The New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) is excited to announce the hire of Paul Smith as Head Cross-Country Coach. Smith, who most recently served as the Nordic Post Grad Head Coach at Sun Valley Ski Educational Foundation, will lead the NYSEF cross-country program which includes managing the athletic preparation and competition plans for all ages as well as overseeing on-snow camps, strength and conditioning and technical equipment support.
Smith, who is originally from Barneveld, NY, brings extensive coaching experience which extends from the basics of introducing children to skiing to international junior development as well as to coaching skiers at the highest levels of the sport. In his most recent position in Sun Valley, Smith coached both juniors and elite athletes as well as carefully developing and monitoring their annual training programs.
“Going into my eleventh year of coaching, I am looking forward to returning to New York and taking on a position that is both challenging and rewarding,” Smith said. “NYSEF has contributed significantly to the growth of the sport in New York State and the history of skiers coming out of the region is evidence to prove that; I cannot wait to get started.”
A successful athlete and graduate of Burke Mountain Academy and the University of Vermont, Smith grew up skiing on the Tug Hills Trail System of New York. He quickly began racing in the Bill Koch series where he found his strong competitive drive while having fun and developing a burning love of the sport.
After competing on the NCAA circuit and graduating from college where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, Smith began coaching at Mt. Mansfield Nordic and then moved on to become the Assistant Coach for St. Michael’s College. He later moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and worked with the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club as the Nordic Comp Team Coach. There he led top junior athletes through year-round training programs and traveled regionally as well as nationally for competitions.
“We are so fortunate to have Paul join our community,” commented Cross-Country Coach, Julianne Stemp. “He has gained a tremendous amount of experience while working for leading cross-country ski programs and coaching a broad spectrum of athletes. He will help to create an environment of team spirit and unity, which will ultimately be beneficial to the development of cross-country skiing in our region.”
Following his time in Jackson Hole, Smith worked for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s “Gold Team” – a group of the nation’s best post-collegiate athletes who train year round and compete across the US and venues around the world. Additionally, during this time, Smith supported a number of Junior National Competitions and special championships around the world as wax tech support.
“The service side of the sport is just one integral aspect of high-level coaching. There are so many important technical elements from sport knowledge, to planning training programs, to sports psychology and nutrition, and equipment management in cross-country skiing to name a few. It is important to work on improving one’s knowledge and craft in all of these areas,” Smith said regarding the technical aspects of coaching.
“Paul understands the needs for high performing athletes from the development ages through the collegiate and national team levels,” stated Executive Director, John Norton. “Beyond his coaching experience, Paul’s connection with the region provides an instant familiarity to our families and the greater NYSEF community.”
When Smith is not waxing skis or working with athletes, he enjoys an array of outdoor activities from fishing to biking, and most importantly, continuing to improve his fastball and work on his jumpshot.
Smith will begin working with the NYSEF this summer.