Coaching Staff

Our world-class coaching staff come from backgrounds and passions that vary from photography to law. Learn a bit more about each of them by clicking on the expandable folder below! You can also go directly to their team page by clicking the link in their title.

Our Coaches

Fall Sports

Cross Country: Corky Dean

Corky Dean has coached our Cross-Country team since 2008 and our Track and Field team since 2011. In addition to individual successes as a runner (multiple age group National and State level championship titles in the 30K, Marathon and 100K distances on the road and trail), Coach Dean has enjoyed tremendous success as a coach.

Under his leadership, the teams have shown impressive improvement. The girls' Cross-Country squad earned a third-place in the 2014 and 2015 state XC Championships, up from 12th place during Coach Dean’s first year. His Track and Field teams have produced numerous individual state champions and several top-10 finishers in state jump, sprint and distance events. Wherever Coach Dean is running, it’s apparent that success tends to follow!

Coach Dean also teaches photography at Kent Denver School.

Field Hockey: Kathy James

Since joining Kent Denver as Head Coach in 1996, Kathy James’ teams have earned a spot in the playoffs for 22 consecutive years, won 11 Championships and finished in second place three times. A five-time Colorado State Coach of the Year, three-time NFHS Sectional Coach of the Year and NFHCA National Junior Coach of the Year in 2011, Coach James knows field hockey.

She has coached for USFHA, Denver Field Hockey Club and multiple National Tournaments. Coach James has master’s degrees in Civil/Environmental Engineering and in Public Health.

Coach James began playing field hockey in sixth grade and continued her career through college as a D1 player.

Football: Scott Yates

Scott Yates has coached football at Kent Denver School since 1980 and, with 332 wins, is currently the second-winningest Colorado high school coach of all-time! Coach Yates has been recognized as Coach of the Year on numerous occasions and is a member of the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He has also coached baseball and basketball at Kent Denver, as well as football at Arizona State University. He played football for the University of Colorado.

Under Coach Yates, Kent Denver has won three football State Championships. In 2016, the team finished as state runners up.

Boys' Golf: Bob Austin

A University of Denver graduate and lifetime golfer, Bob Austin played on two high school state championship teams, is a member of the Colorado Junior Golf Association board and spends his summers traveling as a golf rules official for the NCAA and USGA.

Since coming to Kent Denver as head coach in 2005, Coach Austin has won nine state championships—more than any golf coach in Colorado high school history. Coach Austin’s teams have also finished three times as runners-up, and eight of his players have gone on to play college golf.

Coach Austin's team brought home the State Championship trophy in 2016 and was state runner-up in 2017.

Boys' Soccer: Arty Smith

Arty Smith has been Kent Denver's head soccer coach since 2002. Coach Smith and his teams brought home Kent Denver’s first-ever soccer championship in 2014 and repeated this feat in both 2015 and 2016 with back-to-back undefeated seasons.

Coach Smith has been coaching for 24 years, both at Kent Denver and multiple schools in the northeast. He became Varsity coach two years into his Kent Denver coaching career.

In 2016, Coach Smith received a number of awards after leading his team to two consecutive undefeated seasons and three consecutive championships, including CHSSCA Colorado 3A Coach of the Year, CHSSCA Colorado Coach of the Year (among all classifications), NSCAA Colorado Private/Parochial Coach of the Year, NFHS Colorado Coach of the Year and NFHS Southwest Region Coach of the Year.

Boys' Tennis: Randy Ross

Randy Ross has played tennis for 50 years as an amateur and professional and has coached at Kent Denver since 1995. His teams have brought home ten State Championships, including his current streak of five consecutive titles which began in 2013.

Coach Ross has worked with tennis players for 40 years overall and is a USPTA Elite Professional. He is excited to continue Kent Denver boys’ tennis’ winning tradition for years to come!

In 2016, Coach Ross was named High School Coach of the Year by the Intermountain Division of the United States Professional Tennis Association.

Volleyball: Emily Danitz

Emily Danitz has been teaching science and coaching volleyball at Kent Denver since 2012. During her tenure as head coach, Coach Danitz built the program into a playoff contender, advancing to regionals in 2016 from one of the state’s toughest leagues.

“Coach Danitz's focus on building a strong community and developing young players was key to making our program competitive in the Metro League,” says Athletics Director Scott Yates. “Her expertise in both the sport of volleyball and in developing positive team dynamics help our student-athletes thrive.”

Coach Danitz has been coaching volleyball since 2008. She also competed as a player during her time at the University of Nevada, Reno. .

Winter Sports

Boys' Basketball: Todd Schayes

Todd Schayes has been Head Boys’ Basketball Coach for since 1993. Also a sixth-grade teacher at Kent Denver, he often serves as a mentor for his students and athletes throughout their time in Middle and Upper School.

Coach Schayes has taken Kent Denver’s Varsity basketball team to the playoffs many times, and he has won the Metro League on numerous occasions. In 1997, he brought home Kent Denver’s first Basketball State Championship and has coached to several Final Four and state runners-up finishes.

Coach Schayes coached for five years before coming to Kent Denver. He is a member of the Metro League Hall of Fame.

