Gaining Focus with US Ski Team Coaches Sasha Rearick ’95 & Parker Gray ’97
US Ski Team Coaches Sasha Rearick ’95 & World Cup Technical Assistant Parker Gray ’97 are two Gould alumni at the top of their profession.
Sasha Rearick ’95
Sasha Rearick ’95 is in his fifteenth year working with the US Ski Team and in his ninth year as the Men’s Head Coach. Sasha oversees the direction of the men’s program including the Development Team, Euro Cup and World Cups. He is responsible for the hiring of coaches, evaluation of the programs, coaching and making decisions on who races and who doesn’t, raising funds through sponsors and private donations, lobbying for drafts, and making the budget. Whoa, that’s a big job!
Although Sasha did a little bit of ski racing prior to coming to Gould, it was in his junior year that he got his hat into coaching and fell in love with everything about ski racing. He credits Tim Lavalle, George Lavalle, and Bill Clough as having a major influence in identifying his passion for coaching, and developing the character necessary to pursue his goals. While still a student at Gould, he organized a camp for fellow students in France. After graduation, he continued running camps for Gould. Though Sasha didn’t believe that being a professional ski racer was in the cards, he still had a passion for the outdoors, international travel, and sports science that’s associated with skiing from the physical and mental side. This is what attracted him to work, teach, and coach in the sport.
“Focus on the process has been the foundation of my coaching philosophy from day one at Gould including today. Without a doubt, Gould prepared me for a future as a coach and was a major important stepping stone for me in my career.”
Sasha explained how Gould instilled a deep love of the outdoors and how that appreciation is now shared with his wife and two young children by traveling on the tour with him, going camping, enjoying nature and loving it out there together. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on Sasha and US Ski Team Results this winter!
Parker Gray ’97
Parker Gray ’97 is the Men’s World Cup Technical Assistant Coach for the US Ski Team. Parker began skiing with Gould as a member of the eighth grade Winter Term Program and by his ninth grade year was competing in all four events: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, and Downhill. He had quick success and progressed to compete at the USSA level, FIS level, NorAm and the US Nationals and Junior Olympics by the time he was a junior.
Parker crossed paths with Sasha Rearick during his sophomore year. Sasha was a senior at the time and organized a summer camp in France that Parker attended. Though they went in different directions after graduation, they stayed in touch. Sasha was clearly keeping an eye on Parker’s career as he moved up the ladder, and Parker will admit “he knew what he was getting into when he hired me!”
Parker also credits Gould for preparing him for both his career as a ski racer and as a coach. The relationships he formed with classmates and faculty, the amount of time he was able to be on snow, and the specialized training abroad all prepared him or the next level.
“Gould prepared me for both my ski racing career and as a coach.”
Parker typically travels ahead of the team to make sure all the pieces are ready when the racers arrive. He is the coach standing on the hill late at night hosing down the trail in order to get the training conditions perfect. He implements and tweaks the athletes strength and conditioning programs and helps to identify areas of their racing technique that could be improved by using Dartfish, a video analysis tool that Gould athletes also utilize. Coaches and athletes are generally on the hill daily from 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM then in dryland training until dinner. Parker can remember spending six weeks straight with only one day without ski boots on. Given that, it is more of a lifestyle than a job.
“You have to make sure these guys are putting their hearts into it and I think it’s important that the coach is committed to foster that.”