Pepper elevated to men’s and women’s skiing assistant coach

Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Head coach Scott Jerome announced that the men’s and women’s skiing programs’ coaching intern Bryan Pepper has been promoted to the full-time assistant role for the 2012-13 ski season.

He takes over the role formerly held by Matt Dunlap, who served for the skiing and cross country running programs for three and four seasons, respectively. Dunlap, who led the women’s cross country program to the 2011 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, resigned following the 2012 cross country season in order to move to the Lower 48 and pursue other career opportunities.

“Matt Dunlap left large shoes to fill and I am confident that Bryan will pick up where Matt left off,” Jerome said. “I am very pleased that he accepted the position.”

Pepper spent the 2011-12 Nordic Ski season shadowing Jerome and Dunlap in practices, training, waxing and other administrative duties. He also traveled with the team to assist with wax testing and other race related duties.

“Serving as our intern last year Bryan quickly became an integral part of our coaching staff and team,” Jerome said. “He possesses a wide knowledge of ski technique, waxing, and training and the student-athletes are the largest beneficiaries of Bryan’s fine work. He makes our program better for all.”

A native of Old Forge, N.Y., Pepper came to the Nanooks after graduating from St. Lawrence University in 2010 with a degree in Geology. Pepper was a three-year racing member of the Saints’ Nordic ski team and spent his senior year as a student assistant for the program. He was the recipient of the Augsbury/North Country Scholar academic scholarship at SLU.

Prior to joining the Saints’ ski program, he was a six-year member of the Mid-Atlantic Junior National Team and competed at Junior Nationals from 2003-2008. In 2008, he was a Dave Quinn Award Nominee for the Mid-Atlantic Division.

A versatile, multi-sport athlete growing up, Pepper participated cross country, track, soccer, baseball and skiing for the Town of Webb High School Eskimos in Old Forge.

With just month under his belt in his elevated role, Pepper and Jerome led the Nanooks to the 2012 Nordic Cup title as they swept the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in the three-day intrastate series, Nov. 16-18 at Birch Hill. It was the program’s sixth Cup title in its nine-year history as the Nanooks lead the all-time series 6-2-1.

Both ski teams will open the 2013 portion of their schedule on the road at U.S. Cross Country Skiing National Championships in Midway, Utah, Jan. 2-8.