Ski jumping coach hoping to carry on family tradition in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s newest Nordic coach understands a thing or two about tradition.
His father’s family grew up in the shadows of the Chester Bowl Ski Hill just outside of Duluth, Minnesota, and passed their love of ski jumping and other winter sports on to their own children including Karl Denney.
Denney, who was a nationally ranked junior Nordic combined athlete at the Mount Itasca Ski Club in Coleraine, Minnesota, before turning his attention to college where he got a degree in exercise science with a minor in psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Denney was hired last week as the newest Nordic coach by the Winter Sports Club and will step into the position coaching 16-year-olds formerly held by Alex Miller this August.
Nordic Director Todd Wilson has been coaching the group since Miller left for graduate school last April. He is hoping that Denney will be able to come in and lead this group of athletes to their goals whether that’s a spot on the U.S. team or ski jumping at a more recreational level.
“This is the moment I was waiting for,” Denney said about getting the job in Steamboat. “This is my first full-time position coaching. It’s a chance to give back to the sport that gave so much to me.”
Wilson said Denney will be starting this August, and he is hoping that will give the new coach a chance to get his feet under him before the start of he winter season. Wilson said the new coach will have a chance to come in and get a feel for how the club works and meet the athletes he will be working with.
“We are really excited to have Karl on our staff,” Wilson said. “He is super passionate about the sport, and I think he will be a great fit for the club and Steamboat.”
Denney spent last winter working part time with the club in Park City, Utah. His father and two uncles were members of the U.S. Ski Jumping teams in the late 1970s and 1980s. Jeff Denney just missed a chance to compete in Olympics while his brother Jim competed at the 1976 and 1980 games and Jon, Karl’s dad, competed at the 1984 games in Sarajevo. Either way, Karl has stepped in to pick up a family tradition that stretches decades.
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