Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) is pleased to welcome Jason Cork as Elite Coach for CXC Team Vertical Limit. This position was vacated by Bryan Fish in May as he was asked to join the US Ski Team as a Continental Cup Coach.
Fish has been with CXC from the formation of the Elite Team in 2006, and saw two athletes compete at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as well as see six athletes start World Cups in 2010. Yuriy Gusev, CXC Executive and Athletic Director said, â€œIt is very difficult to find a replacement for a coach like Bryan Fish. Iâ€™m excited for Bryan and respect his decision. We had a good list of strong candidates to fill position of the CXC Team Vertical Limit Elite Coach and we are excited that Jason Cork chooses to be part of our organization and lead our CXC Team Vertical Limit.â€
Matt Whitcomb, U.S. Ski Team World Cup Coach, said that heâ€™s â€œvery happy with our recent hiring of Bryan Fish to the U.S. Ski Team coaching staff. We have worked with Bryan closely over the past four years at summer camps and on both domestic and international race trips. We feel he will mesh well with our athletes and staff.â€ Whitcomb was quick to realize the void that Fish will leave in CXC, and followed up by saying that, â€œwhile Bryan will be missed at CXC, I'm happy to learn that Jason Cork will man the helm for the CXC Team Vertical Limit. Jason will bring great energy, a huge work ethic, and strong mix of experience from the Durango Nordic Ski Club, MTU, and as a member of recent J1 and World Junior coaching staffs. CXC had grown to become a very successful organization and I envision a smooth transition from Bryan to Jason." Fish will continue to have a role with CXC as he will be consulted throughout the year as the High Performance Advisor â€“ a role that will fit well with his responsibilities with the U.S. Ski Team.
As Whitcomb mentioned, Cork has a wealth of experience to draw from in his new position. Most recently Cork has been the Assistant Coach for the Michigan Technological University Cross Country, Nordic Ski, and Track and Field Teams. Before moving to Michigan Tech, Cork was the Head Coach of Durango Nordic Ski Club in Durango, CO. While in Durango, Cork spent time coaching Tad Elliott. Elliottâ€™s recent accolades include: 2010 50km National Champion, 2010 U23 World Championships Team member and second place finisher of 2010 American Birkebeiner.
Last season Elliott joined CXC Team Vertical Limit for the first season. When asked how he felt about the naming of his former coach as the Elite Coach of CXC Elliott responded, â€œJason Cork is incredibly smart person and coach. He is amazingly easy to work with and I know that the plan we come up with together every season is going to be dialed.â€ Eillott went on to say, â€œCork is a great guy and in the sport for all the right reasons. Heâ€™s not in it to build himself up, but wants to help the sport grow and develop athletes. It is great to have him in skiing, and now in a role that will let him work with some very talented individuals.â€
Cork says that heâ€™s excited for this opportunity to work with CXC Team Vertical Limit in the coming years. When asked for specifics, Cork said, â€œIt will be great to work with this team as a part of the Central Cross Country Ski Association. The team and athletes have a history of strong race results, and Iâ€™m looking forward getting to know them and helping them accomplish even more. I'm very excited to getting rolling on the 2010-11 race season.â€ Corkâ€™s enthusiasm is a good thing, considering the training season has already gotten underway, and the team is scheduled to convene on June 7th for their second training camp of the year.
Cork will be working with CXC Team Vertical Limitâ€™s new coach, Gus Keading. Keading will assume the role of Elite Development Coach with CXC Team Vertical Limit. Along with Keading, who moved to coaching from being an athlete with CXC Team Vertical Limit, Fish will be around to ease the transition for Cork. Fishâ€™s new position with the U.S. Ski Team will allow him to work with CXC for three months.