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a Powerhouse VOLLEYBALL

Taking on a

Challenge SKIING




With Passion SWIMMING

Breathe New Life

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FOOTBALL 101 Members of the Dartmouth community gathered on the newly renovated Memorial Field for an afternoon of family fun!






FRESH EYES Women’s lacrosse welcomes new head coach Danielle Spencer, who has enjoyed much success in playing and coaching. With a fresh set of eyes, women’s lacrosse is looking towards a season back at the top of the Ivy League.



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Head coach David McLaughlin looks to bring his passion for the game to the Dartmouth men’s basketball program.


EDITOR Drew Galbraith

(Re)Building a Powerhouse

Laura Schuler is the new head coach for the women’s ice hockey team and she is no stranger to building hockey powerhouses.


Dartmouth Peak Performance 6083 Alumni Gym Hanover, NH 03755

Taking on a Challenge

Gilad Doron, women’s volleyball’s new head coach, has much experience in turning around programs. With great success at Temple, Villanova, and most recently, University of San Francisco, Dartmouth College has found a key.

SENIOR WRITER Bruce Wood ADVERTISING Sam Hopkins ASSISTANT EDITOR Karen Shu PHOTOGRAPHY Rob Bossi, Mark Washburn, Gil Talbot, John Risley, Mike Scott, Nate Barrett, Tom McNeill, Andy Mead, John Strohsacker and Karen Shu. Problems or Accessibility Issues? © 2016 Trustees of Dartmouth College




Head coach Jamie Holder is a familiar face to the Ivy League and has spent much time in and out of the pool swimming against Dartmouth College. With his mentorship from legendary swim coach Rob Orr, Jamie is primed and ready to take the Big Green to new heights.



Brayton Osgood has some huge shoes to fill as head coach of the men’s nordic program after taking over for Ruff Patterson, who had been head of the program for 27 years. An accomplished Dartmouth skier, Osgood is more than ready to take charge.

All eyes are on Wyatt Omsberg, a current junior on the men’s soccer team. After a successful sophomore campaign, Omsberg was named to the National Soccer Coaches and the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy watch list, which is regarded as the most prestigious individual honor for a collegiate soccer player, and the sole Ivy representative on the College Soccer News’ Preseason All-America Third Team. The recruiting visit of Wyatt Omsberg ’18 was made possible by the generosity of Timothy J. Ehrsam ’79 and Richard G. Jaeger ’59 through the Athletic Sponsors Program. PEAK | FALL 2016


COACH profile

David McLaughlin Men’s Basketball 8

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First-year Dartmouth men’s basketball coach David McLaughlin was Dick Whitmore’s kind of basketball player. “He was a very strong athletic presence,” said Whitmore, who had a legendary 40year run as head coach at Colby College. “He was about 6-foot-5 and bulked up to about 225 pounds, so he was always a great presence on the floor. But more than that, he was a facilitator for his teammates as much as any guy his size that I have ever had. “He spent a good part of his junior year as a point guard on a pretty good team. He was a leader who made people better all the time.” Ah, but was the big guy a future coach? When McLaughlin told him after his senior season that coaching was his goal, Whitmore wanted to be certain the kid out of Boston College High School, Deerfield Academy and Brockton, Mass., knew what he would be getting into. “He came into my office and said, ‘I know we have talked about it before but I think I really want to try to be a coach,’ ” Whitmore recalled. “I said, ‘Well, David, here’s 10 reasons why going into coaching with the Colby education is not the best thing in the world for you.’ Then I said, ‘You take those things home, look at them and you come back tomorrow and tell me that you want to coach and then we will go full speed. “He came back and recited all 10 things and said, ‘I’m going to coach.’ From that point on I just knew he was going places.” He has, after a stuttering start to his job search following his graduation from Colby with a degree in history. With help from his future wife Jenna – an All-American soccer player at Colby – McLaughlin stuffed and addressed upwards of 300 envelopes to colleges across the country looking for a graduate assistant position. Expecting 40 or 50 responses, he got just one. That said, he was thrilled when Suffolk University gave him his shot. “It was, ‘This is the greatest thing ever,’ ” McLaughlin said at his introductory press conference at Floren Varsity House. And so his career began with a year at Suffolk University, from which he earned a Masters of Education in 1999. After Suffolk he spent two years as an assistant at Wesleyan before moving up to



