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Coaches find new roles with NCAA teams


Kevin Francis

Kevin Francis

Former U.S. Ski Team member, 2008 national super G champion, and Dartmouth College graduate Kevin Francis has been named head alpine coach at Montana State University. Francis previously served as head coach for the Mammoth Mountain ski team after retiring from racing in 2009 and completing his degree in geology. Eric Cates, also a Dartmouth graduate, will move from his prior position as a FIS coach at Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to serve as the assistant alpine coach under Francis.

Francis filled the position at Montana after it was vacated by Luke Patterson who was recently named assistant alpine coach at the University of Utah.

Patterson joins the staff at Utah after coaching two seasons at Montana State, where he spent last season as head alpine coach.

“I could not be more pleased with Luke joining our staff,” Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. “This makes us exceptionally deep on the alpine staff which should have an immediate impact on the quality and variety of training opportunities available to the team. Luke is incredibly professional with a dynamite attitude. He is very respected in the ski coaching world and extremely well versed in the NCAA environment. Adding this full-time position to our staff and filling it with such a wonderful person is a great step up for the entire Ute program! We are very excited to welcome Luke and his wife Chelsea to the team.”

Prior to Montana State, Patterson spent five years with Sugar Bowl Academy. He spent two seasons as the head J3 and J2 coach and the head strength and conditioning coach, working with skiers between the ages of 13-19. Patterson was the 2008 USSA Far West Skiing Rookie Coach of the Year. He has also coached at the Treble Cone Race Academy and with the Banff Alpine Racers. Patterson was a two-time All-America skier at Nevada. He finished fourth in the men’s slalom at the NCAA Championships in 2006 and was seventh in the men’s giant slalom in 2005. Patterson skied for Alberta Alpine and was the recipient of the Cary Mullen Character Award in 2003.

Patterson, who is from Banff, Canada, earned a degree in health ecology from Nevada in 2008. He is now working towards a master’s in exercise physiology.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Former Middlebury skier and two-time U.S. Olympian Andrew Johnson has been named the new head coach of the nordic ski program at Middlebury College. Johnson comes to Middlebury from the University of Vermont, where he served as an assistant coach for the past three years, helping the Catamounts to the 2012 NCAA title.

“I couldn’t be happier to be joining the Middlebury athletic department and ski team,” said Johnson. “The strong culture and history of skiing at Middlebury makes it a unique place to be, both for students and as a coach.”

A native of Greensboro, Vt., Johnson was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1999-2007. He competed in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. He also competed in the Nordic World Ski Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Johnson was the U.S. National Champion in cross-country skiing in 2005 and 2006.

Vermont native and a former high school nordic skiing state champion Chris Mallory has replaced Andrew Johnson as assistant nordic coach with the University of Vermont.

Mallory spent the last eight years working in Sun Valley, Idaho with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. He started out as a development team coach in 2006-07 and moved up to a head post-graduate coach in 2010.

“I am excited and feel very fortunate that Chris will be joining us,” said Head Coach Patrick Weaver. “He comes to UVM from one of the top clubs in the country, and I look forward to implementing his experience with our program.  Chris grew up in this area and it feels good to bring a Vermonter back home.”

Jake Fisher

Jake Fisher

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Mallory earned a spot on the Wildcats’ NCAA squad all four years and was a two-time captain.  He earned All-EISA honors twice and was a two-time Academic All-American during his collegiate career.

Jake Fisher, who most recently worked as a men’s FIS coach at Burke Mountain Academy, was named the new head coach of the Colby-Sawyer College alpine ski racing program after the previous head coach, Sam Damon, accepted a position as FIS program director at the same school Fisher has departed. Fisher takes over a program that continues its transition to the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA).

“I couldn’t be more excited to be back in New Hampshire and to make the move to the EISA circuit,” said Fisher. “I think this is a very exciting time to be a part of the Colby-Sawyer Ski Team. There is a very talented group of student-athletes at the school right now and I can’t wait to get started working with them.”

Fisher received an English degree from the University of New Hampshire in 2003. Prior to his five-year stint at Burke, he was an assistant FIS coach at Mount Mansfield Ski Club.

Photo credits: USSA/Gary Dickey & Jonathan Selkowitz

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