PARK CITY, Utah - U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced today that Sasha Rearick has been appointed to the role of head men's development coach for alpine ski racing for the national governing body of Olympic ski and snowboard sports in the USA.
Rearick, a 16-year veteran of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, is one of the most respected and experienced coaches working in snowsports worldwide. He moves to his new position of head men's development coach from his previous role as head coach of the men's alpine team, a position he held for 10 years.
"I am very excited about bringing my 16 years of World Cup and Europa Cup experience, my knowledge and my enthusiasm to this new role," said Rearick, ahead of the 2018 Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships in Sun Valley. "We have a very clear focus on helping our nation's young athletes develop their skills for future long term success, and to be part of that in my new role is a tremendous opportunity.
"In America, we have a number of clear advantages over our competition worldwide which we must capitalize on by working together in a clear direction. Success will come from many sources, but it will take everyone in the racing community to be focused on the process to ensure that we achieve what we are setting out to do. I am looking forward to working with the athletes, their parents, the coaches and clubs to create this process which will give everyone the best opportunity to achieve their goals and see their dreams come true, now and for many years to come.
"I personally love big challenges and I hope the American ski racing community will join me with the same enthusiasm I have for 100% effort, athletic skill development and commitment to excellence."
"Sasha has been one of the most successful head coaches in our team's history and this appointment reinforces our core commitment to developing the very best young athletes in the world," said Luke Bodensteiner, U.S. Ski & Snowboard's chief of sport. "Sasha has worked at every level of the development pipeline, and the fact that he sees such an opportunity, right now, to work with our talented young athletes and their clubs across the country, speaks volumes about his conviction in making the U.S. Ski Team the best in the world, on a long-term, sustainable basis.
"Sasha will be working very closely with Chip Knight, our alpine development director. We are thrilled that we can add Sasha's knowledge and experience to the excellent work Chip and his team does, bringing one of our all-time most successful coaches to our development program. Together, Chip and Sasha will be working directly with our young athletes and their parents, and with our clubs as extra resources and as leaders. This will also help us achieve our goal of enhancing the positive impact of our focus on development, not only with the identification of talent and improved selections, but by enabling more athletes to progress through each successive level of the U.S. Ski Team. We are tremendously excited to see what Sasha and Chip can do to build a sustainable pipeline of young champions well into the future."
"It is fantastic news that someone like Sasha, with as much experience, passion and knowledge as he has, is moving into this critical new role. Our focus on developing young talent has always been a core element of the work we do at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, and Sasha will add even more value into our team as we seek to magnify the impact of our junior-level programming with the next generation," said Chip Knight, alpine development director.
"In Spring 2016 we began a comprehensive study of our own alpine development system and those of other major nations in our sport. As a result of that study, we created 'Project 26' which is an evolutionary change in how U.S. Ski & Snowboard, along with our regional and club network, now approaches national team selection and development programming in the future, specifically looking ahead to results at the 2022 and 2026 Olympics, and beyond.
"This program, to which Sasha will now be adding his immense experience and knowledge, has formed our new foundation of criteria for naming annual A-B-C Teams, as well as introducing an innovative methodology for inviting and managing athletes into the alpine development program. Future elements will dive down even further into age groups, as well as applying these initial learnings to other sports in which U.S. Ski & Snowboard works."
"Sasha's appointment is a significant step forward in implementing Project 2026, and fundamentally changing the way that alpine development is structured and managed in the USA," added Bodensteiner. "Many nations talk the talk of having their "best coaches at the foundation" but few commit to it, and with Sasha joining our development team, we are walking the talk.
"We are not stopping there. In addition to Sasha, we will also be hiring a highly experienced women's development coach, and an equally capable coach education expert to work with Jon Casson, our Director of Sport Education, to add significant extra experience and knowledge into the excellent work our sport education team are already doing.
"Our aim is to target our strongest leadership and expertise at our biggest opportunities, and alpine athlete and coach development is one of our major priorities and where we know we can see major improvements. Everyone at U.S. Ski & Snowboard is excited about these new developments and we anticipate that the investments we are making now will pay off by making us the best team in the world in 2026 and for years beyond."
Adding his thoughts is U.S. Ski & Snowboard's CEO Tiger Shaw who said, "Sasha has been a key, successful member of our team for many years, and now we are able to leverage his tremendous experience and knowledge which will drive the development of the next generation of alpine ski racing talent.
"Athletes and their success is our primary focus. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is 100% dedicated to the hundreds of athletes we work with, and to their becoming the best in the world. Sasha is going to have an immediate and positive impact on the development of young athletes in our men's alpine team. These are exciting times for alpine racing as we build out our program spanning all levels in the USA."