U.S. Biathlon has named John Farra, a 1992 Olympian and NCAA cross country skiing All-American, as its director of sport development, a newly-created position as part of the national governing body’s mission to fortify its athletic position for the future.
Farra’s role will focus on talent identification among junior and collegiate cross country skiers and providing a pathway to transfer that into biathlon. He will also head a new U.S. Biathlon initiative to identify and develop two dozen or more new local and regional club programs across the country and to develop a national coaches education program.
“John will bring vital experience to our U.S. Biathlon athlete development program,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Max Cobb. “Having his talent identification background will greatly enhance the transition of promising athletes into the development programs Lowell and Tim have put in place. But where we foresee the biggest long-term impact is to be able to broaden the number of local biathlon clubs across America while enhancing coaching and programs in our existing clubs.”
Farra, who starts the new job on October 1, will work closely with High Performance Director Lowell Bailey and Director of Athlete Development Tim Burke. Farra will be based out of his home in Heber City, Utah, not far from the Soldier Hollow biathlon venue.
“I have been a passionate biathlon fan, coach and official for many years,” said Farra. “I am fired up to contribute my experience to further establish talent identification, talent transfer, as well as club and high performance development programs that will have a lasting impact on the sport. This is coming back to my nordic roots.”
Since retiring as an athlete, Farra has served as a coach for the University of Utah and helping lead the Utes to an NCAA skiing title. He served as nordic director for U.S. Ski & Snowboard where his athletes won four Olympic and six World Championship medals. As nordic skiing high performance director for U.S. Paralympics, his athletes won 19 medals. He most recently served as high performance general manager for USA Triathlon where his Olympic and Paralympic teams led the medals count for the sport in Tokyo.