The coach’s mission is to support an environment for youth rock climbers where effort and knowledge are valued above all else. With this theme, we are dedicated to helping our athletes achieve their goals. With continued try-hard, learning, and positivity their desired results will follow.
We do this without losing sight of the big picture; time on the Rocks and Ropes Team is temporary after all. Only when we see a graduate of this program continue to show a strong sense of work ethic in everyday life and continue to explore the world of climbing have we really done our job.
With 10 years of coaching experience, Jon is dedicated to making the Rocks and Ropes Youth Team one of the strongest programs, not only in our Region, but also in the Nation. Jon has grown the size of the program from just 11 kids in 2009 to a roster of over 80 between 5 different teams.
Jon has been actively pursuing climbing since 1998, when he was introduced to the sport through a ropes course program at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson. A couple of years later, Jon was the recipient of a fortunate mentorship that, over the course of several years, would shape his outlook on the sport and take him to adventurous climbing destinations around the country. Jon was schooled in the culture of traditional climbing ethics all the while making trips to places like Squamish, the Bugaboos and Moab.
In 2002, Jon joined the first incarnation of the Rocks and Ropes Youth Team, then called the Tucson Climbing Project. In this environment, Jon expanded his field of experience with training and competition, and discovered the joys of striving together with a Team of other motivated athletes.
Jon understands that learning climbing skills through mentorship is a dying tradition in the sport, and something that he strives to promote and provide to his athletes. His passion for climbing, working with kids, and his goals to grow the program keep him motivated to bring the best experience possible to our athletes.
Lead Junior team coach
I started my climbing career outdoors in late 2011 after a pretty severe running injury during the Mt.Lemmon Marathon; I immediately recognized that it was a sport I wanted to pursue with great passion and gusto for the rest of my life. I am blessed to have a spouse and climbing partner who has mentored me with great patience and it helps that he as wild about climbing as I am. Together we have had the opportunity to travel to amazing climbing destinations, train to become better sport and trad climbers and we have put up more than 50 new routes. Climbing is truly a sport in which your hard work, training and dedication help you to realize your goals and it is pure joy to send that project after endless sessions of hard work. I love the sport with my whole heart.
My personal love of and dedication to the sport brought me to Rocks and Ropes for my training and here I discovered my passion for teaching and coaching the sport. I enjoy every minute when working with Tucson youngest climbers; helping them create and cultivate a deep love of and respect for the sport as well the outdoors brings me much happiness. I am honored to coach the team in Tucson and work with young climbers who never ceases to amaze me.
Lead Training team coach
Jilian has been addicted to climbing ever since the first day she put a harness on. She is well rounded in Sport, Trad, and Bouldering. Jilian has an acute sense for form and training and has been putting that focus into Climbing since 2013. She comes from an extensive background of Training and Competing in multiple sports. She has been successfully competitive in dance for 10+yrs, professional since she was 16, and teaching ever since. She also had spent 4 years Coaching for a Nonprofit "Girls on The Run", State Champion 300&100 Hurdles, and first female to ever receive the Personal Fitness Award at her High School. She study Biomechanics and Dance throughout her Undergrad and Masters at the University of Arizona. As well as, has her Personal Training Certification through ACE, Pilates Mat Certification, and Yoga Certification. All disciplines she to this day is continuing studying to help her refine Movement Principles and Conditioning for Climbing.
Compared to most of the members on today's team, I started pretty late. I started climbing at The Bloc in 2014 at the age of 16 and haven't stopped climbing since. About a year and a half later I decided to join Team Rocks and Ropes and get some instruction from Coach Jon and the other coaches running this amazing program. I built relationships and developed a passion for outdoor rock climbing that could not have come anywhere else. My climbing has taken me to amazing places like Bishop, CA and Hueco Tanks, TX to challenge myself on world class boulders as well as spend time in my own backyard, Mt Lemmon, finding and repeating some of the greatly underrated granite boulders it has to offer.
I am excited for the opportunity to share my passion for the sport of climbing with everyone on the team. Climbing has changed my life in many ways and I hope to show today's team members how great of a sport climbing is as well as encourage and push all of the athletes to be the best versions of themselves possible.