A legacy of success: 1st Winter Sports Club Executive Director Walt Evans has bright outlook

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— When Walt Evans arrived at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club back in the 1970s, the times were different.

The head coaches ran the club, but most people could see that in order to grow, there was a need for better planning and more leadership.

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Walt Evans

A legacy of success: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is about a lot more than just producing Olympic-caliber athletes that bring home medals. It’s the story of the more than 20,000 members who have put on the club’s jacket and represented our town around the world for the past 100 years.

“We had gotten big enough that there was a need for a full-time executive director,” Evans said. “The club needed someone to manage major USSA and FIS events at the ski area and Howelsen Hill.”

The club had 280 members and 28 coaches. Howelsen Hill was in the middle of an upgrade, but there was a need to improve the facilities. There also was a need for more planning in the summer to make sure the athletes would be able to compete in high-level events during the winter.

At the time Evans, who had come to Steamboat Springs in 1970 to be a rancher, was in charge of the Alpine program.

“I was a lot closer to skiing than I was to ranching,” Evans said. “So when the position opened up, I was excited to get involved.”

The club hired Evans, who had been Steamboat’s Alpine coach since 1972, as its first executive director in 1979. He held the position until 1983 when he took a job with the U.S. Ski Team.

At the time, the Winter Sports Club already had a strong Alpine skiing, Nordic, special jumping and freestyle programs and a strong group of coaches. But Evans had a vision for the future, and he knew it needed a strong leadership to reach it.

Evans hasn’t been surprised by the club’s success.

“I’m proud of it,” Evans said. “I feel like we laid the foundation. The success of every club comes down to three things: vision, leadership and programming.”

Evans feels like those three things are in place in Steamboat Springs and expects the club to continue to be successful.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executive directors

■ Walt Evans (1979 to 1983)

■ Ron Radabaugh (1983 to 1984)

■ Roy Powell (1984 to 1996)

■ Doug Williamson (1996 to 1999)

■ Rick DeVos (1999 to 2013)

■ Jim Boyne (2013 to present)

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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