Posted 13. May 2009 by Editor
Nation's Top Coaches Recognized
PARK CITY, UT (May 12) - With athletic success that ranges from a collection of seven World Championship medals to landmark progress made at the club level, the 2009 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Coach of the Year award recipients have, through their direction, made a lasting impression on the world of winter sports.
Coaches are recognized annually by the USSA in each of its specific sport programs. The 2009 awardees will be honored at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's awards dinner May 15 in Park City during USSA Congress 2009.
Jarrett Leads Historic Nordic Season
A former athlete, the 2009 Nordic Combined Coach of the Year Award recipient Dave Jarrett joined the U.S. Ski Team in 2002 as the World Cup B coach. He worked his way up the ranks to eventually be named nordic combined head coach following one of the program's most successful seasons in 2008.
"Dave did an outstanding job in his first season as head coach," said USSA Nordic Program Director John Farra. "Not only has he had success internationally, but has worked closely with the domestic programs to ensure we have a strong pipeline."
During Jarrett's first year as a head coach, he led his athletes through the 2009 season, which truly marked the pages of U.S. nordic history when the U.S. Nordic Combined Team took three gold medals and one bronze at World Championships. Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) came out of retirement to win two of the team's gold medals. Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) won gold and bronze at the Championships as well as finished third for the second year in a row in the overall nordic combined World Cup standings.
Bayer Pushes Nordic Development
Steamboat Spring Winter Sports Club's Nordic Combined Head Coach Martin Bayer is the recipient of the Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Award. Bayer, who also won in 2007, was responsible for coaching three new rookies nominated to the 2010 nordic combined team.
"Martin is a big asset for nordic combined in our country," said Farra. "He has played a key role in development and the three athletes who qualified for the team this spring are a credit to his work in Steamboat."
Bayer joined the SSWSC nordic staff as the new ability head coach for the ski jumping and Nordic combined programs in 2006. A two-time Olympian, Bayer he moved to the U.S. from Slovakia and started coaching in Ishpeming, MI before eventually landing with the SSWSC.
Christensen Honored For Work With Freestyle
After leading a season that included a World Championship gold medal, five World Cup podiums and two athletes finishing in the top three of the World Cup overall standings, U.S. Freestyle Aerials Head Coach Matt Christensen took an honor of his own as he was named 2009 Freestyle International Coach of the Year.
Under his watchful eye in 2009, Christensen's athletes reached many landmarks. Emily Cook (Belmont, MA) landed two different triple twisting doubles, marking the first time for a U.S. woman to accomplish such a feat and earned her the highest score for an U.S. woman aerialist. Jana Lindsey (Black Hawk, SD) also performed two triple twisting doubles and Lacy Schnoor (Draper, UT) performed and landed her first triple twisting double in competition. Ryan St. Onge and Jeret "Speedy" Peterson captured three wins out of the seven World Cups in which they competed, which earned St. Onge second and Peterson third in the World Cup aerials standings. Christensen also coached as six of seven athletes made finals at World Championships - St. Onge took home the win.
Seeman Honored For Freestyle Work
The 2009 Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Award went to Chris "Seedog" Seeman, a former aerialist on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team from 1985 who won a U.S. title in 1988.
An aerials coach for the U.S. Ski Team, Seeman uses his knack for being knowledgeable in all situations to help advance rookie skiers new to the U.S. Team.
In 1986, while still competing for the U.S., Seeman began coaching domestic athletes and constructing aerial sites. True to his versatile nature, Seeman remains a jack of all trades as a coach, serving as a clinician for aerial clinics, a technical advisor and a contract coach for domestic programs and the U.S. Ski Team.
Working For the Bigger Picture, White Excels
Women's Alpine World Cup Speed Coach Chip White's tireless work and support behind the scenes marked him for honor as the 2009 Alpine International Coach of the Year.
A provider of many services, White helped the Team with everything from video review support, which had him climbing trees to video the race line from the perfect angle on every World Cup, World Championship and Olympic course for more than a decade, to wax tech work. Part of the USSA team since 1996, White is renowned for his intense passion, his work ethic, and his commitment to excellence and attention to detail.
