U.S. Ski Team's Hunt Named Alpine Director

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Park City, Utah March 26, 2002 (AP)--Jesse Hunt, whose U.S. men's slalom team ranked third in the world this year, has been named Alpine director for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Hunt will oversee the entire U.S. Alpine program, including all elite-level teams.

The men's slalom and giant slalom team was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal Alpine skiing season for the United States. Hunt's prize pupil, Bode Miller, was the only U.S. skier to win an Alpine medal at the Salt Lake City Olympics. Miller won the silver in the giant slalom and combined event.

Miller was headed toward a gold in the slalom but fell on a tough course that Hunt set up in order to favor the U.S. skier's skills.

``Raising the bar of expectation and having elite team success sets the example for the entire program,'' Hunt said. ``Elite team success will continue to be one of our biggest goals. But domestic programs have to feed those elite team programs.''

Hunt began his coaching career in 1990 with the Park City Ski Team, then was a Europa Cup coach before being named U.S. men's slalom and giant slalom coach after the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

``One of the keys to Jesse's success with the men's technical program has been developing a strong team environment by paying careful attention to the individual needs of each athlete on that team,'' said Alan Ashley, the association's vice president of athletics. ``That ability is crucial to building a strong program for us in the United States.''

No replacement for Hunt as men's technical coach has been named.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press