“He came back and recited all 10 things and said, ‘I’m going to coach.’ From that point on I just knew he was going places.” Division II Stonehill College, only a few minutes drive from where he grew up. McLaughlin spent his first 3 1/2 years as an assistant coach at the Easton, Mass., school before taking over as interim head coach in January of 2004. In his first full season as head coach he went 20-8. A year later he guided Stonehill to a 27-7 record, winning the Northeast-10 regular season title, the NCAA East Regional championship and advancing to the NCAA Final Four. McLaughlin was recognized as the NE-10 and NABC Northeast Coach of the Year. Before McLaughlin was through at Stonehill, a team that had gone 11-45 in the two years before he took the reigns went 184-87 (.679) over the nine full seasons he spent as head coach. (He was 189-99 overall.) Six times the Skyhawks won at least 20 games, five times they advanced to the Division II NCAA Tournament and four times they ranked in the national top-10. Most importantly, the graduation rate while he was becoming the all-time wins later at Stonehill was 100 percent. Eager to learn the lessons and gain the experience he would need to be a Division I head coach, McLaughlin moved on to Northeastern University as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the 2013-14 season. In his second of three years working under Bill Coen he helped the Huskies to a 23-12 record and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 24 years. Now he’ll be trying to get Dartmouth back to the big dance for the first time in more than twice as many years. With Harvard bringing in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, Yale getting a

taste last winter of what Harvard has enjoyed the past few years, Princeton having climbed back to its regular place among the Ivy League elites and Penn eager to do the same, winning the Ancient Eight and going to the first NCAA Tournament since 1959 won’t be easy. McLaughlin, however, won’t be intimidated by the task at hand. “I’m ready to take the challenge because this is Dartmouth and because of the people I met in the (interview) process and the energy that I felt,” said McLaughlin, who once dreamed of playing for the Big Green before ending up at Colby. “The leadership that is in place here with (Athletic Director) Harry Sheehy is palpable. You can see it. . . . “That’s important. I feel that the support is there, people really want to win. It’s our job as a coaching staff to bring in top quality student-athletes. If you can do that in consecutive years and make sure they are the right guys, and they are buying in to the leadership in the upperclassmen who were already here, you can compete with anyone.” Sheehy is confident that a thorough search which attracted a strong field of candidates has delivered Dartmouth the coach to help it get to the first Ivy League postseason conference and beyond. “We wanted someone who had an unbelievable passion for the game,” he said. “We wanted someone who was a great recruiter. We wanted someone who was an exceptional teacher. We wanted a first-class person with high integrity. And finally we wanted someone who is fun to work with. “Check, check, check, check, check. That’s what we have.” for more on men’s basketball visit PEAK | FALL 2016



N schuler

New Dartmouth women’s ice hockey coach Laura Schuler started skating at two and slapping the puck around at three. The Ontario native joined the Toronto Aeros at age 11, went on to star as a collegian at Northeastern, skated for two more seasons at the University of Toronto, played on the Canadian National Team from 1990 through the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan – where she earned a silver medal – and has been coaching pretty much ever since. Whew. That’s a whole lot of games, a boatload of rinks, an awful lot of miles, motels and memories, and more than a few years ago. So it should hardly be a surprise that Schuler’s recollections of her four games on the ice against Dartmouth are a little hazy. But one thing is clear as the bell atop Baker Library.

itself. The academics here are second to none and the environment is absolutely beautiful. “The program has had a strong history and I look forward to building off the foundation of success that has already been laid out.” Schuler knows a lot about hockey success, helping Northeastern to a pair of Beanpot championships and three 20-win seasons in her four years skating for the Huskies. She arrived in Boston after playing six sports in high school and helped her Scarborough United soccer team with three Canadian national championships, but hockey and the dream of one day being an Olympian always won the day. “I remember watching the Canadian team enter the stadium for the opening ceremony when I was really little and thinking I wanted to be a part of that one

