U.S. Figure Skating and PSA Announce Coaches of the Year

Vicki Korn with members of the Miami University synchronized skating team

(6/6/07) - Five exceptional individuals were recognized by U.S. Figure Skating and the Professional Skaters Association for their hard work and achievement in the sport of figure skating at the 2007 PSA International Conference and Trade Show, May 24-26 in Los Angeles, Calif. Vicki Korn was named Coach of the Year, Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson received Developmental Coach of the Year honors, the Paul McGrath Choreographer of the Year Award went to Braden Overett, and Debbie Pitsos was given the Sports Science Coaching Award.

Korn led the Miami University s nchronized skating team to the first-ever medal by a U.S. squad at the World Synchronized Skating Championships. Her RedHawks came in third in the short program and improved to second in the free skate to claim the silver medal in London, Ontario, Canada. Prior to this season, the RedHawks' previous best finish at the World Synchronized Skating Championships was fourth, a placement it attained in 2006. Miami also won the silver at the 2007 U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Spring Cup in Milan, Italy.

Korn recently completed her 23rd season as head coach of the RedHawks, a tenure during which she has steered the team to two U.S. titles and countless international medals. She is a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Synchronized Skating and Collegiate Programs committees, and is also on the PSA Ranking Review Committee. This is the first time she has won this award.

The Coach of the Year award is given each year to the individual or team of coaches who have made a significant impact on an athlete's performance at the highest levels of national and international competition. The winner is selected by the U.S. Figure Skating Coaches Committee and PSA Board of Directors and must exemplify the best behavior within the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), U.S. Figure Skating and PSA coaching standards, serving as a role model to both skaters and other coaches.

Mark Mitchell (center) and Peter Johansson with Juliana Cannarozzo
Mitchell and Johansson were selected the Developmental Coach of the Year for the second year in a row and third time overall. Their prize pupil is Stephen Carriere, who won the gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships and 2007 Junior Grand Prix Final. He also claimed victories at both of his Junior Grand Prix assignments. Mitchell and Johansson also coach Juliana Cannarozzo, who won both of her JGP events this year; Curran Oi, the fourth-place finisher in the junior men's division at the 2007 State Farm U.S. Championships; Scott Smith, who finished fifth as a senior at the U.S. Championships; and Gretchen Donlan and Bryna Oi, the 2007 U.S. intermediate ladies gold and bronze medalists, respectively. Mitchell and Johansson are based out of the Skating Club of Boston.

The Developmental Coach of the Year award is presented annually to the individual or team of coaches who have made a significant impact on an athlete or athletes competing nationally at the developmental levels of juvenile, intermediate, novice and junior. As with the Coach of the Year award, the winner is selected by the U.S. Figure Skating Coaches Committee and PSA Board of Directors and must exemplify the best behavior within the USOC, U.S. Figure Skating and PSA coaching standards, serving as a role model to both skaters and other coaches.

Braden Overett
Overett is the first recipient of the Paul McGrath Choreographer of the Year award (since U.S. Figure Skating and the PSA began jointly presenting the award in 1992) to win for a self-choreographed program. His “Pirates of the Caribbean” free skate was a crowd-pleaser all season long, never more so than at the U.S. Championships, where he finished 10th.

The Paul McGrath Award is given each year to a choreographer who has created a program or programs performed by skaters at the U.S. Championships or World Championships that are considered to be of exceptional quality under the rules of figure skating. The winner is selected by the U.S. Figure Skating Coaches Committee, International Committee and PSA Board of Directors.

Pitsos has helped a number of skaters with periodization planning, a model she helped design with the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Science faculty to map out their training year and help them set goals and peak for important competitions. A member of the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Science Council and a certified personal trainer, Pitsos has presented at the PSA Nationwide Seminar, Reach for the Stars and Team 2010 Seminar. Her most prominent student is 2007 U.S. bronze medalist Alissa Czisny. This is the first time she has won this award.

The Sport Science Coaching Award is for a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and/or equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods and/or is involved in research, development, publication and education in the areas of sport science and medicine as it relates to figure skating and coaching.

Bookmark and Share