Steamboat Springs Tom Davis' small office on the second floor of the Howeslen Hill Lodge is filled with cycling jerseys, skiing posters and the memories that accompany seven years of coaching.
But in his mind there is one more thing that needs to be on his wall - a master's degree.
Davis will leave the office and his position as head ability ski coach and director of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's cycling program at the end of the summer to pursue a degree in architecture at the University of Colorado at Denver.
"I love coaching, I love Steamboat and I love the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club," Davis said Wednesday. "But this is something I need to do to grow as a person. I hope that I will always be able to coach, but the time is right for me to pursue this path."
Davis plans to remain in Steamboat Springs part-time while going to school in Denver. He also hopes to continue to be a part of the club's cycling program in the summer. Davis said assistant coach Ben Clark will assume the head job. Davis thinks the move will be important to keep the club's growing mountain bike and road bike programs on track.
"Ben's a great guy, and he is the right guy to make sure this program continues to progress," Davis said. "We've already started the transition, and things should run smoothly next summer."
Davis, who came to Steamboat Springs in December 1999, says he is excited about studying architecture and hopes to work in Steamboat after he earns his master's degree.
"I've been watching all the growth in Steamboat and have a strong desire to be a part of that change," Davis said. "I'm hoping to be eco-conscience and be a part of 'green' building in this area."
He also hopes the degree will make it possible to live in Steamboat and someday raise a family here. His wife, Erin, also is a coach with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and a teacher at the Lowell Whiteman School. She will continue to live in the valley.
"Tom's been a really important player for us in both the Alpine program and our cycling program," said Rick DeVos, executive director of the Winter Sports Club. "We are going to miss him, but we are also excited that he will be able to pursue his own goals in Denver."
DeVos said Davis was instrumental in building the cycling program at the club and that his organizational skills and enthusiasm on the Alpine side are among the reasons Steamboat earned "Club of the Year" honors last winter.
"Tom is a tremendous organizer and has strong leadership skills," DeVos said. "He brought the idea of a cycling program to us and then took the ball and ran with it. I look at the reasons we were named 'Club of the Year' last season and I know that guys like Tom played a serious role in that."
DeVos said the Alpine program is looking at how the staff is organized and will likely make changes before the start of the ski season. He said the club is looking at the way the U.S. Team is structured and hoping to line up in a way that will be beneficial to the athletes in Steamboat.
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