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Longtime AU ski coach Walsh retires
6/19/14

Kevin Walsh, who coached men’s and women’s Alpine skiing at Alfred University 14 years, leading both squads to their most successful seasons ever, has retired.

Walsh, who announced his retirement this week, is moving from the area. He leaves AU after a 14-year coaching career in which he guided both the men’s and women’s teams to five appearances in the United States Collegiate Skiing Association (USCSA) national championships.

“Alfred University has by far been an enjoyable 14-year coaching position. It has been an honor to coach such a brilliant mix of athletes,” Walsh commented. “I have kept in contact with many of my student athletes and am always proud to boast about the successful careers they all have.”

In 2001, Walsh’s first season as coach, he led the men’s team to a ninth-place finish at nationals, the best in program history. Seven years later, in 2008, his women’s team placed sixth, that team’s best-ever showing at nationals.

Walsh coached the last two seasons (2001 and 2002) of a four-year run in which the men’s team went 40-0 in conference races and won four conference team titles. His son, Conor, skied all four of those seasons and was inducted into the AU Athletics Hall of Fame last fall. Under Walsh’s tutelage, two AU men’s skiers won individual regional titles: Matt Seavey in 2003 and Lincoln Steele in 2007.

Two members of the women’s team earned All-American recognition during Walsh’s tenure. Lauren Pfeifer, the most decorated women’s skier in team history, won All-American honors each of three straight seasons, from 2007-09, while Elissa DeGolyer earned All-American recognition in 2008. The women’s team won regional titles in 2007 and 2008, with Pfeifer earning individual regional crowns each of those seasons.

During Walsh’s career at Alfred, the men’s team made the USCSA national championships in 2001 (ninth place), 2002 (12th), 2003 (12th), 2005 (12th) and 2007 (14th). The women’s team competed in nationals in 2001 (16th), 2002 (15th), 2007 (17th), 2008 (sixth) and 2009 (13th).

The University will work over the coming weeks to find Walsh’s replacement. Kathy Woughter, vice president of Student Affairs, praised Walsh for the job he did during his coaching tenure at AU.

“I want to thank Coach Kevin Walsh for his 14 years of service to Alfred University,” she said. “Under his leadership we have had years of expert coaching. He will be very, very hard to replace and I know you all join me in wishing him all the best as he transitions into a happy and healthy retirement.”