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U.S. Alpine Ski Team Staff Announced for 2018-19 Season

By Megan Harrod
October, 17 2018
Sasha Rearick takes over as men's development coach.
Sasha Rearick, shown here celebrating with Ted Ligety following his 2012 Soelden World Cup victory, takes the helm as the men's development head coach for the 2018-19 season. (Getty Images)

The U.S. Ski Team announces its alpine coaching staff for the 2018-19 season, which kicks off with the first FIS Ski World Cup event of the season in Soelden, Austria October 27-28. The season features two domestic U.S. FIS Ski World Cup events, including a women’s tech series at Killington, Vt. and a men’s speed and giant slalom series at Beaver Creek, Colo. The pinnacle event will be the World Championships, hosted by the magical town of Åre, Sweden. 

Jesse Hunt rejoined the U.S. Ski Team as alpine director in spring 2018, a role he formerly occupied with the team from 2002-09. During Hunt's previous tenure as alpine director, the team had incredible depth and talent, featuring now-alumni Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, and Julia Mancuso, as well as current team members Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) and Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah). “Winning at every level” became the mantra associated with Hunt as NorAm titles, World Junior Championships, Olympic and World Championship medals, and World Cup globes were all secured while he was at the helm of the program. With a renewed focus on development as a result of findings from “Project 26”, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development initiative, Hunt looks to make a cultural shift and get back to that “winning at every level” mantra.

Speaking of “winning at every level,” a notable shift for the alpine staff includes former men’s head coach Sasha Rearick, who has moved to the men’s development team. He, along with Marjan Cernigoj—who leads the women’s development team—will bring their vast industry knowledge across all levels to this young squad of up-and-comers. Former U.S. Ski Team athlete Dane Spencer joins the men’s alpine speed team staff under John "Johno" McBride, while former men’s speed assistant coach Pete Anderson will bring his expertise to the men’s Europa Cup team. He will be joined by Martin Andersen and Josh Benge.

Karin Harjo will once again be working with the women's speed team, along with Chip White. Harjo remains to be one of the few female coaches on the World Cup circuit. Last season she moved over from women's tech to women's speed and made an immediate impact, receiving great praise from White as well as the athletes. During the 2018 season, the women's speed team boasted the fastest women's downhill team in the world. Harjo brings a unique perspective and great energy to the group...she's the perfect combination of hardworking and humble. As she told the Associated Press last year prior to the Olympics, "I didn't choose to be a coach because I was female. That's where the gender part to me is actually kind of foreign. It's like, 'Well, why wouldn't I do this?' We have the opportunity now to become whatever we want to be. That's the mentality I've brought into coaching and into the sport."

Karin Harjo chats with Lindsey Vonn after Vonn's 82nd career win in Are, Sweden. 
Karin Harjo chats with Lindsey Vonn after Vonn's 82nd career win in Åre, Sweden in 2018. 

Anticipation is building for the upcoming season with Vonn chasing Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time win record of 86 World Cup victories (she currently has 82 to her name) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) going for her third-straight overall World Cup title and her fourth consecutive World Championships slalom gold. Ted Ligety will be fighting to reclaim his World Championship giant slalom gold, Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.) are both returning from injury to World Cup action, and keep an eye out for podium-potential athletes Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.), who are looking to pick up where they left off last season. These athletes are joined by a host of up-and-coming talent—all looking forward to an exciting season of ski racing that lies ahead.

Information on how to watch the 2019 FIS Ski Alpine World Cup will be released in due course.

Former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Marco Sullivan dials in his Birds of Prey line with Coach Scotty Veenis.
Former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Marco Sullivan dials in his Birds of Prey line with Asst. World Cup Speed Coach Scotty Veenis in 2014.

Chief of Sport: Luke Bodensteiner
Alpine Director: Jesse Hunt
Alpine Development Director: Chip Knight
Alpine Communications Manager: Megan Harrod
Alpine World Cup Medical Coordinator: Gillian Bower
Alpine Europa Cup Medical Coordinator: David Quammen

Team Manager: Gwynn Watkins

Men’s World Cup Speed
Head Coach: John McBride
Assistant Coach: Scotty Veenis
Assistant Coach: Chris Beckmann
Fischer Ski Service: Leo Mussi
Ski Service: Thomas Buergler
Ski Service: Giorgio Gay
Physiotherapist: Sam Eiler

Men’s World Cup Technical
Head Coach: Forest Carey
Assistant Coach: Ian Garner
Assistant Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach: Joshua Applegate
Head Ski Service Ted Ligety: Alex Martin
Ski Service: Danijel Andesilic

Men’s Europa Cup
Head Coach: Pete Anderson
Assistant Coach (Tech): Martin Andersen
Assistant Coach: Josh Benge
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Michael Bingaman
Ski Service: Marko Skube
Ski Service: Jesse Cassidy

Men’s Development
Head Coach: Sasha Rearick

Head Coach: Paul Kristofic
Team Manager: Meghan Arigo

Women’s World Cup Speed
World Cup Speed Head Coach: Chip White
Assistant Coach: Karin Harjo
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Bob Poehling
Physiotherapist: Sara Chavez
Ski Service: Zoran Knezevic
Ski Service: Gregor Koprivnik
Ski Service: Dusan Kaps

Lindsey Vonn
Head Coach: Alex Hoedlmoser
Physiotherapist: Lindsay Winninger
Strength & Conditioning: Alex Bunt (Red Bull)
Press Manager: Claire Abbe Brown
Head Ski Service: Heinz Haemmerle

Women’s World Cup Technical
Mikaela Shiffrin
Coach: Mike Day
Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jeff Lackie
Atomic Ski Service: Johann Stroebl
Physiotherapist: Regan Dewhirst

Women’s World Cup Technical and Europa Cup
Head Coach: Magnus Andersson
Assistant Coach: Kris Shampeny
Assistant Coach/Ski Service: Bart Mollin
Ski Service: Miguel Oviedo

Women’s Development
Head Coach: Marjan Cernigoj