At Wausau Nordic, we pride ourselves on having a team of experienced and dedicated coaches who are passionate about cross country skiing. Meet our coaching team below!
All of our Coaches undergo background checks by an outside agency
and are SafeSport Certified.
High School Head Coach
Ernie is the head coach of the high school racing team. He grew up in Wausau and is a lifelong Nordic skier. For reference of how long that is, let's just say that he can remember the days when there was no chalet at 9-mile.
After high school, Ernie spent three years in the U.S. Army, then after discharge, attended University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he skied on their Nordic ski team. After using up his eligibility, he was assistant coach under, now US Ski Team coach, Bryan Fish for a year.
As of fall 2023, Ernie has completed 19 American Birkebeiners and started in the Elite wave for 5. He has been coaching with Wausau Nordic United for the entirety of its existence. In his professional career, Ernie has taught biology at D.C. Everest High School since the fall of 2000. Ernie enjoys doing anything outside, but biking, trout fishing, and deer hunting are favorites when there isn't snow on the ground.
Middle School Head Coach
Born and raised in Wausau, WI, Jon has been on skis since he could walk. He learned to Nordic ski in the backyard, at the American Legion golf course now Tribute, and at the family Christmas tree farm. A multi-sport high school student athlete (soccer, basketball, track) Jon skied his first Nordic ski race when in his mid-30s at Cable, WI, with his wife Beth. The two started in the last row of the last wave of the Korteloppet and never looked back.
Jon is now a Level 200 Nordic Ski coach with the US Ski & Snowboard Association. As an undergraduate student at Saint Olaf College he was a foreign exchange student in Norway at Numedal Idretts Folkehøgskole. The Scandinavian seminar program focused on political science, Norwegian history, and language. He also earned ski instructor certification in all ski disciplines through the Norwegian Ski Federation. This eventually led to a Professional Ski Instructors of America (Rocky Mountain Division) Level 3 - Nordic Downhill certification where Jon worked two ski seasons as a full-time Nordic, telemark, alpine and snowshoe ski instructor at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center in Colorado. When Jon lived in Duluth he was the head downhill ski coach at Duluth Central High School.
Nowadays Jon and family enjoy the active outdoor lifestyle the greater Wausau area provides in all 4 seasons. Jon believes Marathon, Lincoln, Portage, and Wood county provide opportunities to ski, bike, run, hike, and walk that many take for granted. Lifestyle strengthens their family because they can all ski together with an increasing group of friends around the Midwest. As an educator, motivator, and ski ambassador Jon enjoys sharing his passion with others that Nordic skiing is a lifetime sport that complements all sports. This leads year-round physical and mental well-being.
Adventure Team Coach
Josh is the Elementary Physical Education Teacher in the Wausau District. He has 10 years of prior coaching experience as a head coach for High School Cross Country and Track and Field.
Josh is an avid cyclist and races in many various biking events.
Upon moving to Wausau 7 years ago, Josh took a strong interest in learning to ski.
Josh cross country skied with his family growing up and has always enjoyed skiing. Moving to Wausau and being so close to our trails, Josh became really interested in learning more about skiing. He credits the WNSC members for having taught him so much. As a local public school teacher, Josh sees a great opportunity to get more youth involved in the lifetime activity of Nordic skiing.
Josh was an assistant coach on the Night Gliders Race Team in the 2022-23 season, and is the current Adventure Team Coach.
Middle School Coach
Josh is an endurance sport enthusiast, snow nut, and former Wausau high school skier. He enjoys the ways skiing grows us in character and community, and can most often be found trying to keep up with a pack of fun and rather speedy middle schoolers.
Adventure Team Coach
Mike is an experienced cross country ski racer and skied his first American Birkebeiner in 1991 on a dare. The Wisconsin Rapids native was part of Lincoln High’s cross-country ski team and hasn’t looked back since... Mike joined Beth and Jon Oestreich as Inga and the warriors Skervald and Torstein in the 2022 Birke.
Jeanne is an experienced cross country ski racer and advocate for ski development in the local community. As a coach at Wausau Nordic, she is dedicated to helping skiers of all ages and abilities reach their full potential and enjoy winter outdoors.