SVSEF’s Charlotte Gourlay Awarded Intermountain Division Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Charlotte Gourlay, IMD Coach of the Year and Sean O’Connor, IMD Volunteer of the Year!

At the 2022/23 Intermountain Division (IMD) Annual Meeting Awards Banquet held in Jackpot, NV this spring, the SVSEF community came away with three distinguished awards. The awards are voted on annually by the IMD Alpine Competition Committee and the directors of all clubs in the division. SVSEF Alum Charlotte Gourlay was awarded the Nick Lewis Coach of the Year, Sean O’Conner was named the Steve Schowengerdt Volunteer of the Year, and 2023 SVSEF graduate and new member of the U.S. Alpine D Team, Finnigan Donley, was presented with the Steve Bounous Excellence in Skiing Award.

“I’m incredibly honored to win this award, but it really isn’t about me!” said Charlotte Gourlay, SVSEF Alpine U14 Travel Team Head Coach and recipient of the IMD Coach of the Year award. “I am here to support our alpine athletes in their journey and help them become the best versions of themselves in sport and in life. SVSEF is an incredible community, and I wouldn’t be where I am without the encouragement from all the incredible coaches, mentors, support staff, and parents. A big shout-out to the athletes for buying into all the crazy challenges we throw at them. Thank you, SVSEF community, for allowing me to be a part of such a great organization!”

As one of the hardest working coaches in the IMD, other coaches often look to Gourlay as the sounding board for them to make the U14 Series the best it can be. Charlotte is very involved with the Intermountain Division as the U14 Working Group Chair and gives of her time as a volunteer head coach for the IMD U14 Regionals. In this role as a volunteer IMD coach, she takes care of the IMD Team in its entirety, including the SVSEF athletes. Charlotte is also aggressively pursuing her Coaches Certifications with USSS Level 300 already under her belt, along with various Alpine Officials Certifications. She consistently pursues opportunities to learn and grow herself, in order to best provide for her athletes.

“Charlotte is both a phenomenal coach and an extraordinary person,” said Will Brandenburg, SVSEF Alpine Program Director. “Her ability to balance fun and progression is something that I truly admire in her coaching. Her team had a phenomenal season with great results, and what is exciting is the joy the athletes on her team have for the sport. These kids love ski racing and working hard. They buy into the programming hook, line, and sinker; and that’s due to the culture she sets for the athletes. She never talks about results but still keeps them motivated. She cares more about the kid than the skier and uses the sport as a vehicle for growth.”

Long-time volunteer for SVSEF and the ski-racing community, Sean O’Connor, was presented with the IMD Volunteer of the Year award. 

“Quite simply, Sean is instrumental in our team’s ability to host high-quality ski races in this valley,” said Brandenburg. “He works so hard and cares so much that he inspires everyone around him. Putting on races is a lot of work, and our team enjoys it in large part through the culture Sean and his crew create. I honestly can’t wait to work a race again with this team next season and it’s cool to see that others throughout our division see how much Sean puts into it!”

SVSEF recipients of the annual IMD awards across the last decade include:

  • 2022-23 Coach of the Year – Charlotte Gourlay
  • 2022-23 Volunteer of the Year – Sean O’Connor
  • 2022-23 Steve Bounous Excellence in Skiing Award (Men) – Finnigan Donley
  • 2021-22 Official of the Year – Riley Berman
  • 2020-21 Steve Bounous Excellence in Skiing Award (Men) – Ryder Sarchett
  • 2017-18 Official of the Year – Scott McGrew
  • 2016-17 Bryce Astle Intermountain Cup Award (Men) – Jack Smith
  • 2016-17 Bryce Astle Intermountain Cup Award (Women) – Lily Fitzgerald
  • 2016-17 Coach of the Year – Nate Schwing
  • 2016-17 Volunteer of the Year – Heather Flood Daves
  • 2015-16 Bryce Astle Intermountain Cup Award (Women) – Lily Fitzgerald
  • 2014-15 IMD Scholar Award – Stockton Troyer
  • 2012-13 Intermountain Cup Award (Women) – Kyla Miller

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