Vonn Returns to Northwood as Alpine Technical Director

Thomas Vonn is a new addition to the NYSEF/Northwood coaching staff. He is returning to his high school roots after spending twenty years away from Northwood as an Olympic and World Cup alpine ski racer and, later, a world-class coach, known mostly for coaching the technical aspects of ski racing.  

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Vonn came to Northwood as a junior and graduated in 1994. He took two post-graduate years afterward and went on to St. Lawrence University, where he graduated in 2001. He was offered a spot on the US Ski team and competed in his first FIS World Cup in 1998. Vonn’s best finish in a World Cup was 13th, and he finished 9th in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Coach Vonn has been named as the Alpine Technical Director for both Northwood School and NYSEF, starting this summer. He will help coach all levels, but he will also be advising coaches, assisting them and showing them new techniques to better their athletes. He will join the Northwood team for a training camp in Zermatt, Switzerland this summer. Vonn’s partner and newborn son will stay in Park City while he lives in Lake Placid for the winter. Northwood’s Head Alpine Coach, Terry DelliQuadri, has expressed excitement about Thomas’s homecoming. DelliQuadri was also able to clarify questions regarding Coach Vonn’s new position.

As a young ski racer, Vonn never thought ski racing would turn into a career for him. He has always enjoyed the competition but never thought that he was “good enough” to be on the US Ski Team. Vonn told us that when he was a kid, his goal was to receive a scholarship to compete for a college. His favorite place to ski, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, is Deer Valley. His favorite TV series is Game of Thrones, and he enjoys watching movies by Marvel. Vonn’s childhood idols are two of the greatest racers of all time, Norwegian skier Kjetil Andre Aamodt, and Swiss skier Michael von Grünigen.

Thomas enjoys playing tennis and spending time with his three-month-old son. When we asked Thomas how he felt about coming back to Northwood after being away for over twenty years, he sounded absolutely ecstatic. Vonn said, “I am super excited to be back at Northwood, it will be a new challenge. It will be very cool to see my old teachers, some will have changed and some of them will have stayed the same.”

A Northwood memory that stands out for Thomas is the first day the ski team went to Whiteface. He was super excited to get on the snow, but he showed up to the van a minute late and missed the first day of practice. This stuck with Thomas and served as a good life lesson: there is no mom or dad to drive you when you are ready.

Thomas hopes to bring and share his more than twenty years of experience and knowledge he has gained ever since he was a student at Northwood through the Olympics and coaching World Cup athletes. Thomas says his past job will be different in that the athletes he worked with before were older and more experienced. He is excited to work with a younger age group because he believes that it is harder to critique a developed athlete that already has a set style and technique. He looks forward to coaching young athletes who are still developing and trying to master their skills.

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