Park City raked in the most Coach of the Year honors of any city when US Ski & Snowboard announced its awards Friday.
Forest Carey (Alpine International), Ryan Wyble (Freeski International), Bryon Wilson (Freestyle Domestic) and Nick Poplowski (Snowboard Domestic) were all deemed at the top of their game.
Vladimir Lebedev, who is living in Park City but hails from Russia, took the Freestyle International honor in his first year on the job, and for good reason. Four of Lebedev’s athletes finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the world.
Carey, a former national team athlete, received the award for the third time in his 10 years as coach of the U.S. Alpine Ski Team. He was recognized for his contribution to athlete Tommy Ford’s first World Cup victory, in Beaver Creek, Colo., in December, and for his rank of fifth overall in the World Cup standings. The series was halted with two races left because of COVID-19.
Wyble, a former Park City Ski & Snowboard club coach, coaches the rookie freeski team. Two rookies earned World Cup podiums. Deven Fagan placed third at the U.S. Grand Prix and Cody LaPlante secured the same in Font Romeu, France. Another of his athletes, Hunter Henderson, placed third in slopestyle at the Youth Olympic Games and won a NorAm Cup title.
Last year, Wyble was named overall Development Coach of the Year.
“To be recognized for my work as a coach amongst a long list of my colleagues is an honor. It feels incredible to receive an award for two consecutive years,” Wyble said in a statement. “Lastly, I want to emphasize how much work and effort all the athletes put in and want to congratulate them all on what they achieved this past season.“
An Olympic medalist, Wilson earned his first coaching honor in his second year on the job. The Wasatch Freestyle coach had two athletes go 1-2 in the women’s NorAm moguls series and another win a U.S. Junior National title. On the other end of the spectrum, Poplawski has been the head freestyle coach of the Park City Ski and Snowboard club for nearly nine years. He was recognized for his “rider-first” approach and for giving back to the sport of snowboarding.
Nichole Mason, the U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team coach out of Dillon, Colo., was named Coach of the Year. Ski jumping and Nordic combined volunteer coach Mike Holland (Norwich, Vt./Ford Sayre Ski Club) was named the Development Coach of the Year.