Ten years after retirement, this former U.S. ski coach teaches local kids

NOW: Inspirational ski coach

KENTS HILL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Timothy LaVallee is 71-years-young and retired ten years ago, but he just can't seem to quit skiing. 

"I love coaching. I love working with kids," said LaVallee. "I love being around other people."

The former Winthrop football player, turned skier then coach - eventually of the U-S ski team - is home and helping to raise new generations of racers.

Their backgrounds don't matter to him, in fact, he grew up with parents who couldn't afford to buy him skis. When he was 13-years-old he worked to get himself into the sport. That's when LaVallee knew he wanted to coach. 

"My football coach and my ski coach impacted my life greatly," he remembered. "They set something for me that I wanted to emulate; I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be better than them."

His coaching career started while he was still in college at Plymouth State University. That career took him back to Maine, where he took on the role of teaching high school skiers, and eventually became a star at Gould Academy.

He was happy there, until the U.S. Ski Team offered him a job. "You're around the best kids in the world. It was a tremendous opportunity."

His retirement brought him back to Winthrop, where LaVallee now volunteers his time and expertise to help students perfect their skills. 

"A few kids I work with now, the way I see it is it's my way of giving back to those kids in Winthrop that want to do this."

"At this stage in his career, he's to a point where he's giving back," said Kents Hill head coach Steve Bell. "He's working with kids he knows from his hometown, and he's working with any kid that wants to work."

LaVallee brings students to Kents Hill to train alongside Bell's students. 

"He's intense with a passion and he's kept that passion, and it's brought in a lot of athletes that wouldn't have been given those opportunities that they have now to further their career in racing or their level of racing without him."

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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