Walt Evans, most recently the Sport Development Director for USSA and a 30 year veteran of the USSA staff tendered his resignation early this week. Today (Sept. 13) it was revealed he has accepted a newly formed position with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
Evans will serve as Director of Excellence according to the announcement made by the ski club’s Executive Director Mark Cole.
Cole said Evans will work with the directors of all five of the club’s disciplines: Adaptive, Alpine, Freestyle/Freeride, Nordic and Snowboard. “Walt will ensure that each discipline is the best it can be,” Cole said. “Our goal is to have the individual disciplines continue to be recognized on the national level as models of best practices, and we want to provide all athletes with a clear path to excellence.”
He added: “Walt is a proven professional, and understands what’s necessary to sustain and enhance excellence in programs.”
Evans said he was “really excited” by the challenge of the new position and looking forward to getting to work.
“The compensation is better than at USSA, there’s no question, but that’s not really the reason I’m doing it. I’ve got about 10 years left in me and I just want to make good use of that time. I want to enjoy my job. I’ve got three personal goals: first it has to be fun and second I have to feel like I’m learning and third I want to feel like I’m making a contribution. I’ll be able to that at Aspen and I really am excited to do that.”
A growth spurt within the club contributed to the hire. “Over the last 10 years, participation has more than doubled,” Cole said. “Each discipline has become more complex, and parent expectations for quality have soared.”
Evans is well acquainted with excellence in snowsports. While with USSA, Evans engineered the National Development System, a program that worked with the best clubs across the country to provide elite training opportunities for rising Alpine racers. This led to great success for U.S. Olympic skiers in Vancouver.
Cole also emphasized AVSC’s three-pronged mission: Opportunity (no child in the valley should be denied the chance to participate because of financial constraints); Excellence (AVSC should be able to help all of its athletes achieve their potential without having to uproot and leave the valley for training) and Values (participants will be taught lessons that they can use for the rest of their lives).
Cole concluded: “With Development Director Barbara Frank focused on opportunity and all coaches emphasizing values, the addition of Walt means all areas of our mission will flourish.”