“She’s confident her background on the national and international level will benefit both her coaching as well as enticing top talent to come to Dartmouth.” “What I always remember about playing Dartmouth is the kids were so cerebral,” she said in her Davis Varsity House office this summer. “They understood the game. They played so well from a team perspective. You knew when you played against Dartmouth you had to bring your best game because they were not going to make a lot of mistakes.” For the record, Schuler’s powerhouse teams were 4-0 against the Big Green, with the most impressive of the wins coming by a 6-3 score in 1992-93, when she captained the Huskies. After earning ECAC East Coach of the Year honors in 2004 at Division III University of Massachusetts Boston, she headed up the Northeastern program for four seasons but never had the opportunity to coach against Dartmouth. She is thoroughly enjoying the idea of coaching for the Big Green. “As soon as Dartmouth opened up I applied,” said Schuler, head coach of the Canadian National team for the 2015-16 season and most recently an assistant at Minnesota-Duluth. “I am just really excited about coming on board. This school sells 10

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day,” she said. “My passion was hockey, but there was no (women’s Olympic) hockey at the time. “My mom was a swim coach so I thought I would invest my time in that but I just couldn’t stay away from hockey. Every single chance all I wanted to do was play hockey. Road hockey or whatever type of hockey I could. Hand hockey. Ball hockey. Street hockey. It was just hockey, hockey, hockey.” The youngest of four siblings and the only girl, Schuler honed her skills playing with her brothers. “When I was growing up girls weren’t playing sports the way they do now,” she said. “My brothers were really good support. Any time I heard someone say, ‘Hey, she can’t play,’ my brothers were always there to say if I couldn’t play they weren’t playing.” From middle brother David, who played in the Metro Toronto Hockey League at the AAA level, she learned the finesse that would help her lead Northeastern in scoring in her first season. From oldest brother Mark, who played Junior B, she learned how to be a grinder. And from Scarborough friend Vicky Sunohara, a three-time Olympian who

has been referred to as the Wayne Gretzky of the women’s game, she learned about Northeastern. “She was my best friend at the time and went there, so I wanted to follow her,” Schuler said. “I really looked up to her. She was just a year older than me, but was such an incredible athlete and such a great person.” After graduating cum laude from Northeastern with a degree in cardiovascular health and exercise, doing graduate work in exercise science at Toronto and playing nine years with the Canadian National Team, Schuler was certain what she wanted to do next. “I think I always wanted to coach,” she said. “Even as a player I was someone who would go to the board and wanted to help get my teammates on the same page. I was always the one drawing things out. I loved it. There was a passion for it but there wasn’t really a viable option to do coaching as a full-time job when I graduated. “I was very fortunate that I played right up until I was 31 with the national program, and then it seemed as if all of a sudden coaching positions started to open up. So when I retired I applied right away for jobs in the States and ended up at UMass Boston.” From her first Division III job she moved on to Northeastern and in 1998 cut her teeth as a coach for all of Hockey Canada’s Development camps. From there it was assistant coach for the Canadian National Women’s team, head coach of the U22 Canadian National Team and leading the U18 National Team. In August of 2015 she was tapped as the Canadian National Women’s Team coach. She’s confident her background on the national and international level will benefit both her coaching as well as enticing top talent to come to Dartmouth. “Having been a part of the Canadian National program for the past eight years I have learned a tremendous amount,” she said. “When you get to be a part of that program you get to work with so many different and amazing coaches from all over the NCAA’s, from all over the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport), and from the NHL. It’s a tremendous opportunity to continue to learn and bring stuff back as a coach. for more on women’s ice hockey visit

COACH profile

Laura Schuler Women’s Ice Hockey P E A K | SUM M ER 201 6


COACH profile

Gilad Doron Women’s Volleyball 12

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Dartmouth volleyball coach Gilad Doron got his start in the college game as an assistant at Temple and later served for three years as the head women’s coach at Villanova. He went on to spend the next nine years heading up the women’s program at the University of San Francisco. If you are wondering how someone whose last two postings were in the City of Brotherly Love and the City by the Bay will adjust to life in the City That Isn’t a City, the answer is, well, naturally. “I grew up in Israel in a very, very small place, in a kibbutz,” said Doron, who believes the Upper Valley lifestyle will suit him, wife Jennifer and 11-year-old son Kai Jonathan. “From a family perspective, we are truly looking forward to our experience of being around Dartmouth. And we have


academic honors, although being summa cum laude was a surprise to him. “Coming from a different country I didn’t know what all these things mean,” he said. “When they announced it I said, ‘Did I graduate with some distinction? Well, OK.’ ” There was no such confusion about what was happening on the court, where Temple enjoyed unprecedented success over his four years on the coaching staff. A program that had never won the Atlantic-10 tournament finished second his first season and won the title the next three. The Owls showed up in the preseason rankings one year, and made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 the next. After graduating from Temple, Doron took a step away from the game to which he’d dedicated half of his life. “Since I was 15 or 16, when I started playing more serious volleyball in Israel, I

