Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Derek Brown for USA

Derek Brown, our former national coach, GB Performance Director, and more recently coach to the David Murdoch team at the Scottish Championships, is to become the United States Curling Association's first High Performance Director.

The USCA Press Release says: Derek Brown of Perth, Scotland, has been hired as the first Director of High Performance for the US Curling Association. Brown’s hiring is a significant milepost resulting from a very thorough and critical review of the organization’s high performance program that began in the spring of 2008, involving USA Curling high performance staff, Olympic and other elite level athletes and coaches, and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), which recognizes the USCA (or USA Curling) as the National Governing Body for the sport.

Brown will take command of the new direction and vision for high performance set by the USA Curling leadership. The framework of a program for long‐term, sustained competitive success was established after two years of evaluation and planning in partnership with the USOC, as well as internal and independent reviews of the existing USA Curling program following the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“We need to provide our athletes of today and the future with the very best opportunities to achieve their dreams, and to succeed in Olympic‐level sports today this means a focused, well thought‐out program with the best resources we can manage,” said USA Curling President Chris Sjue.

“USA Curling is evolving into a modern sport organization,and while maintaining our heritage is and always will be important, it is time that we commit to fully pursuing elite performance,” Sjue said. “Derek Brown is the guy we have chosen to lead this charge, and with his dynamic leadership and past experience, we are confident that he will build a program that our athletes and organization will embrace and be proud of.”

“I am delighted to have been appointed as Director of High Performance, and I am excited by the direction the USCA is taking with its High Performance Program,” said Brown. “USA Curling has many talented athletes and coaches and I am looking forward to working with them. The ultimate goal is, of course, to win Olympic and World medals.”

“The USOC commends the USCA on establishing the framework to build and implement a strong high performance program,” said Alan Ashley, USOC Chief of Sport Performance. “Our focus in the relationship with USCA is around helping them create a performance structured system that once fully implementd will provide the athletes with the greatest potential for international competitive success. We are seeing encouraging signs of the USCA’s commitment to that success as is indicated in their strategic high performance ecisions and the governance best practices they are implementing. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

Brown will temporarily relocate to the United States and form an advisory group to begin tackling the first of several major projects, including the development of a 2011‐12 High Performance Plan with the USOC; the expected hiring of additional program staff; implementation of new athlete development and training programs, and the development of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team selection procedures for curling.