Trond Flagstad is set to join the Seawolves for the 2019-20 season as the new Nordic ski coach. Head coach Sparky Anderson announced that Flagstad will be replacing Andrew Kastning, who resigned from UAA at the end of the current season.
“Andrew did a great job guiding our Nordic program these past eight years, and we all wish him the best in his new pursuits,” Anderson said.
Despite Flagstad joining as the new Nordic ski coach, he is far from new. Flagstad coached for UAA for eleven years before leaving in 2011.
Flagstad commented that he is thrilled at the opportunity to come back to UAA; he appreciates the hard work and dedication that he experienced previously with UAA coaches and athletes.
“Trond [Flagstad]’s influence transcended coaches, administrators and certainly a generation of student-athletes. When I learned that we had an opportunity to bring Trond [Flagstad] back to Alaska, I jumped on it,” Anderson said. “There is no one more qualified to step back into action and lead our Nordic program into the future.”
In 2001, Flagstad took up positions as both a cross-country running and skiing assistant coach. In 2004, he was promoted to head coach until his departure in 2011.
During his eleven seasons with the Seawolves, Flagstad helped coach three NCAA national champions, eight runner-ups, five third-place finishers and 32 All-Americans.
In addition to his success with his athletes, Flagstad also excelled individually. He skied professionally for 12 seasons, including securing a 56th place finish in the World Cup and a third-place finish in the Norwegian National Champions. Flagstad is also a two-time winner of the Mount Marathon race (2008, 2010).
Professionally, Flagstad has ample experience and education on top of his coaching years at UAA. Not only does he have two bachelor’s degrees, in both sport science and social sciences, from Norwegian University of Science and Technology, but he also holds two teaching degrees from both his previous university and UAA.
Flagstad spent his time away from UAA working as a physical education teacher in Anchorage before moving back to Norway to pursue coaching.
He spent three years coaching for Norges Toppidrettsgymnas, or NTG, where he had skiers earn golds, silvers and bronzes at the World Junior Championships.
Flagstad explained that he hopes to be able to help recruit young skiers from Alaska, as well as Europe, now that he has ample connections there. However, his overarching goal is to help the UAA ski team to success.
“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,” Flagstad said.
Flagstad will officially begin on August 18.