Tim Healy is a regular contributor to LetsGoDU on collegiate skiing
The head coach of DU’s Alpine ski team, Andy LeRoy, is headed back to his alma mater to replace CU’s legendary head coach, Richard Rokos, who is retiring after 35 years.
LeRoy coached at DU for 15 years and won 6 national championships for the Pioneers. LeRoy ranks 5th all-time for championships and second at DU behind the legendary Willie Schaeffler’s 13 titles. LeRoy’s Alpine teams have led the nationals in points 11 out of the past 15 years. He has coached 89 DU skiers who received All-American honors.
A CU Buffs announcement quoted LeRoy, “I know the gravity of this position and the history of CU. I can’t wait to raise the level of college ski racing to heights never seen before. To have the full support of such an outstanding administration and alumni network, we’re going to do some amazing things in the future.”
LeRoy’s departure opens up a coaching search for DU’s most successful athletic team with 24 national championships. While it is not a total surprise to see LeRoy return to his student-athlete roots and past stint as an assistant ski coach for those same Buffs, this is clearly a big loss for DU athletics. It is not known if other factors contributed to LeRoy’s move. Several seasons ago, the skiing coaching staff was consolidated and LeRoy’s title changed from ski team head coach to Alpine head coach. Over the past year, almost all athletic departments faced cuts/budget freezes during COVID-19 but we have to assume that prior ties to CU were the major draw for LeRoy.
Over the short term, we will have to wait and see if the roster remains stable during the transition. LeRoy’s replacement is not currently in-house. In the interim, DU will have to find a replacement coach who can recruit and develop Alpine skiers as well as continue to elevate Denver’s nordic program if DU hopes to return to the top of the podium in the future.
The morning after…Additional Thoughts