Tracy gives no reason for departure

PARK CITY, Utah -- U.S. women's ski coach Jim Tracy stepped down on Friday, less than five weeks after guiding the team to a strong showing at the Vancouver Olympics.

He did not give a reason, but said in a statement that he appreciated being part of "something very special."

Tracy was in charge for two seasons and has been involved with the U.S. team for more than two decades. He was the women's speed coach for nine seasons and also worked with the men's downhill squad.

He took over the women's program after the 2008 season when Patrick Riml left for a position with Canada.

"He has been an amazing coach for the women's team, leading them through some of the greatest landmarks in U.S. skiing history," said Luke Bodensteiner, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association vice president of athletics.

The American women shined at Whistler in February. Lindsey Vonn won gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G, while Julia Mancuso captured two silver medals. Vonn also won the World Cup overall title for a third straight season.

"We all strive to be the best and, especially through the recent few years, the economy has provided many challenges," said Tracy, who lives in Hood River, Ore. "Through it all, we have shown that we are resilient, driven and can achieve our athletic goals."

Tracy said he's stepping away with the program on the upswing. There's a strong contingent of up-and-coming skiers, including Alice McKennis, Megan McJames, Leanne Smith and Chelsea Marshall.

"I will carry many good memories with me as I move forward," he said.