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.
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."