PARK CITY, UT (News Release, April 7) - After five seasons on the U.S. SKi Team staff, Martin Andersen has resigned as men's slalom and giant slalom head coach. With his first baby due in June, Andersen wanted to pursue opportunities closer to his home in Norway, men's Head Coach Phil McNichol said Monday.
"I think it's time," Andersen said. "There's been a lot of back and forth (across the Atlantic) and I'm going to try something else closer to home." After graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Oslo, he turned to coaching and was head coach of the Finnish Alpine Team before joining the U.S. Ski Team staff with the 1999 season; he started as an assistant to SL/GS Head Coach Jesse Hunt before taking over as technical head coach a year ago.
"I'm not sure what I'll be doing but I have a philosophy of life that says, 'I don't want to grow old regretting what I wanted to do but didn't do.' I've coached for 20 years and I figure, 'Let's take a chance.' The men's team is at the top level and I'll stay in touch, maybe helping on some different projects, but I'm also going to look at some interesting opportunities that could involve my business background as well as my World Cup contacts and experience. I'll stay in touch with Jesse and the Ski Team and we'll see what happens."
In 1998, the last season before Andersen joined the U.S. staff, there were only two Americans who scored World Cup points in slalom and GS: Matt Grosjean was the lone slalom scorer, finishing 32nd in the points, while Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) was 36th in giant slalom; U.S. men had not posted a top-5 result since 1988.
This past season, there were eight top-fives by U.S. men. Miller won two more giant slaloms plus the GS gold medal at the World Championships with Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT) collecting the GS bronze at Worlds. Overall, five U.S. men scored points in GS, four in slalom.
McNichol said he expected to name a new tech head coach shortly.
"We'll miss Martin," McNichol said, "but we certainly respect his desire to move his career closer to home. He's been an important component in the development of our technical team and very helpful in delivering our philosophy and content to a very strong group of American skiers.
"His professionalism and understanding of the international circuit will be missed. I know I speak for the whole crew in wishing him the best of luck."