Steamboat Springs Ski coach Rob Worrell wanted to stay in Steamboat Springs, but he just couldn’t turn his back on a huge opportunity a few miles down the road in Vail.
Worrell has left his positions as assistant director of the competitive Alpine program and head J-3 coach at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to take a newly created position as men’s Alpine program director with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
Worrell will be responsible for all aspects of the men’s Alpine program for Vail.
Worrell said the decision to leave Steamboat was not an easy one and not one that he took lightly.
“My decision to leave had nothing to do with the Winter Sports Club.” he said. “I’m super thankful for the opportunity I was given in Steamboat. The past two years have been one of the greatest experiences of my life and someday I would love to come back.”
But he said the move to Vail is an opportunity he simply could not walk away from without regrets. He said he is looking forward to working with his former coach and friend Aldo Radamus and his wife, Sarah, who lived in Steamboat Springs in the mid-90s.
Worrell also is excited about having a chance to be a part of the staff when Vail hosts the Alpine Junior World Championships in 2014 and the Alpine World Championships in 2015.
Rick DeVos, executive director at the Winter Sports Club, said Worrell, who grew up in Steamboat, is going to be missed.
“He’s been a tremendous asset to our club the past couple of years,” DeVos said. “We are truly sorry to lose him.”
But DeVos said he thinks the Winter Sports Club’s Alpine programs are in a good place and the move is more about Worrell’s personal goals.
“He’s an international coach and I think he is looking at the big picture,” DeVos said. “We wish him nothing but success in the future, and I think he will find it.”
Worrell spent the past two years working for the Winter Sports Club and the past five years living in Steamboat Springs.
Worrell was a regional coach with the U.S. Ski Team from 2006-09, before budget constraints eliminated his position. He grew up in Steamboat and was a competitor with the Winter Sports Club for more than 15 years.
Worrell also was an elite cyclist at junior, amateur and professional levels. He competed in nine national championships and one world championship on road and mountain bikes.
Worrell has coached skiing in Steamboat Springs at several different times and at different levels during his career. He was also the head Alpine coach of Team Summit from 1999-2004, and coached at Crested Butte Academy from 2004-06 before taking his position with the U.S. Ski Team.
To reach John F. Russell call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com