Team Summit Executive Director Jerry Karl to retire at end of 2016-17 season |

Team Summit Executive Director Jerry Karl to retire at end of 2016-17 season

It’s been a good run, and now Jerry Karl is stepping down from the top post at Team Summit Colorado.

On Friday morning, the Copper Mountain-based ski club announced that Karl, the club’s executive director for the past five winters, is retiring at the end of the 2016-17 competition season. During the coming season, Karl will remain in the position and continue to focus on the club’s “strategic initiatives and the overall vitality of the organization,” according to a news release from the club.

The board of directors plans to begin searching for candidates this November in hopes of hiring Karl’s replacement early next summer.

“This is a positive change for the team to move into the next era,” Karl said during an interview with the Summit Daily. “In the past few years we’ve got the team moving in the right direction and I’m excited about where we’re headed.”

Although he’s leaving the top position, Karl wants to remain involved with coaching and mentoring after the end of the upcoming ski season. He also wants to get more involved with life outside the office: his stepson recently moved to attend college at Montana State University, and so he’s looking forward to more time with his family and club athletes — the part of the job he’s loved since becoming a Copper ski instructor in 2002.

“I’d like to get back on the hill to get that day-to-day interaction with the athletes and families,” said Karl, who joined the club in 2004 and became the development program head coach in 2006. “I just haven’t had that the past few years when I ended up being office-bound.”

On solid ground

Karl leaves a legacy of dedication to athletes, coaches and the community. During his tenure as executive director, the team expanded to more than 500 athletes, including nationally recognized competitors in all major disciplines. He also forged strategic partnerships with The Summit Foundation, Summit County school district, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and other community partners. He looks forward to seeing these partnerships evolve, he said, along with activities like the Bubble Gum Race Series at Frisco Adventure Park and the Summit Cup races to benefit The Summit Foundation.

Karl is also confident he’s leaving his legacy in good hands — even if the club hasn’t yet announced a new executive director.

“I think we currently have a phenomenal staff to support the team,” Karl said. “I’m proud of the people who (we) have working for us and how hard they work, how dedicated they are to this team.”

In five years, Karl has also focused on building a safety net for year-round coaches and staff. All coaches now have access to comprehensive health insurance, he said, while program directors have freedom to focus on their programs without second jobs.

“I have really solid directors now who can work year-round,” Karl said. “They used to pound nails or paint houses or anything else in the summer, but now they can work all year. Our snowboard program is one of the best in the country as far as taking care of athletes, and we’re seeing that they’re finding success.”

Bruce McLennan, president for the Team Summit board of directors, plans to work closely with Karl for a smooth transition between executive directors.

“We are grateful for Jerry’s passion and for what that embodies for the team and our families,” McLennan said in the release. “We look forward to the opportunity to build on his legacy and the spirit it characterizes in pursuit of our goals.”

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