“It will be a challenge for me, and a challenge for the team. We have a chance to do something here that has never been done before and that’s special.” a lot of family and friends in the Northeast who we will be much closer to.” Doron grew up Ein Hamifratz, Hazafon in northern Israel. He played 10 years for the Israeli National Team, helping the squad to a fourth-place showing in the World University Games in Japan in 1995. He also played for 12 years with Mate Asher, winner of four Israeli League titles and a pair of Israeli Cup championships. Doron moved into coaching with the Mate Asher men’s team before relocating to Philadelphia in 1996. While Jennifer worked on her masters Doron – who had earned an associate’s degree in industrial management engineering marketing at Western Galilee College in Israel – continued his education at Temple, enjoying success both as an assistant coach and as a student. In the classroom his concentration was in finance and risk management. At his 2000 graduation he learned he had earned

was part of the Junior National Team and then the National Team,” he explained. “I’d did volleyball for 15 straight years but after I did pretty well in school I had a great opportunity in downtown Philly at a pretty good company. It was a business job with a chance to make money, what everybody dreams about. “I went there and did that for four years or so, but I didn’t really have the same type of satisfaction or camaraderie in the job, so I started doing club (volleyball) on the side.” Doron was technical director and head coach of Philadelphia’s nationally ranked Synergy Volleyball Club team for girls from 2000-03, and then founded the Philadelphia Volleyball Academy, which fielded five highly regarded teams that churned out accomplished players. “I enjoyed it, but I didn’t know if I was going to coach college again,” Doron said. “I realized that not only did I enjoy the coaching and the teaching aspect, but I was


able to help a lot of youngsters get to either play Division I, or reach their dreams.” His own dream came true in 2004 when his background both at Temple and in developing club players who went on to college – and even to the U.S. National team – earned him an interview for the head coaching position at Villanova. “The match was there for me in terms of values and what the administration was looking for in the student-athlete experience,” he said. “So I went back to fulltime college coaching. I have never looked back since.” Doron quickly turned Villanova into a powerhouse, leading the 2005 Wildcats to a 21-11 record – their first 20-win season in eight years and one of the most dramatic turnarounds in conference history – and a berth in the Big East Tournament. After three seasons and a 46-35 record on the Main Line, he moved West to take over at the University of San Francisco in volleyball-crazy California. In nine years he led the Dons to a 131130 record, along the way becoming the winningest coach in school history. His 2008 team finished 22-8, set a school record for West Coast Conference wins, and capped the most successful season in school history with an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. He also initiated USF’s first sand volleyball team. At Dartmouth Doron inherits a program that has gone 74-143 in Ivy League play since 2000. The Big Green went 9-5 in the Ivies last fall to finish tied for third in the conference, its best league finish since placing second in 1998. Doron is just the third coach since the team became a funded varsity program in 1994. “I look forward to being in a great environment of true student-athletes,” he said. “It’s a chance to help them learn how to sacrifice, and prioritize, and learn how to do great things. Dartmouth is a great school with a great administration and great people.” Doron is determinted to lead the Big Green to its first Ivy League title. “It will be a challenge for me, and a challenge for the team,” he said. “We have a chance to do something here that has never been done before and that’s special.” for more on women’s volleyball visit PEAK | FALL 2016




Athletic Sponsors include more than 1,000 Dartmouth alumni, parents and supporters who love Dartmouth, who love sports, who either played or watched athletics as undergraduates, and who feel that Dartmouth should be a leader in the classroom and on the field. We are men and women in our 20’s and our 90’s and we are represented by nearly every class. WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?

