Coaches

Ed “Sonny” Felter

IMG_1857-125x125Sonny has been roller skating since the age of 12! He began roller skating in Austin, Texas, in 1954, when Austin’s first speed team, Capitol Speed Club, was founded. At first Coach Sonny competed in several areas: speed skating, roller hockey and artistic skating. Sonny held two Division speed titles and two Relay speed titles.

When Capitol Speed Club changed rink affiliations, it later became Austin Speed Club, and Sonny skated with that club, too. Texas Speed Club was formed over ten years ago, and Sonny has been its constant, continuous member. He brings his many years of skating expertise to coaching Texas Speed Club.10500478_894017887292282_7119974054085211902_n

Sonny received the highest honor that a speed skating coach can receive when he was named the United States Olympic Committee’s Developmental Coach of the Year for 2013.

Debra Smotrilla

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Deb has skated off and on since she was 5 years old, but in 1998 she started speed skating competitively with the Texas Speed Club. She has won numerous National titles on both her quads and her inlines, including her best year yet, in 2014, when she won her division in both inlines and quads, breaking records in nearly every distance. In all of her years of skating, Deb has only skated for Sonny Felter and the Texas Speed Club. Deb’s favorite thing about coaching is seeing the progress of the skaters she is working with.

When Deb isn’t skating you can usually find her in the kitchen cooking! Her best advice for skaters is “Believe that you can do it! Believe, believe, believe!”

John Burke

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John Burke has been skating since he was 7 years old, competitively since he was 18 years old. In his 26 years of competing, he has always skated with and for Sonny Felter and the Texas Speed Club.

John has won multiple medals at USARS and NIRA Nationals. His favorite thing about coaching is the feeling he gets when he knows that he’s helping people become better and seeing them improve.

When he’s not skating, John is a multiple business owner.

His best skating advice: “Skate fast and always go left!”

Nick Salome

 

Nick started skating in 2008 and has loved the process of learning a new sport. He came to skating
from cycling and he finds the two are very great for cross-training purposes. Always a stickler for technique, Nick practices technique in a variety of traditional and non-traditional ways (ask him about his “skates that don’t skate” that he uses on his treadmill!) He especially loves coaching those who are new to skating and he has a natural talent for explaining things in ways that people can really understand.

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When Nick is not skating, you might find him on his bike or hanging out with his family (who all love to skate with him!)

Kelly Loesch

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Kelly coaches for the Texas Speed Club in Victoria, Texas. He has skated for 30 years and has won multiple national titles including 2 gold medals at USARS Indoor Nationals, 5 gold medals at NIRA Nationals, 4 silver medals at USARS Indoor Nationals, 5 bronze at USARS Indoor Nationals, and 1 bronze at NIRA Nationals.

Kelly’s favorite thing about coaching is watching progress, most especially from skaters who have never skated before. His best advice? “Get your butt down! Technique is more important than speed!”

When he’s not skating, you can find Kelly riding his bike.

Jason Metcalf

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Jason started skating competitively in 1992. He took a break from 1995-2004, but when he came back, he was stronger than ever! He’s been skating and coaching for the Texas Speed Club in Midland, Texas although he and his family will soon join the main branch of the Texas Speed Club in Austin, Texas.

Jason is the 2014 National Champion and current National Record Holder in the 500 meter track event. He has 15 USARS Nationals medals in many different events. Jason has inspired many young (and old!) skaters, and he says “It is the greatest thing to teach a kid how to overcome barriers, develop a strong work ethic, and become part of a team (family) in speed skating and then watch them excel in life as they grow up.”

Jason’s advice for skater? “100% form and 100% effort”. When he’s not skating, he spends as much time with his wife and kids as he can!

Al Tinsley

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Al skated his first meet in 1980 and never looked back! He has skated for 4 different teams, but his heart is with the Texas Speed Club, where he has skated for the last 10 years. Al has won multiple medals at both USARS Indoor Nationals, USARS Outdoor Nationals, and NIRA Nationals.

Al loves coaching – he loves watching young skaters grow and succeed (including his own two speed skating children!) His best skating advice? “Work hard, but have fun!”

When he’s not speed skating and coaching, Al loves to travel, including many trips to France to skate in Les Trois Pistes with the US team!

Angela Franklin

328169_10150305028314288_982480_oAngela coaches and skates for the Texas Speed Club in Bossier City, Louisiana. She started skating in 1998 for a few years, then took some time off. Angela came back to skating in 2010 and quickly began racking up medals at USARS Indoor Nationals. Angela’s favorite thing about coaching is “Watching the kids reach their goals and do what they love to do just like I did!”

When she’s not skating, Angela loves to go watch dirt track races. Her best advice for skaters is to set a goal for every race. Says Angela, “If you skate hard and achieve your goal you are a winner in my book.”

Brian Krupa

brianBrian skates for the Texas Speed Club in Austin and Houston. He has been skating since around 1996 and  has earned two Indoor Master 4 Man Relay titles and a 300 Meter Outdoor Title. Brian enjoys coaching and helping skaters accomplish their goals. His best advice for skaters? “Have fun!”

Norm Estes

normNorm has been speed skating since around 1996 and he’s been coaching since 2000. He lives in Humble and coaches for the Texas Speed Club there. Norm’s favorite thing about coaching is watching his teammates be successful in their endeavors. His success at coaching has earned him 3 John C. Wentz awards which he is very proud of.

When Norm isn’t skating and coaching, you can find him on 2 wheels putting in miles on the bike.

Heather Stone

heatherHeather coaches for the Texas Speed Club in Humble, Texas. She skated in her teens, then took a 12 year break before returning to skating. Although she has had many obstacles in her way as a skater, she has been able to find the time to coach and stay involved with the team. Heather’s favorite thing about coaching skaters is seeing the progress with each skater she helps and knowing that she was a part of getting them to the level they are at.

Coming Soon…..MORE Coaches!