Skiing was a foreign word not too long ago. My parents did not grow up skiing and they had no knowledge about it. But that all changed when I was eight years old when my mom decided it was a good idea to join the Holy Hill ski club. At the time many of my neighbors were members and all had great things to say about HH and skiing. Little did I know my life would be changed forever.
About a year into skiing, I joined the race team, which seemed like an impossible feat considering I could still barely stand up on two skis. But I was not alone in learning to ski; I had many top of the line coaches and mentors teaching me along the way. To this day, there is one coach who sticks out above the rest. His name is Brad Marcouiller, but everybody calls him “coach.”
Brad can seem intimidating as he is nearly twice the size of me. The first day I met him, I had to look straight up just to see his face. After hearing him talk once, the intimidation factor was gone. He is always willing to share a laugh. When he was a kid, he was a good ski racer competing all over the country at the highest of levels. Now he spends his time giving back to the next generation of skiers. He could be doing many other great things but I think I can speak for all the Holy Hill racers in the fact that we are all extremely grateful that he spends his time with us.
Brad has taught me to always have fun skiing, although when it is race day, it is strictly business. At the flip of the switch, he goes from cracking jokes to being completely focused. I think this shows why he is a great coach because he knows when we can all have fun and where we need to focus to do our best. Just like in life learning to balance fun and work is an essential skill. Of all the people that I have been coached by nobody is more personal than Brad. At practice he will coach everybody differently depending on their needs. This was especially helpful for me as I got a late start in my race career and I was playing catch up for most of it. With all of his experience he knew exactly what I needed to do. Without him there is no way I would be the skier that I am today.
For me, Brad is not only just a ski coach but a lifelong mentor. Talking with him can bring a smile to anybody's face. He is always looking for the good in life and it shows not only in the way he coaches but in everything he does. I am fortunate enough to see him in the summer months as well. It doesn't matter if we are talking about skiing or life in general I am always learning from him. That is why I would like to nominate him for coach, mentor and educator of the year.
Brad will always be the coach of the year for me and I will always appreciate what he has done on and off the hill for me, I would not be who I am as a skier or as a person without him. Looking back ten years ago my mom made the best decision for me personally in growing up.