U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Coach Rick Bower (left), shown here showing off Olympic medals with Kelly Clark in Vancouver, was named the 2011 Olympic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee. (Getty Images/Alex Grimm)
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.
QUOTES 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.
PAST USOC OLYMPIC COACHES OF YEAR 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
2011 USOC COACH OF YEAR RECIPIENTS 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