

Gould Academy Competition Program
Director of On-Snow Programs
B.S. University of New Hampshire

Bio

Coach Simard brings a versatile coaching perspective to Gould, having worked with gifted athletes of all ages, from the junior development level to Division I collegiate level to placement on the U.S. Ski Team. During his eight-year tenure as Head Coach for the University of New Hampshire’s Division I Women’s Alpine Team, he coached the Wildcat Women to an NCAA National Giant Slalom Championship in 2006 and the entire Alpine Team to a second-place overall finish that same year. His athletes also attained an impressive 19 All-American Award honors as well as placements to the U.S. Ski Team.

Originally hailing from Auburn, Maine Coach Simard grew up ski racing. He participating in the U.S. Ski Team’s Development Program, graduated from Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont, and captained the University of New Hampshire’s Division I Men’s Alpine Team. After college he began his coaching career at Sunday River with Gould Academy.  A testament to the relationships that he is known for establishing with his athletes, Coach Simard has had the unique experience of coaching several athletes at Gould and then as collegiate athletes at University of New Hampshire. Several of his former athletes have since come to Gould and coached under his leadership. Noted for his enthusiastic love of athletics and ability to lead, his accomplishments have been recognized by his peers as he has been twice named the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Coach of the Year (2005 and 2006). In 2007, Coach Simard’s return to Gould was both a homecoming and milestone. He met his wife, Lauren, at Sunday River, and together they have three daughters: Madeline ’16, Cameron, and Sophie.

Deb Costello

Gould Academy Competition Program
On-Snow Program Manager
Winter Term Program Coordinator
B.A. University of Maine, Farmington

Bio

As the On Snow Program Manager, Ms. Costello provides the oversight that keeps the Gould Academy Competition Program (GACP) running smoothly throughout the winter. With her bird’s eye view of the program, she manages the daily operation for the full-time and weekend GACP. Also Gould’s Winter Term Program Coordinator, she is the liaison between Winter Term student’s sending school and Gould Faculty. Ms. Costello is a 1984 graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington and brings to Gould Academy 25 years of experience in managing various programs and departments for both Sugarloaf and Sunday River ski resorts. She lives in Bethel in the Winter Term Dorm and has two children: Meghan ‘11 and Wyatt ’12.

Rogan Connell

Gould Academy Competition Program
Alpine Director/Head Alpine Coach
B.A. University of New Hampshire

Bio

Coach Connell joined Gould after spending 15 years as the Head Coach of the Division I Alpine Team at Bates College. He was named the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Co-Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2013 and helped bring the 2009 NCAA Skiing Championships to Bates’ home mountain, Sunday River. While at Bates Coach Connell had 17 of his athletes qualify for NCAAs a total of 34 times, some of which were Gould alumni.

Prior to his time at Bates, Coach Connell held positions as the Director of Skiing and Head Alpine Coach at Saint Michael’s College; the Assistant Head Coach of Alpine Skiing at Ford Sayre Academy; and various leadership roles within the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association and USSA. Connell graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he was a two-time letter winner for the Division I Alpine Team and secured top-10 team finishes for the Wildcats at the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Championships.

KC Gandee

Gould Academy Competition Program
Snowboard Program Director
B.A. Eastern Mennonite University
Boys’ Junior Varsity Soccer Coach

Bio

Coach Gandee brings over 15 years of experience to the Gould Academy Competition Program’s Snowboard Team. A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, he earned a degree in management and organizational development, and later spent 10 years working at resorts including Stratton, Okemo, Killington, Northstar, and Sierra at Tahoe. Most recently, he was the Snowboard Program Director at Killington Mountain School in Vermont. Coach Gandee’s list of credentials is extensive. In addition to being on the AASI National Team from 2004 until 2008, he is Level III certified, an examiner for the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), and a USSA Level 300 SBX Coach and Level 200 Aerials coach. In his spare time, he also serves as the coach representative on the USASA Board of Directors. When not coaching (or preparing to coach), Coach Gandee spends time on the Hudson River Gorge in the Adirondacks as a whitewater rafting guide. He is an avid rock climber and loves exploring rivers and lakes with his wife, Courtney, and their two golden retrievers.

John Kimble

Gould Academy Competition Program
Freestyle/Freeski Program Director
B.A. University of Southern Maine
Mountain Biking Coach

Bio

Coach Kimble has been Freestyle/Freeride skiing at Sunday River since the age of 6. After attending the University of Southern Maine, his passion for skiing led him to Lake Tahoe, Calif. where he skied for the Atomic Freeride Team. Coach Kimble moved back to Maine in 2003 to be closer to his family, friends, and home mountain, and has been coaching at Gould ever since. He has earned his ASEP, EMT, USASA Level II, USSA Level II Mogul, USSA Level III Aerials, and ISSA Strength and Conditioning and Youth Fitness certifications. When winter is over you can still find Coach Kimble working with freestyle/freeride athletes in Gould’s fitness and trampoline training facilities, at the Lake Placid or Quebec training complexes, or on the Mount Hood glacier, coaching summer freestyle ski training camps. Mr. Kimble resides in Newry with his wife, Carrie, their son, Caleb, and daughter, Ellyn.

Parker Gray ’97

Gap Year Alpine Program

Bio

Head Coach and Gould alumnus Parker Gray ’97 will lead the postgraduate GAP Year Alpine Program. Gray is a native of Newry, Maine, and has spent the last three years with the U.S. Men’s Olympic and World Cup teams, serving as an Assistant and Strength Coach.

While Head Coach at KMS, Gray was named Vermont Coach of the Year. As an athlete, Gray was a two-time Junior Olympic Downhill Champion, SG Champion, and overall winner. He is also a member of the Gould Athletic Hall of Fame (2018).

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time coaching the Men’s World Cup team. The experience of working with highly driven athletes and staff opened my eyes to the reality of what a highly motivated group can achieve. I hope to build on that experience at Gould and help our athletes achieve success.”  -Parker Gray ’97