Become a Member
Shopping Cart
Facebook YouTube RSS Feed Flicker

Johnson State College

Johnson State College (JSC), located in Johnson, VT was always noted as having one of the strongest alpine ski programs in U.S. back in the mid 60’s and early 70’s. It wasn’t until 1971 when Ralph Monticello (Dean of Students), started a cross-country ski club at the college. The club program was made up of a rag tag group of students with some limited success as high school competitors. Mostly self-coached, these racers competed in various citizen and Eastern Ski Association sanctioned races.  

In 1971 three-time Olympic skier Mike Gallagher was hired to teach and coach the xc running team. Gallagher was an inspiration to many of the skiers including Jim Fredericks who eventually started the first official collegiate nordic ski team at JSC in 1973. Fredericks took over as head coach and concentrated his coaching talents with the nordic program while hiring assistants for the alpine training. The women’s team skied in WEISA Div I against all the top college/university programs in the country while the men competed in EISA Div II. The women’s nordic team was usually ranked anywhere from third to fourth within the eastern schools while the men’s cross-country team was undefeated from 1976-78 in Div II. In 1977 JSC qualified two racers for the NCAA Div I championship and placed 9th, beating out all but two eastern schools and producing two NCAA All-Americans. Fredericks built a cross-country ski trail on campus and hosted numerous races and ski camps on the college campus. He was also credited with introducing cross-country skiing to hundreds of students and faculty, who he instructed and outfitted with equipment.

After six years with the program, Fredericks departed JSC in 1973 the program went through many short term coaches including Don Meloney, Peter Albright, and Chuck Shultz. The program moved up to EISA Div I and had limited success against the much stronger ski powers such as UVM, Middlebury, and Dartmouth. After numerous coaches and a lack of financial commitment, the ski program was eventually dropped in the mid 90’s. alt