Alpine Canada president Max Gartner on Wednesday announced the appointment of Paul Kristofic to the new position of vice-president of sports, while Peter Bosinger will succeed him as head coach of the highly-successful men’s alpine team. Kristofic, of Toronto, Ont., has spent 16 years working as a Canadian Alpine Ski Team coach, the past six as head coach of a men’s team which has produced multiple World Cup podiums and four world championship medallists, including back-to-back world downhill champions in John Kucera and Erik Guay.
In his new role, the 41-year-old Kristofic will manage athletic performance for Alpine Canada’s three sports – alpine, ski cross and para-alpine. “I’m delighted to be able to announce that Paul has accepted this challenging new role, in which he will oversee the entire athletic department and be responsible for the performance of all athletes,” said Gartner. “Paul is Canadian and he’s worked at all coaching levels, from the development team to the elite team. He’s had a tremendous amount of success with the men’s alpine team in the last six years and he comes in with a lot of credibility and know-how. He understands what it takes to be a winner on the international stage.”
Kristofic, who was born in Edmonton, Alta., and grew up in Ottawa, Ont., originally joined Alpine Canada in 1994 as a student intern. He was a Continental Cup coach with the men’s alpine team from 1996, before becoming head coach of the women’s junior team in 1998. Kristofic, who is married to Maria and has an 18-month-old daughter, Kylie, was also a coach with the men’s World Cup speed team from 2000 before taking over as head coach of the men’s program in 2006. In his new role, he will be based in Calgary, Alta.
“Alpine Canada has been my professional home for the better part of 18 years. I’m truly honoured to have been given this opportunity to share my experiences in high performance athletics and implement my vision of athletic excellence at all levels in our programs,” said Kristofic, who was named Jack Donohue Coach of the Year in 2007.
“We have exciting, high achieving teams in alpine, ski cross and para-alpine and in this new role, I look forward to the challenges ahead and bringing home top performances on the world stage that all Canadians can be proud of.”
In addition to overseeing the alpine program, Kristofic will have responsibility for para-alpine, which includes star sit-skiers Josh Dueck and Kimberly Joines, and Canada’s ski cross team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world as the reigning Nations’ Cup champions. The ski cross team includes Olympic gold medallist Ashleigh McIvor, world champions Chris Del Bosco and Kelsey Serwa and overall women’s World Cup champion Marielle Thompson.
Bosinger, of Banff, Alta., succeeds Kristofic as head coach of a men’s alpine team that just wrapped up a thrilling 2011-12 World Cup campaign. One of the highlights of the year was the historic 1-3-5 World Cup downhill finish for Jan Hudec, Guay and rising star Ben Thomsen in Chamonix, France – the best single-race result for the men’s team since 1994.
The 47-year-old Bosinger brings with him a wealth of international experience as an athlete and coach. Part of a well known ski racing family that included his late brother Rob, Peter competed at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary in giant slalom. Bosinger began working as a coach with the Canadian men’s alpine team in 1993 and went on to become men’s head speed coach. He then worked as a coach with the U.S. Ski Team’s speed group at a time when Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves were in their prime.
Bosinger was also sport manager of alpine skiing, for the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. “I’m honoured to have the opportunity to accept this position,” said Bosinger, who spent last season working with the men’s technical team. “The team is in a great place right now, with great leadership at all levels. “We’ve got world championships and an Olympic Games coming up and a team with great depth that can perform at the highest level. We’ve also got some young talent coming up that certainly will be moving up to the World Cup and hopefully challenging for Olympic and world championship spots in the next two years.”
Bosinger will work alongside ‘Johno’ McBride, who retains his role as head speed coach for the men’s team. The duo previously worked together for the U.S. Ski Team. Kip Harrington will continue to lead Canada’s men’s slalom and giant slalom group – including World Cup stars Mike Janyk and Brad Spence – as the men’s technical head coach.
“I bring a lifetime of passion for ski racing to this role,” said Bosinger. “I’ve been involved in a number of different coaching positions in Canada and the U.S. My role with VANOC is something I look at as experience in managing a moving target during an exciting period in Canadian sports.”
Kristofic said he’s delighted Bosinger will lead the men’s team in the build-up to Sochi 2014. “Peter brings a set of skills that really complement this appointment,” Kristofic said. “He’s coached at every level with the Canadian ski team and also spent a considerable amount of time with the U.S. Ski Team. His past leadership role with VANOC is a testament to his ability to manage detail effectively in a dynamic environment with many moving parts. Many candidates were considered from North America and Europe but there’s a certain amount of pride that comes with being able to appoint a strong candidate from Canada.”