Gervais coaching era comes to an end |

Gervais coaching era comes to an end

SUMMIT COUNTY – Something occurred to Marty and Mary Gervais as they stood on the sidelines watching their Nordic teams race this winter: Racing is something they want to be doing themselves, and they’re not getting any younger.

Both Marty, last season’s Summit High School Nordic head coach, and Mary, longtime Summit Middle School Nordic coach, retired from coaching last month after completing some of the best seasons their teams had ever had.

The SMS team wrapped up the season far and away the top middle school team in the state, and the SHS boys team won the high school state championship while the girls took second. Mary had coached for 16 years. Marty was with the middle school team for ten years before assisting with the high school team for four and spending one season as high school head coach.

“We’ve been doing it a long time,” said Marty, who was ranked 2003’s top ski coach by The Denver Post. “Our (own) kids are out of the program, and we thought we’d be a little selfish and spend some more time skiing ourselves. We’d like to do a few races, do a couple marathons and sleep in on Saturday morning. It was a hard decision to make. You don’t want to go out with hard feelings, and we thought it would be a good time to go, after a real positive year with both programs.”

Mary said there were tears on her end of the decision, but concurred with her husband on reasons for resigning.

“I knew I wouldn’t keep coaching forever,” she said. “Our oldest son is graduating from college, our other son is a sophomore … it was time, before we got any older, to devote ourselves to our own skiing. Or, just doing a hut trip, a long race, marathons in the West … do some things in the winter we haven’t been able to.”

Both Marty and Mary will continue to work at SMS, Marty teaching eighth-grade math and Mary teaching

seventh-grade science. Fellow SMS Nordic coach Tom Sain is expected to continue with the middle school program, and SHS assistant coach Gene Dayton with the high school.

“Gene Dayton still wants to be involved,” said SHS athletic director Gretchen Nies. “He’s considering whether he has the availability to be a head coach.”

Nies said finding a replacement will be a difficult task. Between Gervais, Gary Giberson and Jon Kreamelmeyer, the Nordic team has been the school’s most stable program over the past 20 years.

“With the caliber the Nordic team performs at, we need someone who is exceptionally qualified to carry on what Marty, Gary and J.K. (Kreamelmeyer) have established,” she said.

Marty and Mary both said they would be willing to help with the programs until replacements are found.

“There will be race days and days after school we’ll miss being with the kids,” Mary said. “I know they’ll continue to be the best kids in the county.”

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