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Team Summit lands former SCV, U.S. Team coach

Shauna Farnell

SUMMIT COUNTY – Team Summit’s ability skiers are in for a change of leadership this winter.

Team Summit recently hired former Ski Club Vail (SCV) head coach and director Chip Woods as its head ability coach, and he will start with the team in September.

Woods, who coached for SCV from 1993 to 2002 and served as director for his last four years there, also coached the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team from 1980 to 1988 and worked part-time as a coach with the Aspen Ski Club last year.

“I do think it will help,” Woods said of his extensive coaching history. “I feel as though there’s not many people who have been doing this for 35 years. If they have (coached) that long, they’re either out of it now or they’re dead. I’ve taught school and I’ve coached skiing, and that’s about it.

Coming in and working with kids from the very highest level will work well. I’ve had a lot of success in moving kids to the U.S. Ski Team as much as anyone in the country. And (Team Summit) has some kids moving in that direction. I think I can help them make that next step.”

There are 22 skiers in Team Summit’s ability group ranging in age from 15 to 18. The team filled five of the available six positions in the elite Whistler Cup in Canada last year, and, according to Woods, is clearly on a progressive roll.

“It’s only in the last couple of years that they’ve been very strong,” he said. “They’re probably moving faster and improving faster than any of the programs in the state, so I was very interested when Rob (Worrell) asked me about the job. It’s an impressive group.”

Team Summit’s ability skiers will travel to Mt. Hood in Oregon for a summer camp this weekend. Woods will most likely join them in September, when they continue on-snow training in Switzerland.

Woods isn’t so much replacing anyone since Worrell, who is the alpine director of Team Summit, mainly wore the hat of head ability coach last season. Now that Woods is taking over coaching, Worrell can focus on his role as director.

“I think he’ll be very strong in the recruitment and (retention) of athletes,” Worrell said. “He’ll be very good with his knowledge and connections within the ski industry to advance our kids. He has a lot of experience in that extra percentage a kid needs to make the next step. It’s good confidence for our kids knowing their coach has a track record of producing national team athletes. With his presence here, we’ll attract kids that are older. We’ll attract some 19-to 20-year-olds – people on the bubble to making the national team.”


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