We know that success on the playing surface begins long before the contest starts... it has its genesis in recruiting. Without outstanding talent, success can only be an occasional dream. We are therefore committed to providing Dartmouth coaches with the resources they need to recruit exceptional student-athletes. We also know that Dartmouth has a unique and powerful trump card. The campus is close to irresistible when experienced in person. That’s Dartmouth’s edge! The trick is to get impact scholar-athletes face to face with this great institution to make a decision for Dartmouth. That’s the primary focus of what we do. We fly student-athletes to Hanover and send coaches to their homes. HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS TO THE COLLEGE?

Very! While the NCAA allows one paid visit to campus, the Ivy League legislates that those expenses cannot be budgeted items. That’s where we come in. We provide the non-budgeted funds. Every year we fly in nearly 300 potential impact athletes, and of those recruits accepted by the Admissions Office, the vast majority (about 90% ) decide to enroll at Dartmouth. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

Satisfaction and pride! You’ll be kept up-to-date on Dartmouth sports through our official newsletter, the award-winning Big Green Sports News, and your name will be listed in the next season’s home football programs. If you choose certain membership levels (see next page) you will also be informed of a specific athlete whose recruiting trip your donation made possible, so you can follow his or her progress through four years at Dartmouth. Most important, all Sponsors share the rewards of helping young men and women make a decision to embark on the very special “Dartmouth Experience.” That’s the real reason our program has grown from 6 members in 1955 to more than 1,000 today!

Sponsors and Friends enjoy the complimentary pre-game tent overlooking Memorial Field at each home football game




Assigned a recruit every 3-4 years


Assigned a recruit every 1-2 years and listed on our Leadership display in Alumni Gym


Assigned recruit annually, Leadership display & special recognition in football program

$5000 & up

Assigned recruit annually, Leadership display, special recognition in the football program & VIP Reception at Homecoming

To contact the Athletic Sponsor Program office, please call 603-646-2463 or email



FRI / NOV 11 SUN / NOV 13 WED / NOV 23 SAT / NOV 26 WED / NOV 30 THU / DEC 1 WED / DEC 7 SAT / DEC 10 SAT / DEC 17 SUN / DEC 18 WED / DEC 21 THU / DEC 29 SAT / DEC 31 SAT / JAN 7 SAT / JAN 21 FRI / JAN 27 SAT / JAN 28 FRI / FEB 3 SAT / FEB 4 FRI / FEB 10 SAT / FEB 11 FRI / FEB 17 SAT / FEB 18 FRI / FEB 24 SAT / FEB 25 FRI / MAR 3 SAT / MAR 4

CENTRAL CONN. ST. at Vermont HOLY CROSS ARMY at Old Dominion at William & Mary at Boston University at Maine MARIST at Rhode Island at Boston College ALBANY at New Hampshire at Harvard* HARVARD* COLUMBIA* CORNELL* at Princeton* at Penn* YALE* BROWN* at Cornell* at Columbia* at Brown* at Yale* PENN* PRINCETON*

7:30 PM 2 PM 2 PM 12 PM 11 AM 7 PM TBA TBA 2 PM 4 PM TBA 7 PM 1 PM TBA 6 PM 7 PM 6 PM TBA 7 PM 7 PM 6 PM 6 PM TBA TBA 7:30 PM 7 PM 6 PM

FRI / NOV 11 TUE / NOV 15 SAT / NOV 26 MON / NOV 28 WED / NOV 30 SAT / DEC 3 WED / DEC 7 SAT / DEC 10 TUE / DEC 13 SUN / DEC 18 THU / DEC 22 SAT / DEC 31 TUE / JAN 3 SAT / JAN 7 SAT / JAN 21 FRI / JAN 27 SAT / JAN 28 FRI / FEB 3 SAT / FEB 4 FRI / FEB 10 SAT / FEB 11 FRI / FEB 17 SAT / FEB 18 FRI / FEB 24 SAT / FEB 25 FRI / MAR 3 SAT / MAR 4

at Rhode Island FAIRFIELD MARIST at Longwood at Old Dominion at Boston College at Vermont MAINE at Hartford at LIU Brooklyn at Bryant NEW HAMPSHIRE CSU BAKERSFIELD HARVARD* at Harvard* at Columbia* at Cornell* PRINCETON* PENN* at Yale* at Brown* CORNELL* COLUMBIA* BROWN* YALE* at Penn* at Princeton*


