PARK CITY, Utah — The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has named former Squaw Valley Ski Team coach John Cashman to its alpine staff as the U16 National Training Group (NTG) head coach. Former U16 NTG Head Coach Thomas Erhard will now fulfill the role of FIS women’s NTG head coach.

“My goal in this position is to lead these young athletes by creating as many opportunities as I can to help them better themselves both on and off the hill,” said Cashman. “I am motivated by helping them to attain their goals and prepare them for future success with the U.S. Ski Team.”

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Thomas Erhard (photo: USSA)

The National Training Group supports the development of top regional junior athletes by bringing them together from across the country to train and compete at the highest level alongside their peers. Full time NTG athletes are based out of the Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, and have full use of the athletic and rehabilitative facilities available to national team athletes.

This innovative program enables the NTG age groups to work collaboratively with each other, as well as alongside USSA clubs, academies and regional and national teams as deemed athletically appropriate. Some athletes nominated to the NTGs opt to stay in their home programs, joining the full-time NTG athletes on training projects both domestically and internationally.

“Thomas has led our U16 NTG since its inception and has done a great job building the program and paving the way for John. He will continue to work with top young athletes in his new role as FIS women’s NTG head coach,” said USSA Alpine Development Director Chip Knight. “Both Thomas and John will focus on creating opportunities for our best athletes across the country to train together at a very high level.”

As a former ski racer and successful head coach and program director, Cashman will bring extensive experience to the role. Most recently, he was the head coach of athlete development for U16, U14, U12 and U10 athletes with the Squaw Valley Ski Team. In his new role with USSA, Cashman’s focus will be to create development opportunities for top junior athletes across the country, and refine their basic alpine skills as they move up the U.S. Ski Team pipeline.

“Most of my 24-year coaching career has been devoted to athlete development at the U16 and under age groups. I look forward to working with these elite level athletes in helping them continue with their development and refinement of basic alpine skills as they move up the U.S. Ski Team pipeline,” said Cashman.

“Coming from the Squaw Valley Ski Team, John has established himself as one of the top coaches in the country. Many of our elite level athletes have come out of the Squaw program, so I’m looking forward to seeing how John’s knowledge of athlete development will help prepare our best young athletes for success on the international stage,” noted Knight.

Former women’s NTG Head Coach Frank Kelble will take over the U.S. Ski Team women’s B, C and D teams. He plans on integrating the NTG athletes with this group of national team athletes when possible. On the men’s side, both Konrad Rickenbach and Chad Wolk will return to coach the FIS NTG team.

Release courtesy of USSA