PARK CITY, UT – After two successful seasons that included four Olympic medals and multiple Audi FIS World Cup titles, veteran U.S. Ski Team coach Jim Tracy will step down as the team’s women’s alpine head coach.
The former women’s head speed coach from 1996-2004, Tracy returned to lead the U.S. women’s alpine program following the 2008 season. Tracy’s career with the U.S. Team spans over two decades, including working with the men’s downhill team for 10 years.
“Jim was brought back two years ago to lead the team to a great performance at the Olympics in Vancouver. He leaves knowing that he accomplished that mission,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Vice President, Athletics Luke Bodensteiner said. “He has been an amazing coach for the women’s team, leading them through some of the greatest landmarks in U.S. skiing history.”
“I’m stepping aside having been a part of something very special with the women’s team over the last two years,” said Tracy, who came back to the Team two years ago when then head coach Patrick Riml left to take a position in Canada. “I have had many great friendships and great times and I wish all the best for the athletes as they move forward.”
During his recent tenure, Tracy led alpine heroes Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA), who marked the 2010 Olympic Games with success for the U.S. alpine program. Mancuso pulled in two silver medals. Vonn, who also took the 2010 super G, super combined, downhill and overall Audi FIS World Cup titles, took the Olympic downhill gold, and bronze in super G.
“We all strive to be the best and especially through the recent few years the economy has provided many challenges,” said Tracy. “Through it all we have shown that we are resilient, driven and can achieve our athletic goals.”
Tracy, who grew up in Mammoth ski racing, started skiing around the age of 10. He made the move from California to Vail where he spent 24 years of his life. While in Vail, he also raced masters and won the national downhill title for the 25-35 age group. He coached for Ski Club Vail from 1976 to 1986 before joining the coaching staff at the U.S. Ski Team where he worked with the men’s and women’s speed programs and the development and Europa Cup teams. Tracy has also coached through six Olympics and nine World Championships in his career.
Tracy remained optimistic for the future, with a large contingent of young athletes who have started making their way towards the top.
Behind him Tracy leaves a fruitful group of women’s alpiners who are led by Vonn and Mancuso, as well as Sarah Schleper (Vail, CO), and will soon be joined by up and comers Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO), Megan McJames (Park City, UT), Leanne Smith (Conway, NH), Chelsea Marshall (Pittsfield, VT) and many more.
“The opening of the Center of Excellence provided an inspirational boost for the athletes and staff with it,” he added. “I will carry many good memories with me as I move forward.”