In just two years Cate Brams has become a fixture of the New England coaching community. In 202o, after racing for Middlebury College and the Sun Valley Gold Team, she returned home to Boston to help lead the Eastern Mass Cross Country (EMXC) program. In May of 2021, she was hired as the clubs first full time Head Coach. Her youthful energy and extensive racing experience, along with the knowledge of growing up in the Eastern Mass Bill Koch and CSU Junior Program (now known as EMXC) made her a perfect fit for the job.
Not only is she a beloved coach for EMXC, but she has jumped headfirst into NENSA programming, including regional camps, coaching at Junior Nationals and leading Coaches Education clinics. We are indeed lucky to have such engaged coaches like Brams — made in part by increasingly sophisticated clubs — that provide awesome development opportunities for cross country skiing here in the East. Read on below for accolades from her athletes, peers and coworkers!
EMXC summer coach and incoming UVM assistant coach Brandon Herhusky:
“This past year has been my first opportunity to work alongside Cate Brams in the coaching world. I feel very privileged to have worked with some of the best coaches in the country as either an athlete or a fellow coach; and despite Cate being a younger coach she easily ranks as one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Cate is constantly in pursuit of perfecting her craft as a coach. Whether talking about waxing, technique, or training philosophy I can always count on Cate to bring something new that she’s learned or thought about to the conversation. In her day to day running of EMXC she continually strikes an incredible balance of being very detailed oriented with everything she does having a purpose, while also having the ability to quickly adapt on the fly for the many individual athlete’s needs she manages.
Seeing the respect that all of Cate’s athletes have for her is truly the testament of her as a coach. She coaches one of the largest clubs in New England and every single athlete from age 13 to 20 absolutely worships the ground she walks on. She creates an environment in which everyone can succeed while growing a passion for the outdoors and developing lifelong healthy habits through cross-country skiing.”
Mansfield Nordic Club Executive Director and Head Coach Adam Terko:
“After working with her in the wax room for a number of championship events ranging from US Nationals to JNs, I can confidently say that some of my most productive, fun, and memorable days at a wax bench have been with Cate. She’s an awesome communicator, whether it’s making stressful wax decisions, helping athletes find their best selves on race day, or humorously roasting me over something I’m wearing, saying, or doing. Cate’s ability to seamlessly and quickly transition between coach, wax tech, friend, mentor, and leader is something that allows her and her team to thrive in any situation.”
NENSA Executive Director and former volunteer coach with CSU juniors Amie Smith:
“Cate Brams is a phenomenal Head Coach and leader for the EMXC juniors team. She stepped into that roll several years ago with grace and maturity beyond her years. Cate has both the perspective as a former CSU junior athlete herself, but also the skills and knowledge to bring her athletes both a calming balance while also challenging them to be their best. Cate has also been invaluable as a volunteer coach and wax tech for New England Junior National team and at our REG Camp.”
EMXC Junior Sofia Scirica:
“Cate is an incredible coach who cares so much about her athletes and helping them succeed in skiing and beyond. Her energy and humor make her an amazing coach to work with and the entire team benefits from her leadership and dedication, as well as her coolness 🙂 It is extremely difficult to get thirty 14 to 18 year olds to focus on training, but Cate manages to do it while also making sure that we are having fun as we improve.
From May to March, Cate works tirelessly to ensure that the entire team has all of the resources they need to feel confident going into the starting gate. It is incredibly impressive how hard to she works to give every athlete what they need to do their best. There’s no way to summarize everything that Cate does for the team because I can’t even begin to understand all of the work she does to make our team run smoothly, but if you want to see how dedicated Cate is, look no further than the wax bench at an Eastern Cup. From waking up long before the sunrise to test dozens of waxes to staying and cheering until the last athlete of the day has completed their race, Cate is always ready to support the athletes in every way she can. Her pre race pep-talks and post race debriefs are consistently one of the things that I look forward to most on race days.
Not only does Cate take the time to talk with her athletes about warmups and race strategy, but also our mental health. She cares so genuinely about how we are doing, and she recognizes that mental health is a crucial aspect of the sport. Having a coach that really cares about how her athletes are doing makes a huge difference in her athletes’ performance and their overall mental well-being.
I feel so lucky to have been able to learn from her coaching the last few years and I am so grateful for all of the support that she has given me and the team. Cate is one of those amazing coaches who cares so deeply about her athletes and team, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of Coach of the Year!”