Congratulations to Ford Sayre coach Mike Holland!
Press release from US Ski and Snowboard below.
DEVELOPMENT COACH OF YEAR
Ski Jumping./Nordic Combined Coach of the Year
Ford Sayre Ski Club
A World Cup winner and one of the past stars of his sport, volunteer coach Mike Holland (Norwich, Vt./Ford Sayre Ski Club) is making a difference for the next generation of ski jumpers. Under his leadership this past season, Ford Sayre qualified five young athletes to the Junior National Championships – the most ever for the venerable jumping club in Brattleboro, Vt. which has a long history of sending athletes to the Olympic and national team.
Mike Holland and his brothers grew up in the Olympic-rich town of Norwich, Vt. Brothers Mike and Jim were ski jumpers, while Joe skied nordic combined – three Olympians in one family. Mike became a ski jumping legend, winning the Bischofshofen, Austria Springertournee event in 1989 – still today the only American World Cup win.
Holland is a tireless volunteer, working to improve snowmaking, upgrading jumping facilities and recruiting kids from local schools. After retiring as an athlete in 1990, he went into business with his family. He was thrust into coaching temporarily around a decade ago, and it stuck. Now, you can often find him out early packing the hill for jumpers all the while negotiating on the phone for a used winch cat or snowmaking equipment to help make the jumper better.
Today he coaches with brother Joe, working with around 50 kids each year at Ford Sayre in Hanover, N.H., as well as with the Lebanon Outing Club jumps in neighboring Vermont. Using his engineering skills, he also developed a portable roller ski jump which is being used as a recruitment tool by clubs around the country.
“Ski jumping, as a sport, teaches key life lessons. I realized it for myself as an athlete, but more so now as a coach. When you confront your fears, you see a transformation in kids’ personalities. You know it’s going to help them in everything they’re going to do the rest of their lives.”– Mike Holland