Steamboat Springs Openings at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club not only meant that Executive Director Rick DeVos had to start recruiting, they gave him a chance to look at how some of the programs were organized.
After a hiring session that took many weeks, DeVos selected Tony Nunnikhoven, Wendy Allen and Todd Wilson as the Winter Sports Club's new program directors. Nunnikhoven takes over alpine; Allen will head freestyle; and Wilson, a former Olympian, takes the reins of a reorganized nordic skiing program that now includes all of the free-heel events.
"We've filled three big spots," DeVos said. "We didn't want to rush into anything last spring, and I'm confident we've made some good decisions."
No decision has yet been made on whether to replace Jeff Good, who resigned as the club's director of marketing and public relations.
DeVos was hit with the three coaching resignations in the spring. He had known for most of last season that two of his coaches freestyle guru Damian Wells and cross-county coach Travis Jones would leave when their contracts expired.
Wells got an opportunity to work at his dream job as a fishing guide near Meeker at the Seven Lakes Lodge, DeVos said. Jones got married last winter and pursued a coaching opportunity in another state once the winter ended.
The head of the alpine program, Werner Schnydrig, resigned shortly after the season.
All of the new directors have ties to Steamboat Springs and two have worked within the club for the past several seasons.
Nunnikhoven, the new alpine director, is the only program head to come from outside the Winter Sports Club. However, he previously lived in Steamboat and is married to well-known Steamboat Springs skier Heidi Bowes.
"No, he isn't a local," DeVos said. "But I think he looks at this job as a chance to get back home. It seems like he and his entire family are excited at the chance to be a part of the Winter Sports Club."
While he may be new to the Winter Sports Club, Nunnikhoven is no stranger to the sport of skiing or the position he will assume.
For the last two years, he worked in Oregon in a position that was nearly identical to the one he will take over in Steamboat. He also held similar positions in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M., for more than eight years.
"He's got 11 years of experience at doing this and I think he is a good fit for our club," DeVos said.
Allen will call the shots for the freestyle program when dryland training begins later this summer. She worked as the head junior freestyle coach for the Winter Sports Club last year and has been with the club for three seasons.
Allen said it was encouragement from Wells, her former program director, that inspired her to apply for the job in the first place.
"She comes right out of the middle of our program and she has a lot of management experience," DeVos said.
Allen has worked in retail management at both SportStalker and Boardrider's Club in Steamboat. In addition, she has a great deal of experience within the Winter Sports Club organization.
"I've done the Bumps and Jumps and junior programs for the past couple of seasons, so I'm looking forward to the chance to move up," Allen said.
Wilson has accepted the challenge of rolling the club's three nordic programs cross-country skiing, nordic combined and special jumping into one complementary unit this winter.
Wilson has worked as a jumping coach with the club for the last nine years and will now expand his duties to include the cross-country skiers as well. He started jumping in Winter Park and moved to the Winter Sports Club during his last four years of competitive jumping. He retired in 1992.
"After taking a long look at all the programs, we felt it would be best to bring the cross-country program back under the umbrella of the nordic program," DeVos said. "We presented the opportunity to Todd and he accepted."
Wilson, who competed at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta, and again in 1992 in Albertville, France, joined the Winter Sports Club shorty after retiring from the U.S. Ski Team.
Being the program director for all three disciplines will be challenging, Wilson said, but he also is excited to have the opportunity to energize the programs.
"We are really excited about these changes, and we are glad to be filling them right now," DeVos said.
DeVos added that he thinks the three new coaches bring a broad perspective to the club's overall objectives.
The club will continue to evaluate the final position that was vacated last spring when Good stepped down as the club's director of marketing and public relations.
DeVos said several current employees have absorbed many of Good's former responsibilities. The club must now make a decision on how best to use its resources to fill the remaining part of the void created by Good's departure. DeVos said no decisions will be made in the near future.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org