The surname Timm has become synonymous with alpine ski racing in Central Oregon.
Sometimes, the name even strikes fear into competitors on the slopes.
“It’s hard sometimes, especially when people see Timm on the starting order,” says Annika Timm, who admits to feeling some pressure that comes along with her last name. “It’s like, ‘Oh, that girl will be good.’ But it’s nice, because our league is like a family.”
Greg Timm, Annika’s uncle, has been the alpine ski coach at Bend High School since 1990, leading the Lava Bears on a run of success that includes 13 combined team (boys and girls) state titles. He also coached all five of his kids at Bend High — his son Cole Timm was overall boys state champion 2007 through 2009.
Greg Timm, 58, says he figured he would be done with coaching after all of his sons and daughters had gone through the program and graduated — that was in 2011. Since then, there have always been more kids whom Greg wants to coach, including the children of his longtime assistant coach Matt Cutter, and Annika, whose father, Brian Timm, Greg’s brother, has also been a longtime assistant coach.
“It’s been really rewarding to coach kids that weren’t already accomplished ski racers,” Greg Timm says. “The vast majority of ski racers at Bend High were not racers before. And they were successful. Some became state champions. But it was more about seeing them inspired and becoming competitive.”
Timm also coached girls soccer at Bend High from 1992 to 2005, and since 1991 he has been the master alpine ski coach for the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation in Bend.
Born and raised in Bend, Greg Timm grew up ski racing for the Skyliners Ski Club (now MBSEF) and graduated from Bend High in 1978. He attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, where he raced as a “skimeister,” competing in both alpine and nordic skiing.
“It was a crazy weekend when you were a skimeister,” Timm recalls. “College ski racing was a much bigger deal back then. I qualified for nationals a few times. I wasn’t a very good ski racer in high school, but things kind of started clicking in college.”
Timm coached ski racing at the College of Idaho and in Europe for a few years, then got his master’s in sports science. He returned to Oregon in 1990, and Bend High needed a ski coach and a girls soccer coach two years later.
His oldest daughter, Kristy, now 40 and with three children of her own, won the state slalom championship for the Lava Bears in 1995. In 1999, Jared Schoening won the state giant slalom championship for Bend. Schoening, the Timms recall, barely knew how to ski when he was a freshman.
“He was barely on skis, snowplowing as a freshman, and he won the state title as a senior,” Brian Timm remembers. “It’s amazing how many kids Greg has inspired over the years. We have had kids who had never even skied when they were freshmen, and they achieved pretty amazing things by the time they were seniors. I’m always shocked.”
Greg Timm is quick to note all the support he has received from his family and friends, and from parents of skiers over the years, many who have served as race officials and volunteers. Organizing ski racing is a significant undertaking with all that goes into the setup and takedown of the course. Greg also cites the help he has received over the years from Brian, as well as from Cutter, who is race director for the Oregon School Ski Association, in which Bend High and several other Central Oregon high school teams compete.
“Having the good assistants I’ve had over the years has been key,” Greg says. “And many Bend High parents have stayed on to help and serve as race officials and volunteers long after their own kids graduated.”
Greg’s wife, Bev Timm, has served as official race timer and statistician through her husband’s nearly 30 years as coach.
“He’s affected so many kids in such a positive way,” Bev says of Greg. “There’s a lot of the kids over the years who would have never been the ski racers they turned out to be. But it’s more the life lessons he’s taught to kids, as much as the actual skiing. He puts 200 percent into whatever he does, and that’s what’s incredible to me to watch. He just has a love for the sport. The time commitment’s been unbelievable. It’s his life. He lives and breathes it. But he loves it.”
Greg Timm says he has always tried to teach his skiers to become contributing team members, and not just based on results.
“With skiing, there’s so much more than just racing,” Timm says. “There’s setup, tear-down, course maintenance. I try to teach camaraderie and overall team effort … and to enjoy skiing the rest of their lives.”
In addition to the 13 combined team state titles, Timm has coached the Lava Bears to 14 boys team championships, 12 girls team championships and 18 individual titles.
This year’s Bend High squad hopes to continue the tradition. In five OSSA events so far this season, the Bend boys have won three times and the Bend girls have finished second in all five races. The Lava Bears typically are challenged by Summit, and the two teams will square off at the OSSA championships March 1-2 at Mt. Bachelor ski area.
“They’ve been competitive and the girls have been improving all season long,” Timm says of his team. “There’s a lot of racing to go.”
Annika Timm, for her part, has finished in the top 10 in all five OSSA events this season. The senior did not start ski racing until her freshman year.
“I’m competing with girls who have been racing their entire lives,” Annika says. “(Greg) is so knowledgeable. He knows what to do to make kids get it.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0318,