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*Ivy League game





With an Ivy League degree on his résumé and a good job in finance, Jamie Holder was living the American Dream. But by and by he was coming to realize it wasn’t his dream, something it took tragedy for him to act on. “My father passed away right before my 26th birthday and that’s when I realized life is too short to be doing something I don’t want to do,” said Holder, Dartmouth’s firstyear coach of men’s and women’s swimming. “So I quit my job, because I wasn’t all that happy doing it.” Certain only that his days in finance were at an end, Holder took the road less taken by your average Princeton grad and enrolled in massage therapy school. “I used to give massages to people like

A.G. Edwards & Sons and financial service trading rep for Fidelity Investments went on to coach at Princeton from 2005-2010. A two-time All-Ivy League swimmer at Princeton, where he set the 400-meter record and served as captain as a senior, Holder helped the Tigers win four Ivy League titles, coached nine NCAA qualifiers and worked with eight All-Americans while also serving as the program’s primary recruiter. His 2012 class was ranked among the top five in the nation according to That kind of track record helped him land his first head coaching position running in the summer of 2010, guiding the men’s and women’s programs at Georgetown, which was a lot closer to

“Clearly there are sets of kids that want to go HYP, and I was right there with them. I went to Princeton. But there are things that Dartmouth can and will do better than anybody else in the league.” my sister growing up,” he said. “That’s how I cut my teeth on it. Massage therapy school gave me time to kind of take a step back and figure out what I wanted to do, while still learning something.” Unsure what direction his life would take even while studying and making a few dollars kneading people’s back and relaxing tight muscles, the onetime swimming standout St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati got back in touch with Rob Orr, the legendary and much-beloved coach he swam for at Princeton. “I said, ‘Hey, I am interested in possibly getting into coaching,’ ” he recalled. “Then a position at Princeton came open. “I guess,” Holder added with a laugh, “I have had a very unique path.” The onetime financial consultant for 16

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Princeton in the classroom than in the pool. Princeton has won 22 EISL/Ivy League championships since Orr arrived prior to the 1979-80 season, not once finishing lower than second in the standings. Georgetown? In the five years prior to Holder’s arrival the best finish the Hoya men had posted was eighth in the 11-team Big East. The women’s best finish was even worse. Ninth. Under Holder’s leadership the Georgetown men have finished an all-time best second in the Big East for the past three years and the women have finished an all-time best second for the past three years. His swimmers set no fewer than 108 Georgetown records and earned by NCAA consideration and Olympic Trials qualifying times. Holder, who earned a Master of

Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management–Business Management while coaching the two Georgetown teams, faced a difficult challenge in DC. To be sure, the challenge is equally grueling in Hanover. Neither the Big Green men’s team nor the women’s team has won an Ivy League dual in the past two seasons. The women are 7-56 in Ivy duals since 2007-08, and the men 8-56. “It’s definitely a challenge,” Holder said without hesitation. “Is it daunting? Absolutely. Only because everyone in our league has something great to offer. Clearly there are sets of kids that want to go HYP, and I was right there with them. I went to Princeton. But there are things that Dartmouth can and will do better than anybody else in the league.” Holder is nothing if not realistic. “I’m not thinking about a championship right now,” he said. “Obviously, we’ve been at the bottom of the league for a while. I think it can get done at Dartmouth or I wouldn’t have come here. “It needs some nurturing but there’s a lot of great potential.” Holder arrived at Georgetown with a solid background in recruiting and working with accomplished student-athletes, but without head coaching experience. He arrived in Hanover last spring with all of that, as well as Ivy League experience, which he believes gives him the background necessary to breathe new life into Dartmouth swimming. “It starts with having been a studentathlete in the Ivy League,” he said. “That’s where I really learned how to balance athletics and academics. Obviously, Rob Orr was my mentor, first as a student-athlete and then as a head coach, and he helped shape me into the coach I am today. “I think the experience at Georgetown is phenomenal because this time I come in having been a successful head coach at an institution that has very high academic standards. I feel like I’m really wellprepared for the challenge that lies ahead.”

