Skiing will make its return to the Nevada Athletics varsity lineup in the 2022-23 athletic season, the University of Nevada announced Wednesday.
Nevada will field men's and women's alpine skiing, which will compete at the Division I level as a member of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) alongside Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Colorado, Colorado Mountain College, Denver, Montana State, Utah, Westminster College, and Wyoming.
Mihaela Kosi, who served as Sierra Nevada University's alpine skiing head coach since 2018, will assume the same role with the revived Wolf Pack program. From 2018-22, Kosi oversaw an Eagles program which captured a total of 16 team national titles at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Collegiate National Championships. The Eagles captured eight team titles at the 2022 championships (men's and women's combined Alpine, men's and women's alpine giant slalom, men's and women's slalom, men's and women's dual slalom).
"Reno-Tahoe is home to a rich, deep skiing history, and one of the most successful ski communities at the international level. It makes me very proud to announce the return of Nevada Skiing," said Nevada Athletics Director Stephanie Rempe. "It has been truly amazing to see how much the program's return has energized our community. We look forward to this new era of Nevada Skiing and continuing the program's rich, proud tradition."
"Mihaela's accomplishments in leading Sierra Nevada Skiing to multiple national titles will prepare our program to jump right into action, and we are excited to have her lead Nevada Skiing's return to competition," Rempe continued.
"I am very honored and grateful to be part of this transition, to have a hand in reinstating the one and only Division I skiing program in the region, and to see the impact it will have on our sport and the Reno-Tahoe area," Kosi said. "When I heard about the merger, I felt responsible and driven to ensure that the legacy of my team continued. I would like to thank President Sandoval and Stephanie Rempe for their support and vision during this transition, and the support from our local ski community has been overwhelming. I look forward to reinstating and repeating the success of Nevada Skiing."
The addition of alpine skiing to the Wolf Pack varsity sports lineup is part of the University's transition of assets and operations from Sierra Nevada University, a year-long process which has rebranded the previous SNU as the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.
"Our University has a long and storied history in skiing, starting with one of the most influential figures in the world of Sierra skiing – our own Wayne Poulsen. With today's announcement, we honor the outstanding legacy of our past Wolf Pack ski teams and commit to the promise of an exciting future," said University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval. "With the beautiful University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe campus, we will recruit the finest student-athletes to our women's and men's alpine ski teams who will have access to some of the finest skiing venues in the world. We look forward to competing against the very best alpine skiing programs in the nation as a member of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association and appreciate the opportunity to join these outstanding alpine ski teams."
Skiing was established at Nevada in 1936 by Wayne Poulson, a Wolf Pack student who served as athlete-coach. The program produced four Olympians (Dodie Post Gann, Glenn Jobe, Katerina Hanusova Nash, Lane Monroe), five individual national titles (won by a total of three student-athletes), claimed 39 All-America honors, with 14 top-10 team finishes at NCAA Championships (the last being a ninth-place finish in 2008). The program, which was cut in 2010, previously included cross country skiing (freestyle and classical), in addition to downhill events (slalom and giant slalom).
Katerina Hanusova claimed three of the Wolf Pack's five individual national titles, claiming the 5k classical and 15k freestyle crowns in 2001, then repeating as 15k freestyle NCAA champion in 2002. Pat Myers claimed the program's first national title, winning the men's downhill in 1954, while Tommi Viirret captured the men's giant slalom title in 2002.
Hanusova Nash went on to represent the Czech Republic five times at the Olympics, competing in cross country skiing at the 1998 Nagano Games, 2002 Salt Lake City Games, and the 2006 Torino Games, and making Summer Olympic appearances in mountain biking at the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2012 London Games.
Post Gann, a 2001 inductee into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, was voted captain of the U.S. Women's Ski Team ahead of the 1948 San Moritz Winter Games, although a broken ankle kept her from competing. She would return to the Winter Olympics four years later, competing at the Oslo Games.
Jobe qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team in biathlon, where he finished 38th at the Lake Placid Winter Games.
Monroe coached the U.S. Women's Ski Team from 1975-76 and also was an assistant coach on the Men's Olympic Ski Team from 1972-74. He was part of the U.S. staff at the 1972 Sapporo Games.
Nevada Skiing also boasts seven members of the Wolf Pack Athletics Hall of Fame: Post Gann (inaugural Class of 1973), Poulson (Class of 1974), Myers (Class of 1990), Jobe (Class of 2002), Hanuvosa (inducted in 2013 as Katerina Hanusova Nash), Lane Monroe (Class of 1987), and Chelton Leonard (Class of 1992).