PARK CITY, Utah (March 30) – Chris Grover, who spent five seasons with the U.S. Cross Country Team before leaving in 2004, has been named sprint head coach with the Ski Team, U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner announced.
He replaces the Ski Team's first sprint coach, Vidar Loefshus, who is returning to Norway. Grover left the Ski Team in 2004 to become Olympic development coach with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation program in Idaho. He’s the Ski Team's second major appointment, following Pete Vordenberg moving up to head coach, replacing Trond Nystad, who departed after four years.
â€œChris was a natural choice. He knows our program and he knows our athletes,â€ Bodensteiner said, â€œso I'm expecting an easy and quick transition. He's also been coaching sprinters, including Chris Cook [Rhinelander, WI], who was on our Olympic Team in Italy, so that just made it that much easier to see if we could get him.”
â€œChris came into our coaching staff in 2000 as a young and inexperienced coach at the international level, and left in 2004 as one of the best. He showed that in his work with Sun Valley this season, so it's great to have him back with us,â€ Bodensteiner said.
The U.S. sprinters enjoyed their best season this winter, topped off by Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) posting the first U.S. top-3 result in 23 years when he finished third in the inaugural World Cup cross country race in China, a 1K sprint after the Olympics.
Grover, 34, was on the national team's coaching staff from the 2000 season through '04. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, and former ski racer for Dartmouth College, he previously had coached with the Sun Valley SEF, Stratton Mountain School (VT) and Oregon's Mount Bachelor SEF.
Grover and his family, including wife Svea and their two young children, will continue to live in Sun Valley.