PARK CITY, UT (April 8, 2003-News Release) - The U.S. Ski Team has promoted Mike Morin to men's SL/GS head coach and named former U.S. coach Thomas Erhard, who has been away from the team for three seasons, to replace him as head men's Europa Cup coach.
In an announcement Tuesday, men's Head Coach Phil McNichol said Morin would replace Martin Andersen, who resigned to pursue opportunities closer to his home in Norway.
"I'm really excited about this opportunity," said Morin, who grew up skiing in Gilford, NH, and turned to coaching at Gunstock Ski Club while he was a student at the University of New Hampshire, where he also ran track.
He joined the U.S. coaching staff with the 1994 season, working with then-Head Coach Thor Kallerud and also coached with Jesse Hunt, now the U.S. alpine director, for a year before leaving. He coached Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT) on the pro tour, was women's head coach at Vermont's Stratton Mountain School and returned to coach the U.S. men's development group, including Tom Rothrock (Cashmere, WA) after the 1999 season. Last season, he was named to head the men's Europa Cup tech squad.
"I'm looking forward to working not only with Erik and Tom again," Morin said, "but with our Europa Cup group as it progresses to the World Cup level to provide even more depth. They're not far away and as great as it's been to have a couple of guys in the top 10 or top 15, and especially to have Erik and Bode (Miller - Franconia, NH) on the podium (in GS at World Championships), it'll be even greater when we have three, four, five guys in the top 15 at a World Cup because these guys can do it."
McNichol pointed to Morin in maintaining continuity with men's coaching philosophy and said, "Mike's hard work and success within our program speaks for itself. He has experience in our program from the junior development level through the Europa Cup and World Cup circuits. It's fantastic to see a U.S. coach work hard for many years, successfully developing athletes, reach this level. We not only have some of the best athletes in world we have the coaches, who have the ability to help them reach the top. I know Mike has the support of the athletes, staff and the entire organization."
Erhard coached with the U.S. men's program for five seasons and was men's Europa Cup SL/GS head coach for two seasons when he left following the 2000 season. He grew up in Stowe, VT, graduated from Burke Mountain Academy and a year after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1988, he returned to BMA, eventually becoming co-head coach. He joined the U.S. staff with the 1996 season, coaching the women's SL/GS skiers for a season before moving to the men's staff. When injury sidelined one of the World Cup coaches last season, Erhard worked with the tech team in its preparation for the World Championships in Switzerland.
"I've always thought I wanted to go back to the Ski Team and this is a great opportunity. I really missed it after I left and working again with the team before Worlds was terrific -- it was so good to be coaching again," Erhard said.
Erhard replaces Morin as the head Europa Cup coach, returning after three years outside skiing but in the technological arena close to the sports world.
"I'm extremely excited he's returning," said McNichol, "He has extensive coaching experience - at both the World Cup and Europa Cup levels - and a strong business management background, which will serve this critical level of the men's program very well.
"When I decided to accept the position as head men's coach (a year ago) I made it a goal not only to help develop outstanding athletes but to put together a world-class program that is highlighted with some of our best American Coaches," McNichol added. "I believe Mike and Thomas will play a major role in our future success."
Morin and his wife Meredith, who expect their first child in September, live in Park City while Erhard, an Aspen native who also skied in Stowe,, is living in Arlington, VA.