ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The future of the University of Alaska Anchorage Nordic Ski team is going to include a part of its past. The program announced the hiring of former Seawolves ski coach Trond Flagstad on Friday.
Flagstad, who last coached the Seawolves in 2011, replaces Andrew Kastning who resigned to pursue other opportunities outside of coaching.
“Andrew did a great job guiding our Nordic program these past eight years, and we all wish him the best in his new pursuits,” said head coach Sparky Anderson. “While I'll miss my comrade across the hall, I'm ecstatic that an old friend will take his place.”
Flagstad started as an assistant coach for cross country running and skiing in 2001, before being promoted to head coach in 2004, a position he held until 2011.
“Few people are fortunate enough to work with someone as talented as Trond through the arc of a career,” said Anderson. “Having worked together previously, I've seen first-hand the impact he's made. Trond's influence transcended coaches, administrators, and certainly a generation of student-athletes. When I learned that we had an opportunity to bring Trond back to Alaska, I jumped on it. There is no one more qualified to step back into action and lead our Nordic program into the future. Trond brings a proven record of success along with very recent experience straight from the most elite levels of our sport. I'm incredibly excited for our team, our hardworking student-athletes, and for UAA. Without question, it's a huge win in every way.”
Flagstad led the Seawolves to a fourth place finish at the 2009 NCAA Championships, the highest finish ever in program history, and was named the NCAA West Regional Nordic Skiing Coach of the Year. During his tenure with the Green and Gold, he coached three NCAA national champions, eight national runner-ups, five third-place finishers and 32 All-Americans.
“I am very excited to be back at UAA and in the Seawolf family,” said Trond Flagstad. “I am looking forward to working with all the great coaches and the talented student-athletes at UAA, especially with the ski team. My goal of winning the NCAA skiing championships with the UAA ski team hasn't changed since the last time I was here, and after coaching in Norway for three years, I know I am better prepared as a coach to reach those goals. I am excited to recruit and develop young skiers from Alaska to help us win races and championships. In addition I have created some very valuable friendships and connections in Scandinavia and Europe. I have some new ideas and a coaching philosophy that I believe will benefit the UAA ski team, especially the Nordic team on our way to a championship title. I am thrilled to have this opportunity and to move our family back to the house we built up on the hillside.”
Since leaving UAA, Flagstad worked as a physical education teacher in Anchorage before returning to Norway where he was a ski coach with Norges Toppidrettsgymnas (NTG). Several of his skiers at NTG earned gold, silver and bronze medals at the Norwegian Junior National Championships and represented Norway at the World Junior Championships.
Flagstad is an accomplished athlete in both running and skiing. He was a professional Nordic skier for 12 seasons with a best finish of 56th on the World Cup and he won a bronze medal in the relay at the Norwegian National Championships. He is a two-time winner of Mount Marathon (2008 & 2010) and represented Norway at the 2003 World Mountain Running Championships held in Girdwood.
Flagstad earned a pair of bachelor’s degrees in sport science and social sciences from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and holds teaching degrees from both the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Flagstad, who is married with three children, will begin his duties on August 18th.