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A two-time EISA Coach of the Year, Becky Woods ’89 has been the head Nordic skiing coach at Bates since 1994. The native of Auburn, Maine, has coached four All-America student-athletes: Sylvan Ellefson ’09, Justin Easter ’03, Dave Chamberlain ’98 and Justin Freeman ’98, who competed for the US Ski Team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
During her collegiate career at Bates, she was a two-time captain, participated in three NCAA Championships and was a member of the All-East team. Woods received the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame President’s Award in 1996 and has served on the NCAA skiing rules comittee since 1998.
“The four years we work with our athletes are years of personal change and growth,” Woods says. “It is a privilege to be a part of that, and it’s incredibly rewarding to know that you have had an impact on their lives.”
Bringing a lifetime's wealth of knowledge about Nordic skiing, James Upham is in his sixth year as assistant coach at Bates in 2019-20.
Coach Upham served as head Paralympic Nordic Coach for the U.S. Biathlon Association, following an eight-year stint as the association's development coach. He directly coached five athletes to the 2006 Olympic Biathlon team in Turin, Italy, as well as directly coaching athletes to four medals at the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Games. From 1999 to 2001, Upham worked as Nordic specialist at Swixsport USA, and prior to that he was head Nordic coach and history teacher at Burke Mountain Academy.
Upham won a junior national biathlon championship and competed on two junior world championship teams. His father, Tom Upham, competed in the 1968 Winter Olympics and coached the U.S. women's cross country ski team at the 1976 Winter Olympics.
Coach Upham graduated magna cum laude in 1995 from Northern Michigan University.
- Portland Press Herald: "Mainer teaches Paralympians to meet challenge, dream big"