Park City, UT – After coaching the sprint team for four years, Chris Grover will take over as the head coach of U.S. Cross Country Ski Team as the team begins its run to the Olympics in Sochi in 2014.nGrover has been at the helm guiding the talents of World Cup podium performer Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, Vt.) and World Championship silver medalist Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska).
“Chris has earned the respect of the U.S. skiing community, and the international coaches for his work with our sprinters and I know his years of experience on World Cup will help him to take this program to the next level as we make plans for Sochi and beyond,” said U.S. Nordic Program Director John Farra.
“I am excited to be putting plans together that can lead to real success in 2011 World Championships in Oslo. We have athletes that have already proven that they can be successful at that venue. Kikkan Randall’s sprint podium on the Oslo course this spring demonstrates this point acutely,” Grover said.
Grover started his coaching career in 1993 as an assistant coach at the Stratton Mountain School in Vermont. In 1995 he moved on to the Sun Valley Ski Team in Idaho as a prep coach before taking the head cross country coach position at Mt. Bachelor Ski Ed. Foundation in Oregon in 1997.
He joined the U.S. Ski Team as an assistant coach in 1999 and began heading up the development program from 2002 – 2004. Grover took a leave from the team from 2004 – 2006 as the head coach for the Sun Valley Olympic Development Team before returning to the Team for good as sprint coach in 2006.
Grover takes over the head coaching position from Pete Vordenberg, who will stay on with the team, shifting his focus onto a new development strategy, including increasing the U.S. presence on the Europa Cup Circuit.
“We are thrilled that Pete will be staying with us to tackle the development program, which is a true passion of his. Who better than Pete to inspire and guide our talented young skiers toward their goals of being best in the world,” said Farra.
According to Grover, with the work of the whole Team and coaches he hopes to begin preparation to ensure the team’s success in Sochi.
“We are already working on plans for the 2014 Games in Sochi. I have already begun meetings with our sport science department concerning preparations specifically for Sochi, and I am very excited about the chance to win a medal there,” Grover said. “We will continue to help deliver the best possible service to our talented pool of athletes while simultaneously enlisting the help of this country’s blossoming clubs to build out this development pipeline.”
The upcoming 2011 season will feature the FIS World Nordic Ski Championships at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway.