Coaching staff changes heading into 2018/19

17 April 2018 11:14
Hans Flatscher at Zermatt
Hans Flatscher at Zermatt -
Agence Zoom

The Olympic cycle often marks the end of coaches' contracts, which results in a series of changes to the staffs of many teams. The so-called “ski mercato” has begun, and here are some of the major changes announced so far:

Hans Flatscher leaves his position as the head coach of the Swiss ladies’ team. The announcement was made during the World Cup Finals in Åre, with the 49 year-old Austrian expressing his wish to spend more time with his family, including his wife – former World Cup skier Sonja Nef. Since 2012, when Flatscher took over his position, the Swiss team has been very successful, with Lara Gut’s Overall World Cup win, Wendy Holdener’s World Champion title and Michelle Gisin’s Olympic gold medal, among others. The Swiss ladies also moved up in the Nations’ Cup ranking and finished 2018 only few points shy of the leader Austria. Flatscher will remain within the Swiss federation and will work as the head of the alpine development department.

The Swiss federation announced Hans Flatscher’s successor as Beat Tschuor, who previously held the position as head of the development department. He also worked as a coach and team leader in the past for Liechtenstein and other European Cup and World Cup teams. The 49-year-old from the Grisons is looking forward to the challenge of taking over such a successful team.

At U.S. Ski and Snowboard, men’s head coach Sasha Rearick and Alpine Director Patrick Riml resigned from their positions. After 10 years on the World Cup tour, Rearick decided to make a move in order to lead the men's development team. “I am very excited about bringing my 16 years of World Cup and Europa Cup experience, my knowledge and my enthusiasm to this new role,” he said. At the same time, Patrick Riml, who served two terms (six years) as the alpine director of the U.S. Ski Team, decided to leave and has not yet announced another role. “I am proud of the contribution I have made to the U.S. Ski Team, but I also recognized the need for continued evolution of the sport in America to ensure that same success for the future,” said Riml.

Jesse Hunt returns to the U.S. organization as alpine director, a role he last held with U.S. Ski & Snowboard in 2009 after 16 previous years with the organization. Hunt returns after nine years with Park City Ski & Snowboard where he was program director and general manager. During Hunt’s previous tenure with the national team, the U.S. Ski Team enjoyed arguably its most successful run of results in alpine racing in its history, including four FIS Overall World Cup titles, 12 Olympic medals, and 18 World Championship medals. “We have an exciting challenge ahead of us to give our alpine ski racers the chance to be Best In The World, but that is precisely the challenge that motivates me the most, helping athletes achieve everything that they are capable of," said Hunt. "We have a strong mix of highly experienced athletes and those coming up through the ranks in both the men’s and women’s teams, in speed and tech, and the chance to help all of them achieve greatness is one I could not turn down."

Another change is likely to happen in Italy. Max Carca, currently head coach of the Italian men’s team, announced that he would like to quit this position and would like to take over a team. No official announcements have been made so far, but Race Ski Magazine has mentioned Christian Thoma, the current coach of the Swedish ladies’ tech team, as a potential successor in Carca’s position of technical director.

Originally published on 6 April 2018, this article will be updated weekly with new announcements.