Bower Named Olympic Coach of Year

2012-06-19 17:03

INDIANAPOLIS (June 20) – Over the past decade, U.S. Snowboarding halfpipe riders have dominated international competition. U.S. Snowboarding Pro Halfpipe Team Coach Rick Bower (Park City, UT) was named 2011 Olympic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). It was the third time since 2002 a U.S. Snowboarding halfpipe coach has won the award. Bower was recognized by the USOC for playing an integral role in advancing women’s snowboarding, leading his athletes to 31 major event podiums in 2011 and helping Olympic Champion Kelly Clark become the first woman to land a 1080 in competition. Bower received the award at the USOC’s National Coaches Conference in Indianapolis.


  • U.S. Snowboarding halfpipe coach Rick Bower (Park City, UT) was named USOC’s Olympic Coach of the Year in a ceremony at the 2012 National Coaching Conference in Indianapolis.
  • Bower, the 1999 halfpipe World Champion, is in his sixth year of coaching and credited with playing a key role in the progression of women’s snowboarding. In 2011 he led his athletes to 31 major event podiums.
  • Under Bower’s leadership, U.S. Snowboarding riders have set the pace for the sport including Kelly Clark who became the first woman to land a 1080 in competition – inspiring a new generation of athletes.
  • Bower was recognized as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) International Coach of the Year and USSA International Snowboarding Coach of the Year in 2011.
  • Bower is the third U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach in ten years to win the Olympic Coach of the Year honors. Pete del’Giudice was named in 2002, Bud Keene in 2006.
  • U.S. Snowboarding riders have won 12 of 18 Olympic halfpipe medals in the last three Olympics including four of six gold medals.
  • AXIS Freeride coach/founder Chris “Hatch” Haslock (Park City, UT) was one of three finalists for Development Coach of the Year.

Bill Marolt, President and CEO
Rick Bower is a great example of how a coach’s leadership applied to athletes can be a major difference maker in athletic success. Rick's vision along with his ability to create a team environment,apply technical knowledge and to communicate has led to success not only from athletes like Olympic champion Kelly Clark but from an entire team. As an organization, our investment in coaches like Rick has been a real game changer across all of our sports.

Rick Bower, U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach
I feel this award speaks for the overall progress of the sport of halfpipe snowboarding and I feel very fortunate to be a part of that progression.  

Our U.S. Snowboarding athletes make my job easy - they are all so internally motivated, and on such a high level of performance collectively, that they are able to continually push each other to achieve athletic success. This dynamic is equally fun to be a part of seeing as most of these athletes are great friends on and off the snow as well as being each other’s top competition.  

Kelly Clark, Olympic Champion
Behind every great athlete is a great team of people. I'm just one of many athletes who have had the privilege of working with Ricky. He really deserves this award and I couldn't be happier for him.

Alan Ashley, USOC Chief of Sport Performance
These coaches have impacted countless athletes throughout their exemplary careers. They are shining examples of the team behind the team and their efforts have encouraged athletes of all levels to strive for excellence.

1996     Tara VanDerveer, U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Coach
1997     Frank Carroll, Olympic Figure Skating Coach, Coach of Michelle Kwan
1998     Ben Smith, U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Coach
1999     Chris Carmichael, Cycling Coach, Coach of Lance Armstrong
2000     Richard Quick, U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Coach
2001/02 Pete del’Giudice, U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach
2003     Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting National Team Coach
2004     Mike Candrea, USA Softball Women’s National Team Coach
2005     Eddie Reese, USA Swimming Men’s National Team Coach
2006     Bud Keene, U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach
2007     Guy Baker, USA Water Polo National Team Coach
2008    Hugh McCutcheon, USA Men’s Volleyball National Team Coach
2009    Bob Bradley, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team Coach
2010    Brian Shimer, U.S. Men’s Bobsled Head Coach
2011    Rick Bower, U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach    

Olympic Coach of the Year: Rick Bower, U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach
Paralympic Coach of the Year: Dave Denniston, U.S. Paralympic Swimming Coach
Development Coach of the Year: James Hrbek, USA Judo
Volunteer Coach of the Year: Tom Waga, Brigham Young University Rugby Coach
Doc Counsilman Science Award: Neil Henderson, USA Cycling

Twitter: USSnowboarding // USFreesking
Facebook: U.S. Snowboarding // U.S. Freeskiing




Preview the new U.S. Ski & Snowboard website.