Alpine ski team officially rejoins UA Anchorage athletics program

UAA Alpine Team. (UAA Ski Team)

UAA’s Alpine Ski Team is officially part of the school’s athletic program again.  

The Board of Regents voted unanimously to reinstate both the men’s and women’s programs at a meeting Friday, after the ski program raised two years worth of operating expenses. 

Regents voted to end the program — along with men’s hockey and women’s gymnastics — in September, to cut costs. But they gave teams the possibility of raising their own funds.

So far, the alpine ski team is the only one to raise the required funds, which amount to $628,000. 

UAA’s Athletic Director Greg Myford said he credited the Alaska community and head ski coach Sparky Anderson for meeting the fundraising requirement. He said the team also got a boost from Outside.

“Approximately 25% of the gifts received came from outside of Alaska. I think that should send a clear message to all of us the impact … that our athletic teams can have,” he said.

The gymnastics and hockey programs have not reached their fundraising goals. According to UAA Interim Chancellor Bruce Schultz, they have each secured about one-third of the money they need to raise by February. 

“Currently, together that’s about a $2.6 million shortfall from the board’s target. But they still have time, and they’re working hard,” he said.

Schultz said that if they fail to make the target this year, he hopes they can rejoin the university in the future.