Steve Monsulick cheers

Steve Monsulick, fresh off his team's victory in The Josh Billings RunAground on Sunday, was just named the new interim coach of Williams College Nordic.

Sunday afternoon, Steve Monsulick picked up another championship mug from the Josh Billings RunAground. This morning, he’ll get a new office to put it in.

Williams College announced late Wednesday afternoon that Monsulick has been named interim Nordic skiing head coach. Monsulick comes to Williams from the University of New Hampshire, where he has been an assistant Nordic coach since 2008.

Monsulick will replace Jason Lemieux, a 2001 Williams graduate, who had been head coach since 2014. Lemieux, who skied for Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, is now the mountain manager for Teacup Nordic, a nonprofit Nordic ski area inside the Mount Hood reservation in Oregon.

“I think [Williams has] a pretty solid history of being competitive, and they’ve always had a good team,” Monsulick said, in a phone interview with The Eagle. “Also, the location for skiing is pretty good, being so close to Prospect Mountain (Vt.). The campus itself is just a pretty place, and seems like a nice place.

“I have experience in the Berkshires, it’s a really nice area to live. All those things contributed to me wanting to explore this as an option.”

Prior to coaching at UNH, Monsulick’s first collegiate coaching experience was as an assistant Nordic coach at his alma mater Bates College from October 2007 to May 2008. In addition, Monsulick is a USA Level 100 Certified Coach and has been a National U-16 Talent ID Camp Coach.

“Steve comes with extensive experience in the sport of Nordic skiing and knowledge of EISA and New England courses,” Williams athletic director Lisa Melendy said in a statement. “The search committee was impressed with his thoughtful approach to training and team building.”

He is very well-known in Berkshire County racing circles as the runner, and anchorman, for the Allen Heights Veterinary team that just won its fifth consecutive Josh on Sunday. That win set a record, as Allen Heights was the first team to win five consecutive RunAgrounds with the same four teammates: In addition to Monsulick, cyclist Josh Lipka and paddlers Tom Keefe and Ben Pigott.

Monsulick said his teammates did not know about the job on Sunday during the Josh. He did tell them by midweek.

“It came about a little quickly,” Monsulick said, of the job at Williams. “I certainly wasn’t expecting Jason to leave. So it was one of those things where I heard he was leaving and saw the job posting and applied for it.”

The Bates College graduate, who also was an assistant at the Maine school, coached six skiers to NCAA All-America honors. Twenty-one racers earned All-East honors and 42 have qualified for the NCAA championships. Monsulick coached 11 athletes who have won carnival races, and three earned EISA Rookie of the Year honors.

Williams is a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association, and competes in the Division I league against schools like Boston College, Harvard, Vermont, New Hampshire and NESCAC rivals Bates, Bowdoin, Colby and Middlebury.

Lemieux accompanied Williams Nordic skier Isaac Freitas-Eagan to the 2020 NCAA Championships in Bozeman, Montana. Freitas-Eagan was 11th in the 10-kilometer Freestyle, just before the NCAA shut the championship down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Monsulick’s UNH squad finished ninth in the NCAA Championships at Cannon Mountain, N.H.

According to Teacup Nordic’s website, it works so skiers can enjoy Nordic skiing and it has served the Mount Hood Nordic community since 1979. Lemieux will supervise a volunteer-powered nonprofit, with trail fees and donations helping pay for grooming, maintenance and programs. Teacup Nordic operates from November until May.

“My wife and I could not be more happy to return to one of the world’s most beautiful valleys,” Lemieux said in a statement. “My wife grew up here, I lived here after finishing my ski racing career and its a great place to raise kids. I’m excited to add horsepower to the Board’s initiatives that respond to the growing Mount Hood Nordic ski scene and to collaborate with and support Teacup’s dedicated coaching staff.”

As a racer at Williams, Lemieux was a four-time NCAA qualifier.

Howard Herman can be reached at  hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253. 

Sportswriter-Columnist

Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.