December 02, 2011 (Denver, Colorado) – Håkon Johansen has been named Nordic assistant coach of The University of Denver ski team, Nordic head coach Dave Stewart announced today. Johansen, who skied for the Pioneers from 2000-03, returns to Denver after working in his native Norway.
“We are thrilled to welcome Håkon back to the DU family,” Stewart said. The opportunity to coach at DU attracted a tremendous amount of interest, both domestically and abroad. We had many highly qualified applicants for the position, so the choice was not an easy one. When Håkon inquired, I was most interested in his unique background. He has experience as a top-level racer, both in Norway and at the collegiate level in the U.S. He was a coach at one of the top ski clubs in the world. And, equally as important, was his work with troubled youth.”
Johansen’s Nordic background includes his time on the Pioneers squad, which included NCAA championships in 2001 and 2002. He was a member of the Norwegian national team for two different stints from 1993-95 and 1998-2000, winning a silver medal in the Nordic Relay at the 1994 World Junior Championships in Breitenwang, Austria. Johansen also coached the Strindheim (Norway) Ski Club from 2006-09. Additionally, he spent time coaching the Junior Regional Team in Nord-Trondelag.
Johansen most recently worked to develop a program focused on assisting Norwegian troubled youth and removing them from dysfunctional situations.
“Håkon is a student of the sport and someone who understands what it takes to succeed as a student-athlete,” Stewart said. “I believe Håkon will be a good fit for our ambitious and hard-working team.”
Johansen joined the Pioneers during training camp in late November. The DU Nordic team begins its season on Jan. 13 at the University of Colorado Laura Sharpe Flood Memorial Invitational at Eldora Mountain Resort, Colo.
“I am really looking forward to coaching the Nordic team,” Johansen said. “I got the chance to meet and get to know the team at the first snow camp that we just finished, and I have to admit that the athletes are very talented and highly motivated. I think we will see great results this winter, and I personally hope that my experience and skills as a coach will have a positive impact on the team’s results, as well as every athlete’s individual performance.”