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April 19, 2006
PARK CITY, UT – (USST News Release) – Jim Tracy, former women’s downhill head coach and a U.S. Ski Team coach at various levels from development to the World Cup and Olympics for nearly two decades, is retiring as Europa Cup downhill coach for the U.S. women.
U.S. Alpine Director Jesse Hunt said Tracy, 52, announced his retirement as the 2006 season ended. He coached at Colorado’s Ski Club Vail for nine years before joining the Ski Team staff after the 1986 season; Tracy was an assistant training group and World Cup coach with the men’s speed skiers until taking over the U.S. women’s downhill and super G program with the 1997 season.
A native of California, he grew up racing in the Mammoth Mountain program and is the 1978 U.S. masters downhill champion. He was U.S. women’s DH/SG head coach until the 2004 season when he was named women’s development head coach for a year before taking over the Europa Cup position for the last two years.
Overall, he coached at five Winter Olympic Games and eight World Championships. The glittering lineup of athletes he’s coached include Olympic champions Picabo Street and Tommy Moe, World Championships gold medalists Daron Rahlves and Hilary Lindh, plus Worlds medalists AJ Kitt, Kirsten Clark, Julia Mancuso and Jonna Mendes, and, among others, Lindsey Kildow.
“I’m gonna miss the kids, no question,” Tracy said, “but after 20 years – and nearly 30 years overall, I think it’s time to take a break…and spend some time with Sue, my fiancee, and get our house built. Taking a break after all this time is a good thing. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some truly great coaches and some great, great athletes…and – who knows? – I won’t be far from coaching and may be back at some level. Coaching’s my first love.”
“Jim Tracy has been a committed member of the US Ski Team staff for 20 years, and during that time he has worked with some of the best athletes our program has developed,” Hunt said. “Jim held coaching positions throughout the alpine program from development to Olympic level on both the men’s and women’s Teams.
“Jim’s greatest contribution has been the tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge he has brought. He has, over the years, provided strong leadership, as well as a great mentoring of the younger staff. Jim’s broad network of contacts is evidence of his years of experience and positive reputation in the ski racing community. We certainly wish him all the best.”
Tracy, who graduated from Pierce College with a degree in geology and forest management, lives in Hood River, Ore.