Coaches & Staff

APUNSC’s success is a direct result of the dedication to mission, team work, a systematic training regime based on science and sport specific training on snow. The club believes that U.S. Nordic skiing can be the best in the world, and is attacking that mission as a team with the tagline, “We are stronger as a Team”. APU has a strong tradition in Nordic skiing producing some of the best skiers in the US and the world.

3_ERIK FLORA

Erik Flora

Program Director

University Elite Team Head Coach

Erik has pursued a life of ski racing through being a coach and competitor. As an athlete, he skied at National and International level. As a coach, Erik has helped athletes achieve their goals. A two time Olympic coach and personal coach to World Cup and World Championship medalist, he has been recognized by the United States Olympic Committee for National Coach of Year (all sports), National Coach of year for Cross Country Skiing, and Development Coach of the Year for Skiing. United States Ski Association recognize Erik with Cross-Country Domestic Coach of the Year, Cross-Country International Coach of the Year, and Development Coach of the Year awards while directing APU to two USSA Cross Country Ski Club of the Year awards. When he isn’t coaching, Erik loves to spend time with his wife, Gretchen, and their three young children in the mountains of Alaska. Erik has been the APUNSC program director and head coach since 2006.

Contact Erik Flora

JUNIORPROGRAM_Eric Strabel

Eric Strabel

Junior Program Coach / Program Manager

Eric grew up in the Mat-Su Valley and had a successful athletic career before becoming a coach. In high school he won the overall state ski championship three times and had a top 10 finish at World Juniors. He later achieved 2nd place finishes at NCAA and USSA National Championships. Eric graduated from UAA in 2005 with a Bachelors degree in civil engineering. Eric is a competitive mountain runner, winning the Mount Marathon race three times and held the men’s race record from 2013 to 2015. He loves to spend time with his wife Denali, often exploring Alaska’s wilderness. Eric enjoys coaching junior skiers to enjoy the sport, pursue their goals, build character, and bond with teammates.

Contact Eric Strabel

8_SAM STERLING

Sam Sterling

Junior Program Coach

A native of Truckee, California, Sam attended and skied for Williams College as a Geoscience undergraduate student. He came to Alaska in 2010 “just for a summer” and has been coaching with the APU Junior Program ever since. When not coaching the junior team, Sam can usually be found exploring Alaska’s backcountry.

Contact Sam Sterling

MASTERCOACH_Galen

Galen Johnston

Devo Program Coach / Master Program Coach

Galen was born and raised in Talkeetna, Alaska. He first learned to ski as a mode of transportation from his home, to the nearest road a mile away. Galen grew up climbing, skiing and travelling with his parents from a young age. His family often camped out in venue parking lots the night before Besh Cup races (even in Fairbanks.) At age eleven Galen became the youngest person to summit Mt. McKinley. This upbringing instilled an adventurous and playful spirit in Galen that he still holds onto. Galen skied for Susitna Valley High school until his senior year when he enrolled and raced for APUNSC through the Early Honors program. Galen then pursued studies at University of Alaska Anchorage and raced for the Seawolves for two seasons. Since then Galen has coached a variety of teams in the Anchorage community from Jr. Nordic to the APUNSC masters team. He is currently enjoying his role as Devo Coach, Masters Coach and fill in tech for the Elite and University teams. Galen will also assistant coach at East High for his second season this winter and hopes to find some time in between all of it to adventure in the mountains…on skis of course!

Contact Galen Johnston

ELITETEAM_Erika Klaar

Erika Klaar

Junior Program Asst. Coach / Program Admin.

Erika grew up in a skiing household spending half her childhood in Homer, Alaska and half in Northern Sweden. After attending school at APU and skiing for the university’s elite team she graduated in 2013 with a degree in business management. Erika has become well known in the ski community for the colorful headgear she sells under her own label E’KLAAR. Erika splits her time working at APUNSC coaching with the junior “comp” team and as an administrative assistant in the ski office.

Contact Erika Klaar

6_MICHAEL MATTESON

Michael Matteson

Elite University Team Asst. Coach

Glacier Operator

Mike Matteson was born in Sun Valley, Idaho. After high school he came to Alaska to join APU as an athlete in 2007. After a couple of years he decided to pursue a degree in kinesiology at Boise State University but immediately after graduating he return to Alaska to work with the ski team on Eagle Glacier and be a wax tech for APUNSC.  In 2014 he became an assistant coach to Erik Flora for the Elite and Development teams.  When he is not working he enjoys the bow hunting and fishing that is only offered in Alaska. 

Contact Mike Matteson

Anson Headshot crop

Anson Moxness

Junior Program Asst. Coach

Anson was born and raised in Anchorage and joined APU as a middle school ski racer. He raced through high school and at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. After spending a year as a ski bum in Utah, he returned to Alaska and began coaching at West High School and now coaches the junior team at APU. When he’s not coaching, he can be found backcountry skiing or mountain biking. 

Contact Anson Moxness

dylan

Dylan Watts

Elite University Team Asst. Coach

Glacier Operator

Dylan watts has been a coach with APU for 8 years. Working at all levels of athletes and every facet of the program.

Contact Dylan Watts

MASTERCOACH_Calisa

Calisa Kastning

Development & Membership Coordinator

Calisa was born in Minnetonka, MN and grew up in Northern Wisconsin. She started Nordic skiing in middle school and raced collegiately before taking an internship with the Norwegian National Ski Team studying altitude and performance. She has her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. After college coaching in the Midwest, Calisa became the head coach of the Whitman College Nordic Team in 2009. Since then she has coached at Montana State University, volunteered at UAA, and began coaching at APU in 2011. Calisa’s role at APUNSC is dynamic but generally includes, coaching, fundraising, events, membership, newsletters and uniforms. When not skiing or thinking about skiing, Calisa enjoys thrifting, cooking, sewing, knitting and adventures with her husband and two young daughters Sylvie and Svea.

Contact Calisa Kastning