Denver Athletics Fills Six Head Coach Openings

At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year, Denver had coaching openings in skiing (Nordic and Alpine), men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s golf. The announced hiring of DU’s new women’s golf coach – Martha Richards – yesterday filled Denver’s final open position.

The skiing openings were filled by interim Alpine coach Joonas Rasanen and interim Nordic coach Rogan Brown. Replacing Andy LeRoy, Rasanen comes to Denver from the Eldora Mountain Ski and Snowboard Club, serving as the U-16 head Alpine coach for the men’s and women’s programs. A Finland native, Rasanen won an individual National Championship and a World Championship in slalom during his time at the University of New Mexico. His Instagram account jokingly calls himself a ‘Bad ass guy’ and Denver will need that attitude to continue their Alpine excellence.

A former professional Nordic skier, Brown joined Denver after 13 months in Bozeman, Mont., where he worked as the head coach for both the elite and postgraduate Nordic team with the Bridger Ski Foundation. During his collegiate racing career at Vermont, he was a Second Team All-American and finished in the top 10 at the U.S. National Championships later that season. As a professional, Brown finished in the top 10 at the U.S. National Championships. He was DU’s interim head coach prior to his selection.

Male and female student-athletes and former Denver ski team alumni were on the selection committee and provided input to Denver Athletics on the final selection. According to sources close to the program, two full-time assistant coaches will be announced in the coming days.

Former University of Denver men’s tennis associate head coach Drew Eberly was named the program’s next head coach. Eberly was a member of DU men’s tennis as a student-athlete and was a DU assistant coach in 2015 and 2016 before being promoted to associate head coach. He earned a Master’s degree in Real Estate and Construction Management at Denver.

An experienced college head coach, Paul Wardlaw, was hired to lead the Pioneers’ women’s tennis program. Wardlaw was the athletic director and Director of Tennis for Dublin School, a prep school athletic department in New Hampshire. Prior to that, Wardlaw spent 14 seasons as the head women’s tennis coach at Brown and seven seasons as the head women’s tennis coach at Iowa.

Logan Goulding spent the past four seasons at the University of San Diego as an assistant coach focused on recruiting before joining DU men’s golf. Prior to San Diego, Goulding served one year as the head coach at Hawaii Pacific University where he was the leader of both the men’s and women’s golf programs during the 2016-17 season. Goulding was a collegiate player, a professional player, and a volunteer collegiate coach before taking on full-time collegiate coaching.

Denver finalized their summer head coaching hires with Martha Richards. Richards spent the past four years as the athletic director at Aspen High School. While there, she was the head coach for the women’s golf team for two seasons from 2018-20. Prior to that, she was the head coach at Texas from 2007-14. With the Longhorns, Edwards guided the team to the 2013 NCAA Championships and Big 12 Championship.

Prior to arriving in Austin, Richards spent seven years as the head coach at Vanderbilt University. She led the Commodores to two NCAA Top-10 finishes and mentored seven All-Americans. Eight Vandy players garnered 18 All-SEC honors and 23 were All-SEC Academic Team selections. Health issues took her away from collegiate golf until the DU job opened up.

The bar has been set for men’s and women’s golf and tennis programs with expectations of frequent Summit League conference titles and NCAA appearances. As for DU Skiing, fans expect Denver to compete with Utah and the University of Colorado for titles. The Nordic side of Denver skiing needs to improve and Alpine results must remain steady if DU is to earn the top step on the podium and a 25th team title.

Top photo of new DU Women’s Golf head coach Martha Richards: The Aspen Sojourner

One thought on “Denver Athletics Fills Six Head Coach Openings”

  1. I hope these are all good coaching hires, but there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed — the fact that this many strong DU programs all lost head coaches this year is a maddening, damning and frankly, sad reality of Covid and the deep damage it has done to DU athletics. These are all lower budget sports, and these are often the first ones to get dinged (usually assistants get let go first) when money is tight, and when the assistants are let go, many of the head coaches look for other jobs, too. And while few DU fans have ever been to a live skiing, tennis or golf event, these sports do make important contributions to DU’s overall sports brand,

    Let’s hope these these programs can continue to be strong programs…

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