Billings steps down after 8 years as snowboarding director at SSWSC
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Tori Billings may be leaving the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, but the work she did during her 10-year tenure with the program will undoubtedly be around for a long time.
Billings, formerly Tori Koski, spent the past eight years as director of the snowboard program and coached for two years prior. Now, after leaving an unforgettable legacy at the club, she’s stepping down to take a management job at Colorado Sled Rentals. Maddy Schaffrick, who has been with the club for four years, is taking over as interim director.
“I’m definitely going to miss it all,” said Billings. “There were a lot of moving parts to this job and the winter sports club with working with the city to the resort, and it was an amazing experience. It made me who I am today and made me grow and learn and thrive.”
With Billings at the helm, the snowboard and skateboard programs at SSWSC have grown, facilities have improved and the coaches have never been more educated.
“She’s just put in an incredible amount of energy into the club, top to bottom,” SSWSC Athletic Director Dave Stewart. “For me, the biggest legacy is recruiting and training this high quality staff. If you look at the coaches she has, I believe she put together the highest quality coaching staff for snowboarding in the country.”
Billings has hired most of the current snowboarding coaches and fought to get donors and fundraising money to send them to expensive training courses. The knowledge and success of the snowboard staff helped the SSWSC earn Snowboarding Club of the Year by US Ski and Snowboard in 2017.
“That was a big accomplishment,” Billings said. “We were recognized. I say ‘we’ because it’s not just me. It takes everybody to make a great program, obviously with a lot of help from the head coaches.”
Some of the more obvious things Billings leaves behind include the terrain park at Howelsen Hill Ski Area that is home to jumps and features that are friendly for kids of all sizes, ages and abilities. She was also the founder of Slash and Burn, the banked slalom event now held at Steamboat Resort put on by the SSWSC and Powder Tools.
Seven years ago, the SSWSC hosted a United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) banked slalom event. The course took so much time, money and effort to create that Billings came up with the idea of hosting a local’s race on the course when USASA was done with it. With that, Slash and Burn was born. Billings has also been a huge proponent behind keeping the halfpipe at Steamboat Resort by finding funding and donors.
Stewart said Billings had a “whatever it takes approach” when it came to improving the snowboard program.
While Billings has been coaching and directing the club for a decade, her involvement goes back much further. She competed with the SSWSC when she was younger before becoming a U.S. snowboard team member.
Schaffrick’s story is similar. She, too, grew up in Steamboat and competed for the club. Like Billings, Schaffrick competed for the U.S. National team. When she was done competing, she sought out coaching as a way to stay connected to the sport. She joined the SSWSC coaching staff in 2016 and has held the head freestyle snowboard coach position for four years.
Billings felt it was important to pass on the program to someone who knew it well and cared about it as much as she did. She thinks Schaffrick is the perfect fit.
“She has that hands-on experience with the club, with our families, with the athletes, and she’s also learned a lot form Tori over the last few years,” Stewart said. “She’s worked directly with her and is ready to step up into that role and carry that forward.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Editor’s note: The story was updated at 8:33 p.m.