Team?s new nordic coach brings international experience

By By Elizabeth Frome

By Elizabeth Frome

The U’s ski team recently announced the hiring of new nordic head coach, Abi Holt. Holt relocated to Utah from Canada and has already begun coaching Ute skiers for their 2010 season.

“She’s already surpassed my expectations,” said Eli Brown, the U’s director of skiing. “She’s really motivated to do a good job here.”

Brown said he and other Utah coaches were looking around internationally to find the best coach to join their staff and found who they wanted when they talked to Holt.

Holt is originally from Sun Valley, Idaho and has tallied up an impressive nine-year career as a ski coach. Her accomplishments include coaching six U.S. National Junior Champions and one National Champion. She coached for three winters in Europe with the U.S. Ski Team at the J1 Scandinavian Championships, Scando Cup and Europa Cup. She has also trained athletes in Sweden and Norway.

Holt spent five years as the assistant nordic program director and ski coach at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and left Vancouver, British Columbia as head coach of Hollyburn Ski Club to take the job with the Utes.

“This is really what Abi wants to do as a career, and she’s getting settled in,” Brown said.
As an athlete, Holt was also a three-time national champion and a 17-time Junior All-American for the Sun Valley Nordic team. She was on the U.S. National Junior Development Ski Team for five years, and raced at Dartmouth College for four. While at Dartmouth, she earned All-America honors and was a team captain.

Brown said he has high hopes for Holt’s first year with the Utes and gave her praise for already putting together solid training programs. He said there’s just one area that needs work.

“We’re working on making her a Ute,” said Brown. “She went to Dartmouth, so we have to work on getting the green out of her system and out of her wardrobe.”

In addition to her full-time coaching duties with the Utes this season, Holt will also be assisting the U.S. ski team as a wax technician.