SSWSC Alpine program improves with hiring of competitive director
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine program received a huge honor when U16 Alpine coach Ben Brown was awarded the Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year by U.S. Ski and Snowboard.
The achievement proves that the SSWSC has some of the best athletes and coaches in the Alpine disciplines, and the club is hoping to take the program to the next level with the hiring of an Alpine competitive director. Tyler Shepherd has been selected to fill the new role, giving Brown and U14 head coach Michael Britton additional support.
“I think Tyler is going to be a great addition,” Britton said. “His experience … really gives us a lot of knowledge at the top level that I think gives us an edge against some of the other programs. I think he’s going to bring good, well-rounded leadership to our program.”
Shepherd will join the SSWSC staff July 1, coming from the University of Denver where he was the associate head Alpine coach and worked with more than 30 NCAA All-Americans, won three NCAA titles and earned Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Coach of the Year in 2018.
Earlier in his coaching career, Shepherd was head skicross coach for the U.S. Ski Team, leading his athletes at the 2010 Olympics. He also served as the head ski coach at the University of New Mexico prior to going to Denver. Shepherd raced for the U.S. Ski Team for three years and was an All-American athlete at the University of Colorado.
At the SSWSC, Shepherd will be the director of the Alpine program and coach alongside Head FIS coach Mike Bansmer to work with the high level athletes 17 and older.
“Where he’s really strongest is with the FIS athletes, which he’s been working with for a number of years at the collegiate level,” said SSWSC Athletic Director Dave Stewart. “That’s where he brings a lot of experience. He’ll definitely have some good contact with athletes that age.”
Meanwhile, Brown will step into the role as technical director for the Alpine program. The position will allow him to continue coaching at the U16 level, while implementing consistent training throughout all age levels. Britton will take on the role as associate Alpine director, overseeing the U12 program in addition to the U14 program and working to create consistent communication throughout the Alpine department.
“My focus will really be overseeing all of our younger development, which I’m really excited to tackle head on,” Britton said. “(In) the associate role, I’m really there to support Tyler with any needs (he has). I’m really excited to get more involved with the leadership of the program.”
Stewart hopes the program’s steps forward are not only noticeable in the results of the athletes but also measured in their academic and personal achievements.
The improvements align with U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s Project 26, which aims to work with young athletes to improve U.S. results at the 2026 Olympics.
“There’s such a strong legacy of Alpine skiing and competitive success in Steamboat that goes back to the ’60s with Buddy Werner,” Stewart said. “It’s sort of difficult to say at one time that we’re better than we’ve ever been. We’re pushing to be better every year, to keep raising that bar.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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