LAKE PLACID - The United States Luge Association announced Tuesday that 1998 Olympian Larry Dolan has been appointed head coach of the organization's Junior C and D Teams.
The native of Morrisonville already has his young charges hard at work on and off the ice in Lake Placid.
"Our new CEO, Jim Leahy, Mark Grimmette (Sport Program Director), Fred Zimny (Recruitment Director) and Amy Chapin (Director of Administration) worked very hard together to facilitate my addition to the program," Dolan said. "I'm very excited to be back with USA Luge in my new position. Most importantly, I'm ready to get to work."
The staff at team headquarters in Lake Placid has anxiously awaited Dolan's arrival to work with the national team athletes of the future.
"I'm very excited to have Larry on board as the Junior C and D team coach this season," said Grimmette, an Olympic silver and bronze medalist, as well as 2010 Olympic flagbearer. "He has a great blend of luge experience and education. Larry was a successful luge athlete. He'll provide an excellent communication link between our young athletes, their parents and the USLA. He has a passion for coaching luge and will use his teaching experience to systematically teach young athletes luge skills. He will be a great asset to us."
As a luge competitor, Dolan finished 13th at the Nagano Olympic Winter Games. He also won two silver medals in the junior world championships, the 1998 National Championship gold medal and placed in the top five of World Cup singles events on numerous occasions.
"My goal is to produce capable, well-rounded athletes that will have a lifelong love for their experiences with the sport," Dolan said. "We hope some of those athletes will become World Champions, an Olympic champion, I hope. All the athletes I work with will learn to be professional, responsible and dedicated to their endeavors in luge and, most importantly, in life."
Away from the sport, Dolan is a certified New York State teacher holding an MST in education. He has been a teaching assistant at Stafford Middle School in Plattsburgh since 2010. Dolan has also been an adjunct instructor at SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College in history and anthropology.
He operates a small project recording studio called The Granary, where Dolan writes music and records other working artists. He also composes music for film.
As Dolan is joining USA Luge, three-time Olympian Tony Benshoof is re-joining the Junior National Team, where he will collaborate with Zimny for the second consecutive year.
"Tony has vast experience sliding internationally, and he has a great passion for luge," Grimmette said. "The combination of these two attributes made him a great coach last year and will again this year. Our Junior Team athletes will benefit greatly from Tony's knowledge of the sport."
Benshoof is the most decorated singles athlete in USA Luge history, and finished fourth in singles at the Torino Winter Games.
Zimny and Benshoof are currently guiding the Junior National Team through two weeks of training in Europe.