U.S. Alpine position changes continue with release of Carey
Longtime coach’s recent ousting came as surprise to many
After hiring a new chief of sport and alpine director at the end of March, news of more U.S. Ski and Snowboard staffing changes surfaced over the weekend. Ski Racing Media’s Brian Pinelli reported on Sunday that beloved Alpine coach Forest Carey was let go this spring.
Carey has spent 14 years with the U.S. team as head Europa Cup men’s coach, special coach to Bode Miller and Ted Ligety, head World Cup men’s tech coach, and men’s head Alpine coach, a position he was promoted to a year ago.
Pinelli reported that Carey’s “position and responsibilities were considered redundant,” and that “as part of an organizational restructuring, the duties of the Head Men’s Coach will now be the responsibility of re-hired Alpine Director Patrick Riml.”
The change came without consulting or informing athletes, who were “confused and disappointed to learn of Carey’s departure,” according to Pinelli.
“He has an amazing coaching eye with a humble athlete-first personality,” Ligety told Pinelli.
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“He works relentlessly for his athletes, so I think everybody was shocked that this came down.”
Ligety praised his former coach, who oversaw his Sochi gold medal performance and two of his five World Cup giant slalom titles, for “fostering a conversation” with athletes.
“He always tries to understand what you’re feeling. He adapts his coaching style to every athlete,” Ligety stated.
Carey, a native of Maine, was on the mountain when Ryan Cochran-Siegle won the U.S. Alpine team’s lone Olympic medal in Beijing. Cochran-Siegle gave credit to the coach in the Ski Racing Media piece regarding his growth.
“I grew so much over the years leading up to that day, and Forest was a part of that,” Cochran-Siegle said to Pinelli in regards to Olympic super-G silver. “Fo can claim a lot of ownership in that medal. He had so much impact on my development and helped me move up the ranks.”
Ligety added that an “under-appreciated” trait of Carey’s was the unseen effort to “create great opportunities” for his athletes. “Good coaches leave a day beforehand to inject the hill, they ride in the snowcat with the groomer and then sit down and have coffee and beers with the guys working on the hill,” Ligety told Pinelli.
The change comes in the wake of U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s recent hirings for chief of sport and alpine director. In a March 23 press release, the governing body announced the return of Patrick Riml to the role of alpine director and the signing of Anouk Patty for the chief of sport position. Riml served as head coach of the women’s team from 2003-2008 and was the alpine director from 20911-2018. Most recently, he has served as the alpine director for the Austrian Ski Federation.
“We are thrilled to have Patrick return to build on the success in Alpine and bring the program to the next level from the development to World Cup level,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said in the release.
“His proven breadth of expertise in working with world-class athletes and understanding of developing young talent makes him the right leader for our Alpine program. His intimate knowledge of the U.S. system combined with broad European experience, along with his expertise and passion for athletes at all levels will be extremely valuable for our program.”
In the release, Riml stated that he was pleased to be returning.
“The program is unmatched in its potential and I’m excited to be working with both the talent coming up through the ranks and the elite athletes to help the skiers achieve their dreams,” he stated.
Patty competed on the U.S. Alpine team in the 1980s and won an NCAA championship at Dartmouth College in 1988.
“Anouk’s unique skill set combining business and sport knowledge made her the ideal strategic leader for this role,” Goldschmidt stated in the release.
“We are thrilled to have her return to her roots to manage the vision and road map for all sports from development to the elite level, as well as optimize success in athlete programs and high performance.”
Carey, who lives in Park City with his wife and two young children, told Pinelli that he is eager to use the opportunity to be at home with family more often.
“We’ll see what comes next, but I doubt it will be traveling the world as I have been,” he told Pinelli.