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Josiah (Joe) Downing enters his third season as the University of New Mexico alpine ski coach, having joined the program in August of 2012. In each of the past two seasons, Downings alpine team has taken a first place finish at UNM's own Jade Enterprises/New Mexico Invitational.
With UNM, he has mentored an individual national champion in Joonas Rasanen, who captured the 2013 Men's Slalom title at NCAAs. Rasanen last year went on the win the Gold Medal at the World University Games. In his first two seasons with the Lobos, UNM has garnered 10 apline All-Americans, and Armin Triendl was named a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American in both years.
Downing also has had eight individual apline race winners in his first two seasons with New Mexico, along with nine All-RMISA selections.
Downing joined the Lobos with over six years of head coaching experience and plenty of passion for ski racing. UNM head ski coach Fredrik Landstedt said Downing's enthusiasm will make an instant impact on the Lobo ski program.
"He really wants to give 110 percent to the Lobo ski team and wants to make the team better," Landstedt said. "He knows what it takes, having been an RMISA (Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association) regional champion and two-time All-American. He knows how to coach skiers from the ground up and can teach skill and technique from the very basics to top levels."
Said Downing upon his hire in August of 2012, "The opportunity to work for the University of New Mexico and to work with athletes at this level is really cool. The prospect of having national championship is very exciting. UNM has always been a strong team."
The Puyallup, Wash., native joined UNM's ski staff after having spent the 2011 season as an International Ski Federation (FIS) coach at Aspen Valley Ski Club in Aspen, Colo. As part of his coaching duties, Downing served as the divisional and regional project coach as well as an event coordinator and operational lead. From 2009-11, Downing was the lead FIS coach at Schweitzer Alpine Racing School (SARS) in Sandpoint, Idaho where he also served as divisional and regional project coach. Four of the six elite athletes he worked with at SARS are currently members of Division I ski teams at NCAA institutions. Downing spent nearly five years (2005-09) with Loveland Racing Club as the head alpine coach/FIS ability lead coach. His goal was to create a sustainable FIS program while at Loveland. He managed several aspects of the club, including overseeing all other lead coaches and their training/education in addition to managing all on-hill operations.
Downing got his coaching start right out of college. After graduating from Western State College in 2002 with a degree in business administration, he accepted a position as an FIS coach with his home ski club, Team Alpental Snoqualmie (TAS). During the three years he spent with TAS, Downing worked with a strong group of skiers who won the Northwest Cup Team Title twice. A two-time NCAA All-American and Western Regional Champion in Giant Slalom (2001) for the Mountaineers, Downing's passion for ski racing was sparked by his father, who raced for the University of Denver in the 1960s.
Downing also has experience in coaching with the US Ski Team (Development Team) and has served as seasonal coaching staff with the Western Region Development Project, including every summer session since 2001. Downing and his wife Bwryn have enjoyed all that being a resident of New Mexico has to offer, "My wife and I really love it here," he said. "... the culture, environment and we enjoy the architecture."
Alpine All-Americans under Downing
Men's Giant Slalom: Chris Acosta 2013, Armin Triendl 2014, Sean Horner 2014
Women's Giant Slalom: Courtney Altringer 2014, Karoline Mykelbust 2014
Men's Slalom: Chris Acosta 2013, Joonas Rasanen 2013, Sean Horner 2014
Women's Slalom: Mateja Robnik 2013, Mateja Robnik 2014
Alpine All-RMISA under Downing
Men's: Joonas Rasanen 2013, Chris Acosta 2013, Michael Bansmer 2013, Joonas Rasanen 2014, Sean Horner 2014, Juho-Pekka Penttinen 2014
Women's: Mateja Robnik 2013, Karoline Mykelbust 2014, Mateja Robnik 2014