Girls' Basketball: Richard Judd

Richard Judd has been a Kent Denver coach for since 1998. He has spent 15 years as a coach in the boys’ basketball program and before taking on the role of Head Coach of the Varsity girls’ team in 2012.

The girls’ team has qualified for the state tournament five out of the last six years, and they won their district and were a #1 seed in the state tournament in 2018.

Coach Judd has a masters degree in Sports Management and is Kent Denver’s Upper School Assistant Athletic Director.

Ice Hockey: Marty Wittmer

Marty Wittmer has been the Head Hockey Coach since 2011. He took his team to the playoffs for the first time in 2017 and to the state quarterfinals in 2018.

For 14 years, he has also been an assistant coach for boys’ Varsity soccer, who recently "three-peated" as State Champions in 2014, 2015 and 2016, going undefeated in 2015 and 2016.

Coach Witmer serves as sixth grade teacher and dean in Kent Denver's Middle School.

Swimming and Diving: Ann Kennedy

A collegiate swimmer at the University of Nebraska, Coach Kennedy has an impressive background in swimming and athletics. With personal accolades such as two US Masters Swimming gold medals, two triathlons' fastest course records, along with several high school swim records still in place, she has a wealth of personal knowledge in training and competing.

Coach Kennedy has an equally extensive coaching background having coached youth, high school, and adult swimmers in club, interscholastic and recreational settings in Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Spring Sports

Baseball: Scott Vander Weg

After previously serving as Kent Denver's pitching coach, Scott Vander Weg was appointed head coach role starting in the 2019 season.

A former professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, Coach Vander Weg brings both exceptional knowledge of the game and experience working with our young men to the head coaching position.

Girls' Golf: Lauren Howe

Lauren Howe was appointed head coach for the 2019 season. Coach Howe's background as an LPGA tour winner as well as her proven track record as a top instructor make her the perfect choice to continue to elevate this program.

She is a member of the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame and received the Hall of Fame's Person of the Year and Player of the Year awards.

Boys' Lacrosse: Rocco Romero

In 2019, Kent Denver welcomed Robert (Rocco) Romero as head boys' lacrosse coach. Romero, who previously served as assistant coach and offensive coordinator for Kent Denver lacrosse from 2013–15, returns to Denver after serving as director of operations for men's lacrosse at the University of Virginia.

Coach Romero is well-known to the Denver lacrosse community, from his work at 3d Lacrosse, and through his coaching at East High School and Regis Jesuit High School. Prior to his coaching career, Rocco played Division I lacrosse at Cornell University.

Girls' Lacrosse: Persy Sample

Head Coach Persy Sample, appointed in 2019, brings a wealth of experience as a player and coach.

A graduate of Western Reserve Academy high school in Ohio, Coach Sample excelled in collegiate-level lacrosse at the University of Albany and led the Hudson High School varsity lacrosse team to the State Final Four during her first year as head coach. She has also served as a coach for the Team 180 Program and as director of the Force Lacrosse Academy for Girls.

Girls' Soccer: Krista Sahrbeck

Krista Sahrbeck has been Head Coach of the girls’ soccer team since 2006 and has also served as a coach for JV girls’ soccer, JV girls' basketball coach and varsity boys’ soccer. Since coming to Kent Denver in 2006, her girls’ soccer teams have qualified for the State Tournament every year except one. Her teams won back-to-back Championships in 2006 and 2007, and another in the spring of 2016, and have been to the semi-finals four additional times. One national All-American and three regional All-Americans have come from her teams. Coach Sahrbeck won the Metro League Female Coach of the Year—awarded to the best coach in all female sports—in 2012 and 2013.

A varsity soccer, basketball and tennis player for four years in high school, Coach Sahrbeck went on to play competitive soccer and basketball at Bowdoin College. There, she was first team All-State, first team all-NESCAC and a first team regional All-American. Coach Pearman was also part of the first women’s soccer team from Bowdoin to ever qualify for the NCAA tournament in 1995, and her team won the NESCAC Basketball Championship in 1995. Coach Sahrbeck went on to play soccer for the Women’s Premier Soccer League as a member of the Rhode Island Rays.

Girls' Tennis: Tyffani Thomas

Head coach Tyffani Thomas, appointed starting in the 2019 season, brings a wealth of knowledge in competitive tennis. She is currently the Lead Junior Tennis Pro at the JCC, mentoring elite and advanced junior players, and previously served as head boys' tennis coach at Whitefish High School in Montana.

A USPTA certified professional who competed at both the collegiate level and junior circuit, Thomas is a highly respected professional and will be a valued resource to our student-athletes.

Track and Field: Corky Dean

Corky Dean has coached Kent Denver's Track and Field team since 2011. In addition to individual successes as a runner (multiple age group National and State level championship titles in the 30K, Marathon and 100K distances on the road and trail), Coach Dean has enjoyed tremendous success as a coach. His Track and Field teams have produced numerous individual state champions—including the 2018 boys' 100M and 200M sprint titles—and several top-10 finishers in jumping, sprint and distance events. Wherever Coach Dean is running, it’s apparent that success tends to follow!

Coach Dean also teaches photography at Kent Denver School.