I am excited to announcement that we have hired Eric Cates to fill the Central Manager position. Eric is excited to start his new position on August 24th 2017. Eric will be in attendance at the Central Coaches Conference, August 25-27th in Indianhead. Hopefully you all can make it. I look forward to working with all of you and Eric at the Coaches Conference.
Below is a brief bio of Eric and his accomplishments.
Eric grew up in Spring Green, Wisconsin, skiing out of Tyrol Basin, first with the local WIJARA Tyrol Basin Ski Team, and then moving up through the USSA and FIS ranks with the Madison Alpine Race Team (MART) under Coaches Pat Slattery and his father, Dick Cates. After many road trips to the Rocky Division for early season training and races, many long weekend trips from Southern WI to Minnesota and the U.P., as well as finishing his High School racing as the WI State Overall Champion, he went East to compete for the Big Green at Dartmouth College. A fish out of water, he was lucky enough to train alongside current and future Olympians to not only develop his skills, but to really change the way he thought about the sport as a whole and is most proud to be a part of its 2007 NCAA National Championship run. As his college career came to an end, but seeing no feasible way of chasing his own dreams, he turned his eye towards coaching and was recruited to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) in Steamboat Springs, CO. During his time coaching FIS athletes there, he had the privilege to coach some amazing and wonderful kids and athletes, many of them moving on to race for various NCAA programs themselves, some earning podiums at National Junior Championships, and a few reaching the ultimate goal of qualifying for the National Team. Finishing his own collegiate career not too long ago, and recently coaching kids to qualify for their own college teams, it only felt like a natural progression to follow the athletes back to school. After 5 years with SSWSC, Eric moved to Bozeman, MT to work as the Assistant Coach for the Montana State University Ski Team as well as continue on his own education. Coaching at the collegiate level came with a whole new dimension and a whole new set of goals, challenges, and excitements. Although this move was everything he had hoped for, the following season he turned 180 degrees and headed back to SSWSC to take over as the Head FIS Coach and help redirect the program. Taking over the reigns provided another set of new (unknown) challenges but he was lucky enough to leave one dream job, for another dream job. But it turned out to be, yet again, short lived. After two years, and as life progressed along, the desire to be a FIS coach waned and he, along with his now wife Kiley, decided to leave the mountains and return home, to Spring Green, to take over his family's farm and start a family. To fill his snow-time void, he was lucky to be welcomed into his home program, now know as MAD Alpine, at Tyrol Basin, and had a blast coaching U10-14 athletes in the WJR local leagues.
Now full circle, Eric is very excited to step into this new role as the Central Division Manger and he hopes that his experiences - growing up as an athlete in WI and racing in both the USSA/FIS and High School leagues, racing out of division in the East as well as on the NCAA Circuit, coaching in the Rocky Mtn and Western Divisions at some of the highest levels and then again returning to the Midwest to get a taste of the developmental programs where it all begins - all will help him to guide the Central Division in a direction that is not only successful for the region - its athletes and coaches - but helps to develop, most importantly, the athletes to move above and beyond in the world of skiing.
RC Regional Development Director
U.S. Ski & Snowboard