The University of Utah Ski Team has secured funding to grow the size of the program. This upcoming season, the team size and staff size will both increase. The program, which has always focused on NCAA excellence at the highest level, will now become more inclusive with a greater emphasis on developing athletes
A New Focus on Development
The University of Utah Ski Team has always been one of the top collegiate programs in the country, but has always been a small team. With a larger squad, there will be more opportunities for athletes, and more support available. The new development program will not be a separate team, rather one larger team with more athletes than in the past.
The University is interested in linking more with the local ski culture and marketing UU as a ski school. The Ski Team is an integral part of those efforts.
The Ski Team has hired an additional staff member to help manager a larger team size.
â€œThis is an exciting move for the program. We have always been a strong contender for the top of the NCAA podium, but also have always had a small squad. It will be great to be more involved with developing athletes and carry a larger teamâ€ said Head Coach, Eli Brown.
UU Ski Team Staff Changes
The University of Utah Ski Team has restructured their staff and added a new coach. Eli Brown will be Program Director, and oversee the Alpine and XC programs. Wendy Wagner will move from Assistant XC Coach to Head XC Coach, and Kristina Casey will be the new Assistant XC Ski Coach.
Wendy Wagner, who in her first year as assistant coach, helped create a strong work ethic within the squad is excited to move into the role of head coach.
â€œIt is a tremendous honor for me to be named Head Coach for Utah. I believe strongly in the program Eli is creating and am very fortunate to be a part of it. This coming season, I am even more motivated to continue to raise the level of cross-country skiing in the collegiate scene as well as continuing to spread the word that Utah is s stepping stone for future world class athletes.â€ Said Wagner. Wagner will continue to pursue her Masters Degree in Meteorolgy along with her new coaching position.
Kristina (Joder) Casey, a former skier for the U, and 2002 Olympian, brings a wealth of experience to the program. She has coached at Stratton Mountain School, and most recently was head coach for Bogus Basin Nordic, as well as trip leader for the Intermountain JO Team. â€œI am very excited to be working with the University of Utah athletes, coaches, and athletic department. Utah is my alma mater so I have a lot of pride in the team and the school. It was a great part of my life and I have many fond memories of skiing as a Ute. I hope I can share my experience with the student athletes who are there now.â€ Said Casey.
The team looks strong and I can't wait to get things rolling when the athletes get back to school on August, 20th.
The University of Utah Ski Team is coming off a 4th place overall team finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships. â€œWe are not loosing any athletes from the 2007 NCAA squad and our goal is clear; Climb the Podium!â€ said Director Eli Brown.
With the momentum rolling off a great season, and now the new athletes and coaches staff, the Skiin’ Utes couldn’t be more excited for winter. â€œTo have a staff with this much respect and experience is rare. To have a XC coaching staff that is 100% female is unique as well.â€ Said Director Eli Brown.
Miles Minson, former USST Development Coach and former Western State Ski Team coach will continue working with Utah as a volunteer coach.