Outgoing Director Martin Benes to coach for US Paralympic Nordic Skiing
Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy (SBSTA), a youth development ski team and college- preparatory high school for competitive skiers, announces the appointment of Will Sweetser as Director of Nordic Programs.
Sweetser, who served as a coach for SBSTA last season, brings over 25 years of coaching experience to the position, including serving as Program Director at Carrabassett Valley Academy, Maine Winter Sports Center, and Mountain Endurance Sports. Sweetser has been personal coach for four Winter Olympians, has helped 22 athletes to US Junior Cross Country and Biathlon medals, and recently helped Lance McKenney, who was named to US Ski Team Development Program, to 20th place at World Junior Championships. In 2018, Sweetser’s first year at SBSTA, student-athlete Lexie Madigan competed Biathlon World Youth Championships, and eight student-athletes earned top 20 finishes at Junior Nationals.
“It is with great gratitude and tremendous optimism that I have agreed to take the reins as Director of Nordic Programs for Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy,” said Sweetser. “Our team has had a fantastic summer of training and should be very well prepared for the coming season.”
Sweetser replaces Martin Benes, who joined US Paralympics as a coach for US Paralympics Nordic Skiing. Benes served as Head Coach and Program Director for Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy for seven seasons. In that time, he developed athletes to the US Ski Team and US Biathlon Development Team, including qualifying athletes for FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships, Biathlon Youth World Championships and the Youth Olympic Games.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy community for the time that I’ve spent leading the Nordic program here. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had and working alongside such a dedicated and motivated staff,” said Benes. “I will miss the program here and the incredible athletes that I’ve been privileged enough to coach. I know that SBSTA’s Nordic program is well positioned, with Will’s leadership, a great group of student-athletes at Sugar Bowl Academy, growing potential in our Sugar Bowl Ski Team programming, a strong partnership with Royal Gorge and Sugar Bowl Resort, and an incredible staff.”
Commenting on Benes’ new position, SBSTA’s Executive Director John Horsch said, “It is a fantastic vote of confidence in both the quality of SBSTA’s program and Martin’s abilities that he has been named as Head Coach of the US Paralympic Nordic Team, and we look forward to cheering for his athletes in Beijing in 2020. SBSTA is grateful for Martin’s seven years of service to our student-athletes. He leaves behind a mature program with a strong track record of helping student-athletes succeed at the highest levels of the sport.”
On the appointment of Sweetser, Horsch continued, “We are overjoyed that Will has agreed to take on the role of Program Director. He was incredibly impactful in his first year at SBSTA, and
we look forward to future growth of SBSTA’s Nordic and Biathlon programs under Will’s experienced leadership.”