We are very excited about the coaching staff for this season. Mark Thibodeau
, race program director at Mt. Abram Ski Resort for the past 9 years will take over as the new program director at Black Mountain Ski Resort
. Previously, Mark was the Leavitt High School coach for 12 years where he won 4 State Championships, and was named Maine Coach Of The Year. He is a USSA level I coach and USSA official.
will join the coaching staff. Julie Parisien got her skiing start at Lost Valley at the age of two and soon was racing her brothers and sister down those slopes. At an early age she began putting posters of world-class skiers on the walls of her room and saying to herself, "I can do that". Through grade school Julie skied after school at Lost Valley and weekends with the family at Sugarloaf. As a high school freshman she moved to Burke Mountain Academy to seriously pursue her goal of becoming a world-class ski racer and it didn't take long.
In her second year at Burke, March of 1989, Julie finished 4th in Super G at the National Alpine Championships. The next season saw wins in NorAms, Junior Olympics, a gold medal in Combined at the US Nationals and a Bronze Medal at the World Junior Alpine Championships. During the 1990-91 season Parisien piled up more wins, eleven in all in FIS, NorAm, and Europa Cup. The big breakthrough came in the World Cup finals at Waterville Valley when, at the age of 19, she won the Giant Slalom, the first US World Cup win in four years.
Her success at every level of alpine competition earned Julie a place on the 1992 Olympic team and entered the games as a US favorite to win a medal. As she was training for the races, a skier entered a training area and Julie lost several teeth in a collision. A broken wrist in later training followed that but she still competed. After the first run she led the slalom, but skied tentatively in the second run and finished fourth. She finished fifth in GS, great results considering her injuries but a disappointment for such a competitor. She finished the season by winning the World Cup final slalom earning her the number one ranking in the World to start the 1993 season.
Julie opened the 1993-94 season by winning a World Cup Slalom but a shortly after her brother J. P. was killed by a drunk driver and she suffered a knee injury a few weeks later. Despite the tragic loss and the injury she stayed with it and won a silver medal at the World Championships and her second National Combined title. After that season Parisien left the US Team to dominate the women's pro tour for the next three years. At the beginning of the 1997-98 season she decided to try a comeback and worked her way onto the US Team for the 98 Olympics where she finished 13th in GS.
Following her final retirement from the US Team this skier who held up a long tradition of outstanding skiers from Auburn and Maine finished school and nurses training, began a family and found ways to give back to her sport. She coached junior racers at Lost Valley and traveled the state motivating young school children to get involved in skiing and other outdoor winter sports for the Winter Kids program. An outstanding competitive career and a devotion to the sport have earned Julie Parisien a place in the Maine Ski Hall of Fame.
will follow Coach Thibodeau over from Mt. Abram. Coach LaVallee is a former four-year standout and two-year captain of the Plymouth State University Ski Team and has enjoyed a distinguished coaching career in ski racing. He has been successful at the high school level in Bethel and at Oxford Hills High School in Maine; the college level at the University of Colorado and Bates College; the prep school level at Gould Academy; and the national level with the United States Ski Team from 1983-87.
A native of Winthrop, Maine, LaVallee led Telstar to four Maine state championships and one New England title in the 1970s, and Oxford Hills to the state title in 1979. He served the US Ski Team in Park City, Utah in the 1980s as Development Coach, Alpine Team Technical Director, and Executive Director of the US Ski Coaches Association. He coached at the University of Colorado, where his teams compiled a 113-24-1 record while producing some of the country's top skiers.
LaVallee returned to Maine in 1990 as head ski coach at Bates College. In 1994, he joined in a partnership between Gould Academy and Sunday River to create a comprehensive ski program that has succeeded at all levels, winning six New England Prep School Championships from 1998-07 and sending several skiers to the US Ski Team. He is am member of the Plymouth State University Athletic Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2008.