PARK CITY, Utah – One of the founding pioneers of the modern day U.S. Ski Team, William Bradford Briggs, died Nov. 1 at the age of 87 at his home in Vero Beach, FL. Briggs, was a driving force in the formation of the Team's fundraising arm, the U.S. Ski Team Educational Foundation, in the '70s and one of its staunchest supporters in the Team's heyday of the late '70s and early '80s.
“Much of the success our athletes have earned today can be attributed to the vision of early supporters like Brad Briggs,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt. “When Brad and others started our Foundation, they had no roadmap – they paved the way with their enthusiasm in mobilizing American skiers coast-to-coast to support their best athletes. It's a model that continues to serve us today, over three decades later.”
Briggs made his mark in business teaming with Bill Ziff to build Ziff-Davis into one of the world's great publishing empires. Among its popular titles was Skiing Magazine. He parlayed his business savvy and contacts to help form a funding arm for the Team in the '70s. Until that time, the Team had been loosely organized. But the Foundation's funding and leadership helped to modernize the Team and establish a full time training center and office in Park City, Utah.
Through the '70s the Team developed as an international powerhouse led by Olympic and World Champions like Cindy Nelson, Barbara and Marilyn Cochran and Phil and Steve Mahre.
Briggs remained an honorary trustee of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation at the time of his death. He is survived by three sons, Scott, Peter and Barry, along with 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His wife “Buffy” died two days earlier. A service for the two was held Nov. 3.