for more on swimming visit

COACH profile

Jamie Holder Swimming and Diving

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COACH profile

Brayton Osgood Men’s Nordic Skiing 18

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After graduating from Dartmouth in 2003 Brayton Osgood labored for a bit in construction. He clerked at a hardware store and painted houses. There was a stint as a paralegal. For a few years you could go to him in March or April and he’d help you fill out that dreaded 1040 or state tax return. He dabbled in web development and helped design an innovative software program. Don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not like Osgood didn’t know what he wanted to do in life after earning a cum laude BA degree in math from Dartmouth. Wondering about that would come later. A two-time Nordic All-American, Osgood hammered and painted and did all the rest to pursue his passion as a professional skier after collecting his Dartmouth diploma. And the former Big Green captain enjoyed some success on the pro circuit. He made it to the Under-23 World Championship in his first year out of school, skied World Cup in 2009 and posted six top-10 finishes at the U.S. Nationals as a pro. His résumé also features three wins on the U.S. Super Tour. But the Holy Grail for every skier, of course, is the Olympics. In 2006 there were 10 Nordic skiers selected for the American team and Osgood had a shot at making it. “I think I was 12th on the list,” he said without a hint of rancor about falling so short. Four years later he was ranked around 15th and there were even fewer openings on the team. No one had to tell him, the math major, the odds were against him. “I knew I had to ski so much better than I ever had and everything had to go right for me to have a chance to make the Olympics,” he said. “I was 28, turning 29 and at that point you have a pretty good idea how good you are. I knew there wasn’t much chance I was going to become a successful World Cup skier. I pretty much knew then I was nearing the end.” One of the legion of cross country skiers to come out of the Putney, Vt feeder system developed by legendary cross country coach John Caldwell ’50, Osgood had been chasing his ski dream since high school. With the realization that the Olympics and success on the world stage was probably out of reach he



“‘Was I missing something?’ What he was missing, he soon found out, was skiing.” was feeling a little lost. He found his bearings in a familiar place, spending the 2011-12 school year coaching at his alma mater under Cami Thompson Graves and Ruff Paterson. “I came back here because I didn’t have much direction at that point,” Osgood explained. “I wanted something to ground me, and this is a place I loved. The idea was to take a gap year to get ready for grad school.” Osgood headed to Boston in the fall of 2012, earning a Master’s of Science in accounting/MBA from Northeastern before landing back in Vermont, as an audit associate for KPMG US. “I definitely wanted to try life outside of cross-country skiing,” he explained. “I had been very heavily involved in the sport since I was in high school and I do have other interests. I had enjoyed coaching but I was wondering what else was out there. Was I missing something?” What he was missing, he soon found out, was skiing. Six months after joining KPMG he left to join AMP Sport, the Burlington startup for which he had spent five years helping develop software that helps track and analyze athletic training and performance. Whether it was AMP’s connection with skiing that drew him back to the company – the U.S. Ski Team is a client – or whether AMP drew him back to skiing is open to debate. What is indisputable is that as time went by Osgood found himself spending more and more time on and around the snow. He started helping out as race-data

manager for the New England Nordic Ski Association in 2012 and wax technician at various competitions. Last winter he went to Europe to wax for the U.S. Ski Team and helped coach and he was coach and head wax tech for the New England Junior National Ski Team. “I had been steadily increasing my involvement and it had gotten to the point where I wasn’t sure I could do much more and keep my job and stay sane in the winter,” he said with a laugh. He can’t remember if it was on the way to the season-ending USSA SuperTour Finals in Craftsbury Common or once he got there that he heard Ruff Patterson was stepping down after 27 years heading up the Dartmouth Nordic program. “I had been interested in getting back into coaching, but I hadn’t been actively looking,” he said. “I knew at some point Ruff was going to retire and that I might have to make a decision about coming back. But all of a sudden it was, ‘The time to be thinking about that is now, not in a few years.’ ” With texts and emails from his former teammates flying around, Osgood took a week or so to think things over. He couldn’t be any happier with the way it turned out. “Ruff being here for 27 years?” he said. “Those are some huge shoes to fill, and a tremendous legacy to continue but I look forward to the challenge. I feel very lucky to have been part of it before, and now to be a part of it again.” And Dartmouth feels lucky to have him. for more on skiing visit PEAK | FALL 2016


16F PEAK  

2016 Fall PEAK Magazine

16F PEAK  

2016 Fall PEAK Magazine