LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland – After 18 years of coaching the U.S. Ski Team, women’s speed Head Coach Chip White announced Tuesday he will step aside following the World Cup Finals this week.
During his tenure, the women’s speed program has produced 122 World Cup podiums, 13 World Cup titles, 10 World Championship medals and six Olympic medals.
“It’s not always just about the podiums, although those are nice touches,” said White. “I think one of the things that’s really fun to watch is when an athlete feels they can’t do something and then realizes that they actually can. … It’s about the process and the results will come. A lot of them have realized that and done an amazing job. It’s been really fun to watch them actually make that next step.”
White did not say he is retiring from coaching, just from the U.S. Ski Team. He joked that he would take a few days to do some work in his wood shop and then explore his options.
White’s career began in the club and high school ranks at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. In 1990, he was invited to join the U.S. Ski Team as a project coach with men’s alpine before moving to the women’s speed program in 1996 as an assistant coach. Prior to the 2010 Olympic season, he was tabbed for the head coach position and has since been named USSA International Alpine Coach of the year on numerous occasions. In 2012, White was a finalist for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s highest coaching honor.
“(Walking away) will be difficult,” said White. “I do feel a camaraderie and a kinship to all these people. Everybody that I ever coached, even if they didn’t make the podium, even if they didn’t become famous, there is a lot of great athletes over the years. … Watching them grow as people also, not only as athletes — that part I think is really rewarding to see.”
“More than anything, Chip has brought an incredible amount of passion to coaching this team,” said speed team member and fellow Mammoth Mountain skier Stacey Cook. “He has cares so much for the athletes and it’s going to be hard to replace. He’s created one of the most successful speed teams the U.S. has ever had and that will be remembered, but we’ll remember him as a guy who would give the world for us to achieve our dreams.”
“Chip has been the heart of the women’s speed team for as long as I can remember,” said Lindsey Vonn. “He cares about all of us like a family and it will be hard to see him go. I’m thankful for everything he has done for us and I wish him all the best in the future.”