USA Bobsled and Skeleton

May 16 USBSF prepares for next quad with organizational changes

May 16, 2014, 12:14 p.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation prepares for next quad with organizational changes

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (May 16, 2014)- Several organizational changes have been made to the U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF) in preparation for the next quad leading up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.  USA Bobsled & Skeleton athletes claimed six medals at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and USBSF CEO Darrin Steele aims to continue the organization’s trajectory of success in 2018. The personnel changes will become effective starting July 1, 2014.

“Our resistance to complacency and our willingness to take calculated risks have been two defining values in the USBSF since 2007, and we will remain true to those values as we look to 2018,” Steele said. “We broke from the traditional quad-to-quad planning and created a ten-year strategy after the Vancouver Games that became the organization’s 2020 vision. I spent a great deal of time analyzing the learnings over my tenure as CEO that helped guide the plan moving forward.”

Steele promoted Ashley Walden (Lake Placid, N.Y.) to director of internal operations to further strengthen the relationships between the USBSF and the Olympic Regional Development Authority, Utah Olympic Park, U.S. Olympic Committee and technology partners.  Walden is a 2002 luge Olympian and joined the USBSF staff as the operations coordinator in July 2012.

Skeleton Head Coach Tuffy Latour (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) has been promoted to director of sport operations and will oversee all five disciplines on the national team. Latour initially joined the staff as Lake Placid program director for bobsled and skeleton before working as the women’s bobsled driving coach and then the men’s bobsled head coach. He left the organization in 2006 to lead the Canadian program before returning to the USBSF in 2010 as the head skeleton coach.  Steele chose Latour as Director of Sport Operations because of his experience coaching all three teams and his ability to foster a team culture that meets Steele’s overall vision.

The women’s and men’s bobsled teams will be combined into one program with discipline assignments delegated to the assistant coaches under Brian Shimer (Naples, Fla.), who will assume the position as bobsled head coach for both the women’s and men’s teams.

Former Penske Racing Manager Richard Laubenstein (Kutztown, Pa.) will be named crew chief to help with the USBSF’s technology strategy, taking the organization to the next level of sled maintenance, research and development, and race strategy. 

“Unfortunately, the new structure means that we will be saying goodbye to two individuals who have contributed a great deal to the organization over the years,” Steele said. “Scott Novack’s role has transitioned into the position assumed by Walden, and the consolidation of the women’s and men’s bobsled team means that we are saying goodbye to Todd Hays as well.  Both were key members of the team in the last quad, which made these structural decisions very difficult.”

Novack began working as the USBSF high performance director in 2008 and served as team leader for the 2010 Vancouver Games and 2014 Sochi Games. Hays, a three-time Olympian, was hired as the women’s bobsled head coach in 2011.

Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.

About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.

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