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Meet The Coaches

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Julie Gehring

US Speedskating Level 2 Coach

Craig Tuesdays with Toyota.JPG

Craig Pielechowski

US Speedskating Level 2 Coach


Necole Zayatz

US Speedskating Level 1 Coach


Henry Withers

US Speedskating Level 1 Coach

Julie Gehring - US Speedskating Level 2 Coach

Julie started skating with her dad, Jim, when she was three years old. When she was seven, Julie attended her first competition and fell in love with the sport. Throughout her high school years, Julie had the pleasure of training in Buffalo, Rochester and Canada. After High School, Julie skated with an elite group of skaters in Pittsburgh and trained full time while attending college classes for a year. From this experience she gained significant knowledge about the sport of Speedskating. In 2011 Julie was named a US National champion along with becoming one of the top 16 Junior skaters in the country. In addition to Buffalo, Julie continues to coach and skate in Rochester. In 2017 Julie placed Third at US Long Track Nationals.


Julie graduated from Medaille College in 2016 with a Masters in Literacy Education. She received her BS in Childhood and Special Education from St. John Fisher College in 2014. Currently she is working as a 2nd Grade Teacher.

Craig Pielechowski - US Speedskating Level 2 Coach

Craig first speedskated in his teens and early 20s. After a long break, he returned to the sport, taking on a leadership role with the club and obtaining his USS level 1 coaching certification.

Craig has won multiple State, National, North American, and World competitions and set numerous distance records. His achievements began in 2003 with a bronze medal in the 1500m at the US Speedskating (USS) Age Group Nationals and continued throughout his 60s and into his 70s and 80s. During this time, Craig earned eleven individual Championships, six National, three North American, one World, and one International Masters. In his latest victory, Craig became the 2024 Men's 80-84 age group Short Track National Champion and set National records in all three distances: 500m, 1000m, and 1500m. Short Track Speedskating is a fast, demanding, and often dangerous sport. As a result, it takes great determination and training for skaters to compete as they age. In fact, Craig was not eligible to skate in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Nationals as there were no other competitors in the 70-79 age group. From 2016 until 2020, Craig could not compete after having two heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. After recovering and sufficient training, the 2020 and 2021 Nationals were canceled because of Covid. In 2022, Craig finally got a chance to go to Nationals, but as luck would have it, he fell during an ice practice, breaking seven ribs just six weeks out. After ten years and so many obstacles, Craig was not to be deterred. In March 2022, Craig finally got his chance and prevailed, becoming the 70-79 National Champion.

Craig is a Design Engineer, he retired from Moog Inc. in 2000. He and his wife, Christina, live in Holland, NY. Christina skates with the club and is the club's treasurer. She is also responsible for keeping Criag grounded, not an easy task.

Nathalie Rodrigue-Hassleback - US Speedskating Level 2 Coach


Nathalie was born and raised in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. As a child she loved figure skating and in her teens was a Senior Pairs Figure Skater, competing at the National Level and also performing at the 1988 Calgary Olympics closing ceremonies.


Nathalie turned her passion for Athletics into a Bachelor's Degree in Sports and Exercise Sciences from the University of Sherbrooke and went on to teach Physical Education. After completing her Master's Degree in Business Administration, Nathalie found herself working and traveling throughout the United States. It was during this time that she met her husband, they currently live in Hamburg, NY with their three children.

Nathalie started Speedskating and joined the BSC with her Son Gabriel in 2014. Nathalie actively competes in Masters meets, and is on the Board of the BSC. In addition, Nathalie holds several certifications in Figure Skating, Group Fitness, Nutrition, Yoga and has been teaching in the Fitness Industry for over 20 years. For the past few years, Nathalie has been working with athletes of all levels including the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills.

Alan Jay - US Speedskating Level 1 Coach

Alan joined the BSC in 2005 after being introduced to the sport by his inline speedskating friends. Alan became active in the club soon after and has served the club in many capacities, including on the board as the club's secretary. In 2014 Alan helped establish the club's highly successful Buffalo Summer Training Camp program. In 2024, the camps will be moving to their new location in Lake Placid, NY. Alan has also served as meet director of the Buffalo Short Track Championships and remains active in the meet’s administration.  As a coach, Alan especially enjoys working with our Learn to Skate Program skaters and with our younger athletes. He is also involved with our dryland training program.

Off the ice, Alan enjoys playing squash and competes as a member of the Nardin Academy Athletic Center. Throughout his life, Alan’s had a passion for sustainable active travel and commuting. In the past, as a professional bicycle tour leader, Alan’s led groups internationally and across and throughout the U.S. Presently, Alan and his wife, Nike, greatly enjoy long-distance walking trips, so far having traveled several times to Ireland and Scotland, with many more destinations planned for the future. They also enjoy active water sports both above and below, spending time locally and in their travels, kayaking, paddle boarding, and scuba diving.  Weather permitting, Alan can often be seen getting around Western NY by bike, inline skate, and foot.

Necole Zayatz - US Speedskating Level 1 Coach

Necole grew up on a horse farm in New Hampshire where she competed in equestrian hunt seat and combined training events from the age of seven through graduate school.  In high school, Necole was an ice hockey goalie and discovered a passion for skating. Necole started skating with the BSC in 2013. Necole absolutely loves the feeling of skating and the technical nuances involved in learning. She has competed in numerous short track meets and has attended multiple short track and long track camps. From these experiences she has gained valuable knowledge of both the training and technical aspects of skating and is especially interested in applying this knowledge in support of master skaters. Necole is a three time US National Champion and will compete in the Winter World Master Games in 2020. 


In addition to skating, Necole is active in the Niagara Frontier Bicycle Club and the Campus Women’s Race team. She can be found cross country skiing, or walking hills, when not on the ice in winter. Necole holds two Master of Fine Arts degrees in visual art, which she believes enhances her powers of observation in the realm of skating and life.

Henry Withers - US Speedskating Level 1 Coach

Henry was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, where he and his brother were introduced to speedskating at a young age by a close family friend, Coach Gretchen Burns with the Syracuse Speedskating Club. Henry was an active member of the Syracuse Club into his high school years and raced in many competitions across the East. Illness sidelined his skating career in late high school, and, after recovering, his travels for school and work kept him off the ice. In 2009, Henry settled in Buffalo for graduate school where he returned to his favorite sport, joining the Buffalo Speedskating Club for their 2013-2014 season. Henry is pleased to have found a wonderful community in the Buffalo Club. He enjoys sharing the excitement and rewards of speedskating with the Club's new and developing skaters while also competing as a Masters skater. Henry looks forward to being a lifelong speedskater.


Off ice, Henry is a scientist and entrepreneur working for a start-up biotech company to develop and improve therapies for cancer patients. He also founded and facilitates a computer science networking and skills development group on the Roswell Park Cancer Center campus. Henry has a B.S. in Biology, Dual M.S. in Interdisciplinary Sciences and Systems Biology, and a Ph.D. in Cancer Sciences. Henry enjoys everything outdoors; he lives in the country where he is often hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing. Henry also plays soccer for three different teams in recreational leagues across Western New York.

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Anchor Craig
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Anchor Necole
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Nathalie Rodrigue-Hassleback

US Speedskating Level 2 Coach


Alan Jay

US Speedskating Level 1 Coach

Anchor Natalie
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