The University of Colorado went more than three decades without having to worry about, or replace, the leadership of its historic skiing program.
Now, for the second time in less than two years, the Buffaloes are in search of a permanent leader on the slopes.
Last week, CU dismissed head skiing coach Andy LeRoy after only one full season, and on the eve of the start of the 2023 alpine season. LeRoy was named the 18th head coach in program history on March 18, 2021, replacing the legendary Richard Rokos, who led the Buffs to eight team national championships in 31 seasons as Colorado’s head coach.
Lead Nordic coach Jana Weinberger will serve as interim head coach, while assistant Chad Wolk takes over as head alpine coach. CU declined comment on LeRoy’s situation, instead releasing the following statement:
“LeRoy is no longer head coach of the University of Colorado Boulder ski team. Jana Weinberger will serve as interim head coach and Chad Wolk will serve as the alpine coach. As this is a personnel matter, we have no further comment.”
LeRoy’s departure was effective Jan. 26.
The university declined to elaborate further, but the situation with LeRoy had to be significant given the early-season personnel move combined with the reality of moving on from a coach with deep ties to the program.
LeRoy competed one season for the CU program under Rokos, winning the NCAA title in the slalom in 2000. LeRoy returned to Boulder as a volunteer assistant under Rokos for the 2002 season.
Prior to arriving as Rokos’ replacement in the spring of 2021, LeRoy spent 15 seasons as the head coach at the University of Denver, winning six NCAA team championships with the Pioneers. With Rokos retired, LeRoy’s six national titles were the most among active NCAA ski coaches.
LeRoy was hired following a search that included an advisory committee led by two CU athletics Hall of Famers with deep ties to the ski program, Bill Marolt and Bruce Gamble. Marolt, a former CU ski coach and athletic director, coached LeRoy during the 1990s with the U.S. National Team.
“We’re gonna have a relentless pursuit of excellence in absolutely everything we do from the staff to the athletes, from the classrooms to the ski hill and with our service to the communities that support us,” LeRoy said during his introductory press conference nearly 22 months ago.
“We’re gonna paint the walls of this school with national championship trophies and we’re gonna help develop our athletes with every resource available at this school, to become professional ski racers and professionals in their chosen area of study.”
In their lone season under LeRoy last year, the Buffs finished fourth at the NCAA championships. CU opened the alpine portion of the 2023 season last week at the Westminster Invitational, and this week the Buffs are hosting the Nordic Events of the Spencer James Nelson Memorial Invitational in Steamboat Springs. The alpine events are set for next week at Eldora.