Make it a hat trick — or maybe a ski hat trick — for Jan Buron and the Alaska Winter Stars.
Buron this week was named the country’s top international cross-country coach, completing his club’s sweep of postseason honors from U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
Earlier this month, the Alaska Winter Stars nabbed two other top awards. The Winter Stars club was named the top domestic cross-country program in the country and club member Gus Schumacher was named the cross-country athlete of the year — and shared U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s top award, the Beck International Trophy, with alpine star Mikaela Shiffrin.
Now Buron, who created the Alaska Winter Stars in 1997, is collecting his fourth award as the nation’s top cross-country coach. It’s the second straight year he has won the international award; in 2010 he was honored as the top domestic coach. Buron’s first award came in 1999 before separate awards were created for domestic and international coaching.
“Jan Buron’s Alaska Winter Stars program has been a strong force in Alaska, creating new generations of cross country skiers” for more than 20 years, U.S. Ski & Snowboard said when announcing this year’s coaching awards.
It noted that under Buron’s direction, Schumacher in March became the first American to win an individual gold medal at the World Junior Championships while also anchoring the U.S. men’s relay team to a second straight gold medal.
Buron, who is also the Service High coach, has guided numerous Alaska Winter Star skiers to podium finishes at both the U.S. national championships and the junior national championships over the years.
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