USA Curling Features Coaching staff for u...

Coaching staff for upcoming season announced

By Terry L. Davis | July 07, 2017, 10:49 a.m. (ET)


July 7, 2017

USA Curling's coaching staff for 2017-18 season announced 

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – USA Curling’s High Performance Program (HPP) current coaching staff for the upcoming season has been announced as a big season awaits with the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, 2018 U.S. Olympic Mixed Doubles Team Trials, 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games and world and national championships on the horizon.

On the Olympic program side, Derek Brown begins his sixth season as Director of High Performance, and Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.), Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.), Jake Higgs (Ontario), and Dave Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) will continue in their current coaching positions.

Ann Swisshelm is leaving the USA Curling program after three seasons as women’s national team coach – a career highlighted by Nina Roth’s fifth-place finish at this year’s World Women’s Championship.

“I am proud of the work accomplished as a coach for USA Curling, highlights being my work with Team Nina Roth and Team Erika Brown at their respective World Championships,” said Swisshelm. “These successful championships secured our country’s 2018 Olympic position where the athletes of Team USA will achieve great things. I step away having treasured every minute with those athletes. Moving forward, they have my unwavering support and continued gratitude.”

Swisshelm became a national coach since after retiring from a highly successful curling career that included two Olympic Games (2014, 2002) and a world championship title (2003). A replacement for the women’s national coaching position will be sought this summer. 

“We wish Ann all the best as she pursues her next great opportunity,” said Derek Brown, USA Curling’s Director of High Performance. A replacement for the women’s national coaching position will be sought this summer.

On the Paralympic program side, longtime wheelchair national coach Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.) also is not returning. Rusty Schieber (Portage, Wis.), who has served as assistant national wheelchair coach since 2008, has accepted an initial one-year term as national coach for the program. Likewise, one-year terms have been agreed to with Tony Colacchio (East Falmouth, Mass.) as an associate national coach, and Marc DePerno, who will continue in his role as National Wheelchair Outreach and Development Program Director, a position he has held since 2007.

Under Jensen’s leadership, the Junior High Performance Program will add Keith Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.) to replace Wayne Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), who retired from his coaching role. Jensen also will be supported by junior national coaches Mark Lazar (Toledo, Ohio), Bev Schroeder (Stevens Point, Wis.), and Bill Rhyme (Green Bay, Wis.). 

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, BalancePlus, and Brakebush, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.


For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).