Kevin Jardine retires as alpine head coach for U.S. Disabled Ski Team
PARK CITY, Utah ” Kevin Jardine, a U.S. Disabled Ski Team coach for eight seasons ” including the last three as head coach ” and a leader in several key reforms for disabled skiing, is retiring effective May 1 from international coaching, Program Director Sandy Metzger announced.
Jardine, who was born in Ohio but grew up in Canada ” and holds dual citizenship, was head coach as the U.S. alpine disabled athletes won five Paralympic titles last month in Torino, Italy, after nine gold medals at the 2004 World Championships. On the World Cup, his skiers won two Nations Cup crowns ” emblematic of overall team supremacy ” and captured 18 World Cup discipline championships.
Jardine got into coaching at his home hill ” Holimont in Ellicotville, N.Y., ” and was both a coach and racer at the University of Toronto. He was on the staff at the Winter Park National Sports Center for the Disabled, was New Zealand’s coach at the 1998 Paralympics, and joined the U.S. staff with the 1999 season. He will become director of skiing for Challenge Aspen, an emerging adaptive ski program, which, among other activities, hosts an annual on-snow program for disabled military veterans. He and his wife Ashley, and their two young children, Grace and Bennett, will move to Aspen in June.
Metzger praised his work in helping establish the three-category format (standing, sitting and visually impaired) for both the World Cup and Paralympics, and also cited Jardine for helping to stabilize the disabled program. When he took over in the spring of 2003, he was the third head coach in 15 months; working with a reduced team, the Americans nonetheless reclaimed the Nations Cup title in 2004 and again in ’05.
“If the bad news is Kevin’s leaving after doing such an outstanding job for us, the good news is he’s still going to be involved in disabled skiing. And, if things work out,” Metzger said, “he very well could become a vital part of our pipeline in helping recruit new skiers for the national team. Ashley’s just had their first son, Bennett, and she’s been wonderful about sharing Kevin with us, and we wish Kevin all the best of good things.”
“I’ve been to every World Cup race that’s been held in disabled, so this will be a different season,” Jardine said, “but it’s definitely time for me to spend time with my family. It’s tough, of course, because the Ski Team has been my other family or so long…and it’s nice I still will be involved in the sport and can provide some development, help get new people into the sport.”
Metzger said she would be interviewing new candidates for the head coach’s position and openings on the coaching staff.
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