Teague returns home to run AVSC Nordic program
November 12, 2016
When Aspen native August Teague was in eighth grade, his future was clear — he was going to be a professional basketball player.
Obviously, this didn't work out for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club's new Nordic program director.
"In reality, being an NBA player coming out of Aspen was clearly not going to happen. As I matured a little bit more and had more of those conversations, I realized that I wanted to pursue Nordic," Teague said. "The reason I wanted to pursue Nordic was the people. The coaching staff and the athletes I was training with were people that I got along with the best. That drew me into the sport."
Teague, 36, took over as the AVSC's Nordic director on Nov. 1 after being hired in September. He grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley — most of his direct family still lives here — and was once a member of the AVSC. He attended Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale and later the University of Denver.
Most recently, he has called Truckee, California, home, where he was running his own junior Nordic club.
"I was really lucky in that I was leaving an amazing community in Tahoe and that I was coming to another amazing community in Aspen," Teague said from his AVSC office last week. "I needed to go have some time and then the opportunity to come back to this community, where my family is, was incredibly fortunate."
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Teague has worked on numerous levels. Earlier in his career, he served as the Nordic program director at Whitman College and the University of Nevada, Reno, where he eventually became the director of skiing.
He also experienced the highest level of Nordic skiing when he spent four years working with the Australian Ski Team, which included two World Championships and the Sochi Olympics.
"We are familiar with the monkeys in Japan in the snow, and we find that fascinating. Similarly, you get to Australia and all of a sudden you have wombats and parrots cruising along while you are skiing," Teague said. "The opportunity to do that was incredible. I learned a ton about technique and waxing and what it takes to be at that level."
Eventually, the exhaustive travel — he was only able to spend a few months each year in the United States — led to him stepping away from the Australian national team to focus on developing younger skiers back in California.
Returning home to Aspen had never been a direct goal of his, but Teague is glad the opportunity came his way to re-join the AVSC.
"My goals have more to do with the athletes than they do with location. The Aspen community is such an amazing community that coming back here was certainly an exciting opportunity," Teague said. "The last time the position opened up I talked to some of the Nordic community leaders about the opportunity, and the timing just wasn't right. This time, when the opportunity came up, we talked again and it really made sense."
With Teague starting so late in the year, he said not to expect many changes right away. The Nordic staff remains largely unchanged from last year, and Teague believes the same culture he enjoyed when he was an AVSC athlete is still in place now. As director, he wants to take this winter to analyze the program's strengths and weaknesses, and make decisions based off that.
On top of being the Nordic program director, Teague will be the head coach for the national comp team.
"My job this year is to continue on those legacies and fill in wherever I can," Teague said. "I have some visions. I have some goals. I think those will continue to develop and evolve through the course of the year. One of our big goals is to get as many people on cross country skis as possible."