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Coach John Kostrzewz Named 2005 Ski Coach Of The Year

Tue, Jan  17, 2006 - By Pete Edwards

The Great Lakes Nordic Ski Council has named Traverse City, Michigan’s Coach John Kostrzewa the "2005 Ski Coach of the Year." Coach John Kostrzewa (Coach K.) receives this special award and recognition because of the countless hours he dedicates to the Traverse City Central and Traverse City West Cross-Country Ski Teams. Team #’s often exceed 50 athletes each season. Traverse City’s top junior skiers have consistently won state team and individual championship honors. Many of Coach K’s skiers have also earned "All American" status, including numerous podiums at the USA Junior Olympics.

Coach K. is quick to recognize those who have inspired him along the way and those who have assisted the team in recent years. Coach K has been ski racing for 30 years and thanks his wife Joanne for introducing him to former Olympic Skier Vojin Baic. Coach K fine-tuned his coaching skills as an assistant coach at Traverse City under Vicki Asmus and Christian Byar. Coach K has also been an assistant coach at numerous USA Junior Nationals and has appreciated the opportunity to work with Great Lakes Division Junior Olympic head coach Nick Baic. Milan Biac has also helped coach some of the Traverse City area’s nationally ranked junior skiers and Coach K credits Milan for being a positive influence on his personal coaching style.

Coach K. thoughtfully allowed Glen Lakes’ Chase and Cassidy Edwards to train with his Traverse City Teams – helping to launch them both to State titles, "All American" honors and even a gold medal in the classic race at Junior Olympics in Fairbanks, Alaska. Coach K has always put kids first.

Coach K notes that the parents play a major role in the success of the Traverse City Cross-Country Ski Teams – organizing fundraisers, pasta parties and assisting with logistics. But it is Coach K’s ability to make everyone feel welcome on the Traverse City Ski Team that is most impressive. There are no cuts. Coach K’s daughters Angela and Ashley skied on the Traverse City Ski Team, giving Coach K valuable insight as a parent, a coach and a ski racer himself. These experiences have benefited the athletes on the Traverse City Ski Teams – not just in their results, but the opportunity for team members to ski 100’s of meaningful kilometers each season and to travel to local, regional, national and international races. Coach K’s athletes enjoy winter to the max. Their smiles, laughter and fun out on our beautiful Great Lakes cross-country ski trails indicate a truly successful program. Congratulations Coach K!

Coach John Kostrzewa will be recognized at the 2006 North American VASA awards party, Saturday, February 11th, 2006 at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City, Michigan.

For more information please contact Pete Edwards, Chairman of the Great Lakes Nordic Ski Council’s Coach of the Year Nominating Committee. Phone: 231-334-3080 Email: