Greg Rawlings Named Head Coach of U.S. Paralympics Cross Country Skiing National Team

Dec. 15, 2008, 7:02 p.m. (ET)

PARK CITY, Utah - Longtime cross country and alpine club coach Greg Rawlings is the newest addition to the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team. He joins the program as head cross country coach, according to Program Director Sandy Metzger.

"We are thrilled to have Greg join our program as head cross country head," Metzger said. "With his years of experience in the coaching field as well as his knowledge of adaptive cross country he will be an asset in guiding the team to reach great heights."

Rawlings, who was head cross country coach for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club for six years, is eager to begin his first season with the Team.

"I'm excited to see how the team works as it's set up and also bring it to a different level," Rawlings said. "I'm really looking forward to giving the athletes an opportunity to do well."

Rawlings started his ascent into coaching in 1987 when, as a college student he volunteered as an alpine ski instructor for the Adaptive Sport Program in Durango, CO.

"At first I did it and swapped out for lift tickets. After doing it a couple times I didn't take the lift tickets, I just coached the whole time," Rawlings said. "I just liked being around inspiring people and helping them work."

Following his volunteer work, Rawlings owned a bike shop before moving on to coach with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. In 1999 Rawlings pursued a new path in life as a pilot, but returned to the ski community in 2002 as a masters coach and community trail coordinator in Aroostook, ME.

"I ended up coaching full time in northern Maine, but once my kids were old enough to get in school, we moved back to Steamboat Springs," Rawlings said.

In Steamboat Springs Rawlings was a property manager for a family business as well as a self-employed contractor, but he never let his coaching roots stray too far as he continued to do volunteer race coordination for the Steamboat Nordic Council.

Rawlings joins the Team before the start of its 2009 season and is truly thrilled to start his journey as its coach.

"I'm kinda giddy at this point. It's really exciting," Rawlings said. "Everyone I have met is super nice and we have lots of room to grow in the program, so I am looking forward to everything."

The Team will come together for its first major event Dec. 31 - Jan. 8 with the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships in Anchorage. A big focus for the season will be the World Championships in Vuokatti, Finland Jan. 26-Feb. 1.