U of U alpine, XC ski coaches named RMISA best

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — University of Utah head Nordic ski coach Miles Havlick and head alpine coach JJ Johnson have been named RMISA Coaches of the Year, the association announced on Tuesday. Johnson was voted Alpine Coach of the Year outright, while Havlick shared the Nordic honor with Eliska Albrigtsen of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) is a collegiate skiing conference with nine members, seven institutions that sponsor NCAA skiing, and two associate members.

The full members competing in the NCAA are the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Colorado, the University of Denver, Montana State University, the University of Utah, and Westminster College. Colorado Mountain College and the University of Wyoming are associate members.

Havlick and Johnson have been named RMISA Coach of the Year three times while at Utah. Johnson previously received the accolade in 2019 and ’20, and Havlick has now claimed Nordic Coach of the Year in three straight seasons.
The duo led the Utes’ alpine and Nordic squads to another banner year in 2023, culminating with the program’s 16th national championship in Lake Placid, New York. It was Utah’s fourth straight NCAA crown and fifth in the last six championship meets. Along the way, the program won every meet it competed in and captured the RMISA regular season and meet championships, with 18 All-RMISA individual awards rolling into Salt Lake City.
Johnson’s alpine team had the most overall regular-season points in the RMISA (1,347), including a league-best 737 points for men’s alpine and 610 for women, the latter of which ranked second in the RMISA. At the NCAA Championships, Madison Hoffman won both the women’s slalom and giant slalom individual titles, becoming the first Utah skier since 1990 to win both women’s alpine championships. Wilhelm Normannseth was the NCAA men’s runner-up in slalom as well.
Alongside assistant coach Mary Joyce, Johnson guided the Utes to five alpine All-America awards at the 2023 NCAA Championships, including First Team performances for Hoffman (twice) and Normannseth, plus Second Team for Katie Parker and Gustav Vøllo. Normannseth (slalom) and Vøllo (giant slalom) additionally earned RMISA MVP laurels. The Utes recorded thirteen individual alpine victories and 27 podiums throughout the 2023 collegiate racing season.
Havlick, who completed his fifth season under the director of skiing Fredrik Landstedt, helped the Nordic team finish as the point leaders at the NCAA Championships (including overall, women’s, and classic) and helped Novie McCabe sweep the women’s individual Nordic titles at the final meet. A dominant Nordic season as a whole saw Utah finish with the most RMISA regular-season points (1,474) in addition to men’s only (762) and women’s only (712) competition, plus the most Nordic points at the RMISA Championships (332.5).
McCabe’s victories in Lake Placid this past season brought her to 19 individual wins in her Utah career and marked the third straight NCAA Championships that Havlick’s athletes won both women’s Nordic championships; Park City’s Sydney Palmer-Leger of the Park City Ski and Snowboard Team swept in 2021 before McCabe and Sophia Laukli took the 2022 races. Samuel Hendry, Laukli (2), McCabe (2), and Palmer-Leger claimed All-America First Team this past season to highlight an NCAA-leading six Nordic All-Americans. Luke Jager (classic) and McCabe (freestyle) were also named RMISA MVPs.

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