Callahan, Wheeler tapped as AVSC program directors |

Callahan, Wheeler tapped as AVSC program directors

Tim Mutrie

Former Olympic nordic skier John Callahan and Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC) veteran Miah Wheeler have been named program directors for the club.Callahan, an Aspen native, will lead the nordic program, while Wheeler, who has been with AVSC since 2001, will head up the snowboard program.Callahan succeeds 10-year AVSC fixture Toby Morse, the former executive director and nordic director. Wheeler takes over for Chris Karol, a snowboard legend who was with the club for three years.”John and Miah are both passionate about their sports,” said AVSC Executive Director Mark Cole. “They also understand and embrace AVSC’s goal of developing great kids in the process of helping each participant reach their full athletic potential.”Morse and Karol resigned from their positions, Cole said.Callahan, who was raised in a skiing family in Aspen, comes to AVSC from Park City, Utah, where he served as director and head coach of the Park City nordic ski team.The 1992 Olympian will be joining brother Pat on the AVSC coaching staff. Pat is the club’s alpine ability coach.”People from all across the country and even internationally expressed interest” in the nordic director position, said Cole. “And John emerged as the ideal candidate from a crowded field. We’re excited John has chosen to return to AVSC.”He definitely has some pretty big shoes to fill replacing Toby, but with his leadership AVSC can continue to offer an outstanding nordic program.”Callahan grew up as an alpine skier. He turned to nordic in college, then moved up to the U.S. Ski Team.Morse, who spearheaded AVSC’s fund-raising efforts for the slopeside clubhouse at Highlands, served as executive director from December 1994 to August 2001. When Morse resigned as executive director, he stayed on as nordic director.Cole said Morse plans to stay in the area and focus on his contracting business.”Not only was Toby able to head up a very successful nordic program, he was able to head up a very successful capital campaign,” said Cole. “I can’t imagine sitting here at this desk and having to be up on the hill.”Wheeler has been teaching snowboarding for 10 years. Since joining AVSC, his freestyle focus has yielded excellent results in national competitions.”In Miah, we had such a strong internal candidate that we chose not to conduct a search outside the organization,” said Cole. “Miah has demonstrated considerable skill working with athletes and his fellow coaches. His motivation and focus will be assets to the snowboard program.”An accomplished kayaker, in 2002 Wheeler became the youngest paddler certified as an instructor by the American Canoe Association.Under Karol in 2003, AVSC was named the snowboard club of the year.”He was able to get our snowboard program focused on athletic achievement as well as character development,” said Cole.Wheeler has already taken over the reins, while Callahan is expected to start at the end of the month.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is

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