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.
Cross Country: Corky Dean
Corky Dean has coached our Cross-Country team for seven years and our Track and Field team for six. 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 girls’ teams have shown impressive improvement. They 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
Under Head Coach Kathy James’ guidance, Kent Denver’s field hockey team earned a spot in the playoffs for 19 consecutive years, won 10 Championships and finished in second place twice. 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.
Coach James' team won the State Championship in 2016.
Football: Scott Yates
Scott Yates has coached football at Kent Denver School for more than 35 years. He is currently tied for the 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 was runner 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.
During his 10-year Kent Denver coaching career, Coach Austin has won nine state championships—more than any golf coach in Colorado high school history. Coach Austin’s teams have also finished twice as runners-up, and seven of his players have gone on to play college golf.
Coach Austin's team brought home the State Championship trophy in 2016.
Boys' Soccer: Arty Smith
Arty Smith has coached at Kent Denver for 15 years. 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 this year’s team and last year's sporting an undefeated record.
Coach Smith has been coaching for 23 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. He has coached at Kent Denver for 20 years, bringing home nine State Championships, including a “four-peat” in 2013-2016.
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: Nanci Lee
Nanci Lee has coached volleyball in the Denver area for more than 13 years.
As the mother of two Kent Denver graduates, Hannah Schmidt ('12) and Carl Schmidt ('16), she has been an active member of our community for some time. Coach Lee was a collegiate athlete at Cal Berkley in basketball and rowing. She has also coached and competed as an adult internationally in volleyball.
"I'm excited about coaching at Kent and look forward to building a strong volleyball program," she says.
Boys' Basketball: Todd Schayes
Todd Schayes has been Head Boys’ Basketball Coach for 24 years.. As a sixth-grade teacher at Kent Denver, he acts as a mentor for his students and athletes throughout their time here.
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.
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 19 years. He has spent 15 years as a coach in the boys’ basketball program and four years as the Head Coach of the Varsity girls’ team. The girls’ team has qualified for the state tournament four out of the last five years, and they finished third in the Metro League in 2015-16. 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 for five years, but is a long-standing coach in the Kent Denver’s athletic program. For 14 years, he has 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.
Swimming: Denise Wylde
Denise Wylde has been a competitive swimmer since elementary school and has been coaching at Kent Denver for six years. As Head Coach in 2014-15, she led Kent Denver to finish in first place in the Tri-Peaks League meet, followed by a second-place finish in the same meet in 2015-16 and another first place finish in 2016-17.
Baseball: Tom Oldfield
Tom Oldfield is in his second year as head coach of Kent Denver's baseball team. He has been coaching for 34 years overall, and believes sports are a great way to learn invaluable life lessons.
"Each day is a chance to test yourself in the life lessons you learn on the field," says Oldfield. "I encourage student-athletes to be safe, do their best and have fun while learning about themselves and their teammates."
Girls' Golf: Casey Brittain
Casey Brittain has coached girls’ golf at Kent Denver for seven years.
Coach Brittain has been coaching nearly 11 years in total and was named Assistant Professional of the Year in 2012 by the Colorado Professional Golfers’ Association. She works at Cherry Hills Country Club when not at Kent Denver. Coach Brittain has a bachelor’s degree in PGA Golf Management from Ferris State University.
Boys' Lacrosse: Ben Brenneman '01
A Kent Denver School alumnus, Ben Brenneman has played lacrosse since fifth grade and was a member of Kent Denver’s State Champion lacrosse teams in 1999 and 2001. He was named First Team All-State in three sports: football (once), ice hockey (three times) and lacrosse (twice). Coach Brenneman was also named Best Male Athlete for the 2001 graduating class of Kent Denver. Coach Brenneman was a member of Duke University’s ACC Conference Champion lacrosse team in 2002 and NCAA Runner-up team in 2005. He is currently in his 10th year coaching, with eight years at Kent Denver. He became Head Coach five years ago.
Girls' Lacrosse: Ali Giovannone
Kent Denver’s newest coach, Ali Giovannone has been coaching girls’ lacrosse for eight years. This is her second year coaching Kent Denver’s team, though she volunteered with the team in 2016 during the post-season.
“Athletics builds character, teaches sacrifice, develops communication skills, and teaches compromise,” says Coach Giovannone. “Athletics prepare students to overcome challenges in a smaller setting, and those lessons are applicable later in life.”
For Coach Giovannone, team and individual strength are intertwined: the team’s strength comes from the strength of the individuals, and that individual's strength is bolstered by the team.
Girls' Soccer: Krista Pearman
Krista Pearman has been Head Coach of the girls’ soccer team for nine years as well as JV girls’ soccer and JV girls basketball coach and Varsity boys’ soccer assistant coach for 12 years. 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 ’06 & ’07, 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 Pearman 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, Coach Pearman 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 Pearman went on to play soccer for the Women’s Premier Soccer League as a member of the Rhode Island Rays.
Girls' Tennis: Gay West
Head Girls’ Tennis Coach Gay West grew up playing tennis in Melbourne, Australia and has been coaching full-time for more than 25 years. She began coaching at Kent Denver in 1996. Since then, she led our tennis team to five State Championships, including a “four-peat” from 2002-2005.
Coach West is a USPTA Elite Pro and has been the coach of Team Colorado for 25 years.
Track and Field: Corky Dean
Corky Dean has coached our Cross-Country team for seven years and our Track and Field team for six. In addition to his individual successes as a runner—2011 USATF age group marathon champion, 2014 trail marathon age group second place finish—Coach Dean has enjoyed tremendous success as a coach. Under his leadership, the girls’ teams have shown impressive improvement. They earned a third-place in 2015 state tournament, 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 qualifiers in state jump 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.