Wolf first para-sport coach to win German Coach of the Year

Justus Wolf has trained alpine skiers to multiple medals at World Championships and Paralympic Games. 22 Dec 2015
Athlete practicing alpine skiing in a sit-ski.

Anna Schaffelhuber Sochi

ⒸGetty Images
By German Olympic Sports Confederation

"One can be chosen coach of the year only when the athletes are so good and so well follow suit."

His athletes have won multiple medals, including four gold at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships, and now Justus Wolf is the first para-sport coach to receive the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) Coach of the Year.

The 32-year-old was honoured in Baden-Baden on Sunday (20 December), receiving the award from DOSB Vice President of competitive sports, Ole Bischof and multiple Paralympic and world champion Anna Schaffelhuber.

Wolf began his coaching career at youth level at the Schwäbischen Skiing Association. In 2011 he took over the German para-alpine ski team.

But despite his relatively short career, Wolf has achieved much success.

In addition to the outstanding results his athletes achieved at the 2015 Worlds in Panorama, Canada, they also recorded eleven medals at the 2013 World Championships and the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

World champion and five-time Paralympic champion Schaffelhuber, who came in at number seven in the vote for Sportswoman of the Year, praised Wolf’s track record and working method including his individual approach to each athlete whilst fostering a strong team spirit.

Schaffelhuber was also delighted that a winner had been selected from para-sport for the first time in the award’s ten year history.

Meanwhile, Bischof praised Wolf’s achievements: "The prize was established ten years ago in order to achieve a greater appreciation of the coaching profession in the public and to underline the prominent role of trainers as a key companion and enabler of their athletes.

"Excellent trainers are extremely important for the performance of the German top-level sport and competitiveness on a world scale. Justus Wolf is a charismatic coach personality with superior leadership skills, shown not only in his success."

Wolf returned the thanks to his athletes: "One can be chosen coach of the year only when the athletes are so good and so well follow suit," Wolf said, going on to acknowledge the role that team personnel and support staff, who are often volunteers, play.

"That's fantastic,” he said. “We sometimes train three weeks and our people sacrifice a large part of their holiday, so that the team can be well prepared.”

The jury

Chairperson of the jury was Olympic judo champion and DOSB Vice President Ole Bischof.

Petra Tzschoppe, DOSB Vice President for Women and Equality; Dirk Schimmelpfennig, DOSB board performance sport; Heiner Brand, former handball national team coach’ former bobsleigh and skeleton national coach Raimund Bethge; Tina Theune, former national coach of the women's football national team; Ulla Koch, gymnastics coach, Daniel Hermann, member of the Athletes' Commission of the DOSB and Werner Klatten, the chairman of the German Sports Aid Foundation, also sat on the jury.

Previous winners:

2015: Justus Wolf (alpine skiing, German Disabled Sports Association)

2014: Norbert Loch (luge)

2013: Silvia Neid (football) and Hermann Wine Book (Nordic combined)

2012: Ralf Holt Meyer (rowing) and Hans Melzer (equestrian)

2011: Markus Weise (hockey)

2010: Uwe idleness (biathlon)

2009: Kim Raisner (modern pentathlon)

2008: Rolf-Dieter Amend (canoe)

2007: Heiner Brand (handball)

2006: Raimund Bethge (bobsleigh)