"Chip's experience and work ethic are a big asset for the women's team," said USSA Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. "He's a behind the scenes guy who really makes a difference."
Ghent Helps Athletes Excel
The 2009 Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year Award recipient is Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Alpine Program Director Karen Lancaster Ghent.
Through her hands-on work with athletes on and off the hill, Ghent was credited with singlehandedly helping club members advance from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail to college on scholarship and to the national team. Through her instruction athletes are the recipients of the tools necessary to succeed in life.
A former U.S. Ski Team athlete, Ghent has been with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail for over a decade, during which time she led the restructuring of the alpine program, which resulted in a "best of class" ranking both divisionally and nationally.
Flora Earns New Coaching Honor
A year after being named Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year, Erik Flora, the head coach at the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center, is now being honored as the 2009 Cross Country International Coach of the Year.
Flora's dedication to cross country development has driven the success of U.S. cross country athletes including Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK), who was the first woman to win a modern day cross country World Cup and winning silver at World Championships in 2009.
"As the Head coach for award winning APU Nordic Ski Center and the personal coach of Kikkan Randall, Erik Flora has proven himself capable of providing world class opportunities for his top athletes," Farra said. "Erik program offers quality training year-round for Anchorage, Alaska residents, including two U.S. Ski Team members and is clearly on track for continued international success."
Caldwell Makes Strides in Cross Country
Stratton Mountain School Cross Country Head Coach Sverre Caldwell was named Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year. Sverre is responsible for incredible strides in cross country development in the East, which has resulted in the succession of 12 Stratton Mountain School students to the U.S. Olympic team and the top team at the 2009 Junior Olympics.
"Sverre is one of the premier junior coaches in the nation who has consistently provided elite level junior opportunities for the athletes that come through his program at Stratton," said Farra. "He's an outstanding recruiter and advocate for the USSA's cross country programs."
Archibald Drives Snowboardcross Success
A key leader for the success of the men's and women's snowboarscross team this season, Jeff Archibald was named 2009 Snowboarding International Coach of the Year. Athletes who worked with Archibald excelled as no other snowboardcross team has in U.S. history, finishing the season with three athletes in the top three of SBX World Cup standings. Most notably Lindsey Jacobellis won the second World Cup title of her career.
"Our SBX program had an unbelievable season. Strong coaching and leadership are key components to that success," U.S. Snowboarding Program Director Jeremy Forster said. "Jeff has been instrumental in building the SBX program. As a former World Cup competitor his ability to relate to the athletes and his respect for and from the athletes are invaluable to the progress we have made."
Archibald's team also saw a World Championship bronze and two X Games gold and one silver medals.
Hindman Honored For Dedication to Sport
One of the most dedicated snowboard coaches in the nation for over a decade, Ross Hindman received the 2009 Snowboarding Domestic Coach of the Year. A coach of athletes including Ross Powers, Lindsey Jacobellis and Olympic potential Brooke Shaw, recently started the International Snowboard Training Center in Colorado, which specializes in snowboardcross.
During the past season Hindman's athletes excelled in competition. Most notably, JJ Tomlinson won a NorAm, Ross Powers podiumed at the Sunday River World Cup and Bobby Minghini finished the season with a top eight at a World Cup.
Garner Named Adaptive International Honoree
Ian Garner, who has been working for the U.S. Adaptive Alpine Ski Team since 2006, is the recipient of the 2009 Adaptive International Coach of the Year.
Starting out as a technician, Garner worked tirelessly, becoming an ambassador for the sport with his incredible dedication to the success of the team's athletes.
"Ian has an intensive background knowledge of ski racing as well as a passion for the sport and it shows in his work each day," U.S. Adaptive Program Director Sandy Metzger said. "His dedication and enthusiasm toward the sport is a tremendous asset. We are lucky to have him as part of our team!"
Petersen Applauded For Leadership
The 2009 Adaptive Domestic Coach of the Year was awarded to Erik Petersen, the Program Director for the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) and North American Race Director for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Petersen's commitment to the sport and strong leadership of athletes has positively influenced the passion of athletes throughout the sport. Known for his professional attitude and demeanor, Petersen's example has been a beacon to all in the adaptive racing world.
