New coaches join nordic teams
Athletes to compete at Utah Olympic Park July 27-30
U.S. Ski & Snowboard partner organizations USA Nordic Sports and Women’s Ski Jumping USA have both announced new head coaches for the 2017-18 season. Martin Bayer will serve as the new head nordic combined coach and Igor Cuznar will be the World Cup coach for the women.
Cuznar has been involved with ski jumping since 1985. He competed as an athlete before becoming a coach in Slovenia in 2000. Cuznar joined the women’s team in 2015, assisting then head coach Bine Norcic at both the Continental and World Cup levels. In his new role, Cuznar will focus on creating athletic success on the World Cup and supporting the top athletes in women’s ski jumping, including Sarah Hendrickson, Nita Englund and others, from his home in Slovenia.
“As our sport continues to grow, we’ve evolved our staff to help manage and foster that growth across all our programs,” said Alan Alborn, program director for Women’s Ski Jumping USA. “Igor’s home base of Slovenia will provide a consistent environment for the team that works well with their heavy travel and competition demands. We are really looking forward to the lead up to this Olympic season and beyond.”
USA Nordic recently promoted Bayer from development/Continental Cup coach to head coach. The promotion is the culmination of over 17 years as a coach in the U.S. at the club and national team level. He also competed at both the 1992 and 1994 Olympics for Czechoslovakia and the Slovak Republic respectively. Bayer’s close work with the national teams over the past few years made him a natural fit for the role left vacant by retired head coach Dave Jarrett.
“Martin’s years spent rising through the club ranks allow him to relate to everyone, from the parents to the athletes, involved with our sport,” said USA Nordic Sports Executive Director Bill Demong. “He will implement the best plan for the team using the resources we have to ensure we see athletic success this season and beyond.”
Both Bayer and Cuznar will be on board to support the ski jumping and nordic combined teams throughout their training this summer.
Ski jumping and nordic combined athletes will compete next month at the 19th annual Springer Tournee at the Utah Olympic Park July 27-30. The event will also serve at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships for the large hill.
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Facing a region opponent early on was not ideal for Park City head coach Micaela Carriel, especially considering her girls had just moved up to 5A Region 8 after spending last season in 4A.