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Winter Sports Club reloads its staff

— Rick DeVos, the executive director of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, gets a little excited when he is asked about the new coaches who are coming to the program this winter.

While the club has always been blessed with a top coaching staff, DeVos knows this newest group is in a class by itself.

Former Olympians like freestyle skier Nelson Carmichael and alpine sensation Chris Puckett will be on the slopes this winter teaching aspiring skiers what it takes to make the national cut.

Other top teachers who will be joining the team will include national- and collegiate-level skier Scott Wither and Canadian Sue Schwartz.

Jeff Good and Park Smalley will also climb on board as guest coaches for the freestyle program.

Carmichael won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville and was a member of the U.S. Freestyle Team from 1983 to 1992. During that time, Carmichael won 12 individual World Cup event titles and was the two-time World Cup Grand Prix Mogul Champion.

Carmichael agreed to join the club as the interim head moguls’ coach and will replace Bobby Aldighieri. Aldighieri left the team to act as a coach for the Canadian Team at this year’s Olympics.

Carmichael will miss periods of the season, however, to fill obligations with his own clothing company, Ten80.

During those times, freestyle legend Park Smalley and former American coach Jeff Good have agreed to step in as guest coaches.

“Nelson is very excited about coaching here this winter and if things worked out and he wanted to come here on a more permanent basis we would be happy to have him,” DeVos said.

Most of the other new coaches at the program will come on the alpine side.

Puckett, who spent 13 years as a member of the U.S. Team, will help out with the ability skiers this winter along with Schwartz.

“I’m excited to be a member of this community and I can’t wait to help get our kids skiing even faster,” Puckett said.

Puckett moved to Steamboat Springs last summer along with his wife, Wendy, and their 1-year-old son, Cole.

Schwartz arrived in Steamboat in late August from Alberta, Canada. She is a former coach for the University of Colorado Ski Team in Boulder. She has coached for 12 years and was a representative of the Team Canada coaching staff at the World University games in Poland last year.

Wither, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, University of Colorado Ski Team (he was the 1995 NCAA slalom champ) and Winter Sports Club, will return to the club as the head age class coach.

Wither said he is excited to be back in his hometown and is looking forward to working with a talented group of young skiers.

Wither will have his work cut out for him as he tries to replace Steamboat skiing legend Lonny Vanatta, who stepped down after last season.

DeVos said another change this year is the promotion of Todd Reeve to program director of the award-winning snowboard program at the Winter Sports Club.

Reeve will be in charge of the program and will handle the day-to-day administration that goes along with coaching.

Former Program Director Mike Mallon will stay with the club as the head alpine coach and Spencer Tamblyn will continue as the head freestyle coach.

DeVos said the program director position was offered to Mallon, but the longtime coach wanted to stay out on the snow coaching the athletes rather than be tied down to a desk handling the administration.


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