Most of the coaches were recognized at U.S. Championships, but all will be honored May 15 at USSA Congress 2009.
Local Clubs Honored by USSA
PARK CITY, UT (May 12) - Clubs across the nation work year round to groom athletes for success in the competitive skiing and snowboarding arena. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is recognizing five of its more than 400 local clubs nationwide for superior dedication to the progression of the sports in 2009.
Stratton Mountain School, the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, the Eau Claire Flying Eagle and the Squaw Valley Ski Team, will receive award recognition during the USSA's awards dinner May 15 in Park City during USSA Congress 2009. One of the clubs will receive honors as overall USSA Club of the Year.
Stratton Mountain School Honored for Snowboarding
The 2009 Snowboarding Club of the Year, Stratton Mountain School opened its doors in 1972 and has since produced over 29 Olympians and many national team athletes. SMS is renowned for the success of athletes that leave its snowboarding program, including World Cup SBX champion Lindsey Jacobellis, Ellery Hollingsworth and Louie Vito.
Program Director Mike Mallon, who is also the 2009 Westhaven Award winner is credited with producing a team of coaches and staff, most of whom were professional snowboarders themselves, that have a passion and commitment to snowboarding that pushes SMS athletes ahead of the pack. Currently SMS has 85 athletes competing in both regional and elite level events.
Waterville Valley Named Freestyle Club of the Year
One the oldest ski clubs in the country, the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers was named 2009 Freestyle Club of the Year for an unsurpassed commitment to freestyle skiing from grooming youth to producing some of the nation's top athletes. In 2009 Waterville Valley hosted and qualified 36 athletes for the Junior Olympics. They also had 14 athletes qualify for U.S. Championships and two athletes made the 2009 World Championships halfpipe team.
Under the longtime leadership of Nick Preston, the Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers has produced more than 50 national team athletes in freestyle, six World Championship titlists, one Olympic gold medalist, one World Cup overall titlist and many World Cup and U.S. Championship winners.
2009 Alpine Club of the Year Award Squaw Valley Ski Team
The Squaw Valley Ski Team was honored as Alpine Club of the Year after an exceptional season as well as ongoing excellence. Squaw Valley athletes from the J5 level to the U.S. Ski Team men's development squad had an outstanding season, a result of the emphasis placed on comprehensive skill development at youth ages. The club has an outstanding development system with hundreds of young skiers in its learn to race program.
Mark Sullivan leads a staff team that includes a host of past U.S. Ski Team athletes including World Cup champion Tamara McKinney, former World Cup star Greg Jones and former U.S. Ski Team coach Konrad Rickenbach.
Sun Valley Recognized for XC Work
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, under the leadership of Rick Kapala, received the 2009 Cross Country Club of the Year Award. With a broad pipeline that cultivates athletes from an introduction to the sport of cross country, all the way to a focus on Olympic development, Sun Valley exhibits a high level of dedication to sport that engages hundreds of athletes with cross country.
In the 2009 season Sun Valley SEF's athletes competed around the globe in World Championships, World U23 championships, and World Junior Championships. Additionally, six athletes from the club qualified for World Cup competitions.
Eau Claire Flying Eagle Named Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year
Access to three new jumps, a hand tow to the top of the jumps, a snowcat groomer, and plans to put plastic in the jumps for summer training are just a few of the recent renovations which have singled out Eau Claire Flying Eagle as worthy of receiving the 2009 Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year Award.
In 2009, the small club, which has five volunteer coaches, no paid staff, and great community support, held an annual tournament that drew over 100 participants. The club has also sent athletes to Junior World Championships and produced Junior Olympic champions.
Eau Claire Flying Eagle is a club committed to the growth of ski jumping through their renovations and its learn to ski and learn to fly programs, which have helped in developing multiple Junior Olympic Champions.
The clubs will be honored on the evening of May 15 in Park City at USSA's awards dinner.