Barry Young with Michael B. Young Award Winner, Pam Tucker
2018 Michael B. Young Award Winner – Coach Pam Tucker
“I had the wonderful privilege of coaching with Mike and got to know him and know what he was about; intense, compassionate, driven and funny. I feel that Pam represents all of Mike’s great qualities and if he were here today, he would love Pam and consider her family as I do!”
“Pam is a very outspoken advocate of our team balancing seriousness, playfulness and lots of in between.”
~Excerpts from Pam’s 2018 Michael B. Young Award Nomination
She stepped out of her race boots, but Pam Tucker never strayed from the course. In fact, she launched her coaching career while racing on the Rocky Mountain College ski team. “I started coaching the youth ski league during my sophomore or junior year in college,” she said. Meanwhile, she and the Battling Bears vied for the top spot at College Nationals every year.
Pam grew up three miles from the base of Red Lodge Mountain in Montana. Her dad served on ski patrol for 25 years. Her uncles worked ski patrol too. Pam’s mom learned how to ski in college and rips right alongside the racers she raised. There’s a new generation of up and coming family shredders too. “I love skiing with my nieces and nephews. They are super fun to ski with,” said Pam.
The youngest of four, Pam likely had plenty of experience chasing - and the speed to show for it - by the time she was old enough to join the Silver Run Ski Team. At 5 she started shredding race courses. At 11 she started mowing lawns to contribute to skiing. She went on to compete at Northern Division J.O.’s - the equivalent of Intermountain Division Western Regionals - two or three times.
Pam finished college with a bunch of medals, a teaching license in K-12 Physical Education and Health, and a desire to share the stoke of powder days and skiing fast. She continued coaching and moved up the ranks to Division FIS Coach. Pam and her Red Lodge athletes linked up with her counterparts Robbie Massie and Roger Bay in Boseman to travel as a group. The race calendar brought them to the Soldier Mountain Downhill and the 2011 Western Regionals at Bogus Basin.
Even though her sister Bridget talked her into moving to Boise in 2008, Pam returned to Montana every winter for 4 more years. She spent 7 days a week in her ski boots coaching or working ski patrol. Closing day meant a return to Boise to promote the summer sports she loves at Idaho River Sports.
In 2012 she joined BBSEF as the U14 Head Coach. She followed that up with two seasons as the U16 Head Coach and has been the Alpine Head Coach ever since. Pam credits BBSEF Directors Mark and Shannon for providing the strong core of the program and praises the coaching staff and course crew for the enthusiasm, commitment and expertise they bring every day.
“Mark coming in was a huge improvement. Shannon is always supporting me. Ben being on the same page is great. We push hard to meet each group’s needs as the teams train for different events. Craige has a great attitude and ability to reach the kids, plus he brings the drive of being an elite athlete. Sato has incredible technical expertise and is the best wax tech around. Nick coming in as a BBSEF alum with his post grad racing experience has been great.”
“I love setting up the B-net for the Trudi Bolinder Super G with Jeremy and Blake. It is a week of working hard with hardworking people. Blake is my favorite to set B-netting with. He always has the best candy.”
Pam spends most of her time with the oldest athletes in the program but gets a kick out of the younger kids too. “I really love when the whole gamut is present in front of the Training Center in the mornings. The Mitey Mites are in their tiny boots. The North Series team is figuring out new and different gear. Sometimes I feel bad because I can’t stop and talk for long.”
She keeps in touch with former athletes and enthusiastically shares the accomplishments of her Montana and Idaho “kiddos.” Her “life hacks” are a legendary form of the Pam Tucker support they take with them as they move forward on their paths.
“To this day, Pam goes out of her way making time for me on everything from race tactics, job opportunities and life decisions,” said BBSEF alum and 2018 College of Idaho graduate, Mary Totten.
“Her approach to skiing and how much she cares, makes us all want to work that much harder,” added U16 athlete, Camden M.
“There is just something about ski racing – it develops a good work ethic, lifelong skills and a love of skiing,” said this year’s honoree. She ought to know. She’s got all three.