APU's Flora named national Olympic coach of the year

Erik Flora, head coach of Alaska Pacific University's nordic ski program, was named the U.S. Olympic Committee 2013 National Coach of the Year on Wednesday.

Flora becomes the fourth U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association coach to win the top honor since the award debuted in 1996, according to a news release. Other USSA winners include Pete del'Giudice, Bud Keene and Ricky Bower.

This year, four of the 14 American skiers who competed at the Winter Games in Sochi came from APU, including Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Sadie Bjorsen and Erik Bjornsen. In 2013, APU's Rosie Brennan was the overall SuperTour champion. Flora also guided the U.S. women's team to its first World Cup relay medal and the first top-three individual ranking in overall World Cup standings.

Flora was also named the 2013 USSA Coach of the Year and the 2013 USSA International Cross-Country Coach of the Year.

"Erik has played a significant role the success of our U.S. cross country team and made a difference in the careers of our athletes," USSA president Tiger Shaw said in a press release.

Anchorage Daily News