Army Staff Sgt. William Tavares



Event: Luge; team coach
Age: 50
Hometown: Lake Placid, N.Y.
College: Ashford University
Career field: Infantry

Army Staff Sgt. William Tavares, assigned to the Army World Class Athlete Program, has coached U.S. bobsled and luge athletes to more than 100 medals in World Cup and World Championship events. This will be his sixth Olympics, including a ninth-place finish as a luge doubles competitor in1992 and four trips to the Games as a bobsled coach. “The U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program is the savior of small Olympic sports like bobsled, skeleton, luge, biathlon and many other sports, like wrestling,” said Dmitry Feld, a USA Luge manager of events and sponsorships who coached Tavares as a young luge athlete after coming to America from the former Soviet Union. “The United States is one of the industrial countries of this magnitude who don’t give any money to the amateur athletes, so the WCAP program is the savior because those athletes from small sports can go be part of the Army. If they need to be active duty, they will go to defend us, but at the same time they can train and represent us in events like the Olympic Games.”

“WCAP athletes from any sport have the biggest upper hand on any other athlete. Because this is sport, it’s not the end of the world. And WCAP athletes have a better understanding of that than any other athlete that I know. We can be deployed at any time. Let’s get some things under perspective here, you know? We know what our jobs are. We might be athletes and coaches now, but we’re soldiers. This is sport.”

Career highlights
  • 2014 - U.S. Olympic luge coach
  • 2010 - Coached U.S. athletes to Olympic gold & bronze medals
  • 2006 - Coached U.S. athletes to Olympic silver medal
  • 2002 - Coached U.S. athletes to Olympic gold medal
  • 1997-2014 U.S. National Team coach
  • 1999 - USOC Development Coach of the Year
  • 1992 - Ninth place luge doubles competitor, Olympic Winter Games, Albertville, France
  • Four-time U.S. Olympic bobsled assistant coach
  • U.S. National Team coach since 1997 in bobsled and luge
  • Coached athletes to more than 100 World Cup and World Championship medals