USSA News: AD Ashley to leave; Knight named head women’s tech coach
PARK CITY, Utah – U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association president and CEO Bill Marolt has announced that USSA vice president of athletics Alan Ashley has decided to leave the company after nearly 15 years. Ashley, who has held the head athletic position since 1997, was credited with the leadership that brought record levels of athletic success the past few years across a diverse program with six uniquely different sport programs and grassroots growth at every level.Alan has made a remarkable difference in our athletic programs, Marolt said. He instilled leadership in each of our six sport programs and brought a focus on both sport science and education that has truly made the difference in our athletes having the ability to achieve their goals.This was one of those very hard decisions in life to move on, but I feel Ive accomplished my dream and its time to move on to new challenges, said Ashley.A native of Jackson, Wyo., Ashley was a collegiate skier at the University of Colorado and later director of skiing from 1984-87. He went on to develop a cross country ski area in Park City and organized a cross country World Cup in 1988. He came to USSA in 1991 as cross country program director, moving to the alpine program in 1993. He later became vice president of events before leaving in 1996. He came back a year later to take over as vice president of athletics.Ashley came into his position in 1997 at a time when USSA was putting a new focus on athletics under its new CEO Bill Marolt. He established a leadership structure for each of USSAs six sports programs with a well-developed and serviced athletic pipeline in each sport. He then began to focus on service and support for athletics, building a sport science program from scratch and revamping an education program to provide more tools to support coaches, clubs and parents across the country. USSAs athletic programs are now considered a model for Olympic sport in America.Under Ashleys athletic leadership, membership in USSAs athletic programs has seen six years of sustained growth. Elite athletic results in the Olympics, World Championships and World Cup are among the highest level in the organizations history.While a search for a replacement will now begin, Marolt does not have a pre-set timetable.Were fortunate that Alan has built a strong management team within athletics, said Marolt, so we can continue to function normally and take the time to find the best person for the position. Our sport and division managers will continue to lead just as they have been in the past. Alan and I have been discussing this for some time and Im very appreciative that he has continued to provide strong leadership through our very critical spring planning meetings.Ashley will continue in his position through June 16.In other news, Chris Knight, a U.S. Ski Team coach since the 2003 season, has been promoted to head coach of the U.S. women’s slalom and giant slalom team, head coach Patrick Riml announced.Knight, who was born and grew up ski racing in New Zealand, replaces Trevor Wagner, who resigned. He graduated with an undergraduate degree from Canterbury College in Christchurch and is working toward a master’s in sports science and sports coaching from Australia’s University of Queensland. Knight joined the U.S. staff with the 2003 season at the Europa Cup level before moving to the women’s WC speed team for a season. He’s spent the last two winters coaching the women’s tech skiers.Previously, Knight coached Australian great Zali Steggall, the 1998 Olympic medalist and ’99 World Championships slalom gold medalist, before becoming personal coach for Great Britain’s Chemmy Alcott.”Chris has coached at a variety of positions during his four years with us and he’s always shown great leadership, great team spirit,” Riml said. “He finds ways to make things happen for the women and I’m sure he’ll be an outstanding head coach.”Knight lives in Park City.
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KEYSTONE — Winter has arrived in Summit County, and with it comes skiers, snowmobilers and more from around the state and beyond hoping to take advantage of the area’s backcountry.