Carroll on coaching Gold: 'There will be a change'
Turbulent relationship between skater, coach to end after three-plus years

Posted 1/22/17 by Philip Hersh, special to icenetwork
Frank Carroll and Gracie Gold will no longer work together, according to the coach. -Getty Images

Frank Carroll said Sunday his coaching relationship with Gracie Gold will end as soon as the two can iron out legal issues related to his contract with the skater.

Speaking exclusively to icenetwork, Carroll responded "No" to the question of whether he could see any way he would coach Gold in the future.

"There will be a change," Carroll said. "But you can't just say goodbye. It's got to be worked out intelligently and legally when we get home."

When reached for comment, Gold said she was caught off-guard by Carroll's decision.

"I am surprised that Frank announced his decision before informing me," she said in a statement. "I continue to have the utmost respect for Frank Carroll and his legacy. 

He took me on during a very vulnerable time, and I am forever grateful for our work together. Despite my sadness in missing this world championships, I will benefit (from the) extra time entering the Olympic season. I plan to use it well."

Carroll, based in Los Angeles, took over coaching Gold in September 2013 when she suddenly left her previous coach, Alex Ouriashev, in Chicago. Under Carroll's tutelage, Gold won two U.S. titles and finished fourth at the 2014 Olympics and the 2016 World Championships.

But this season has been a monumental disappointment for Gold, 21, who skated poorly at all four of her competitions. A sixth-place result Saturday night at the U.S. championships meant she is not going to worlds for the first time in her five-year senior career.

"When you spend a lot of time with somebody and give them all your energy and realize that it is now going nowhere, I think it is time for a change, definitely," said Carroll, 78, who plans to retire from fulltime coaching after next year's Olympics.

"I hope it will end graciously, because we both deserve that. I can't see being angry when you've spent a great deal of time together in the cold, and you've had great success.

"I think we did a pretty good job together, and then we had one complete disaster at the end of last year (worlds), which to me wasn't horrible, being fourth in the world and first in the short program.

"That, to me, isn't like the end of the world, (but) I think that basically it crushed her, and she felt like it was the end of the world. And then she could never get out of it. It didn't matter what anybody said or did -- it just wasn't going to be."

Gold was fiercely self-critical about her failure at worlds. She said two weeks ago that it was only during a recent trip to work with Ouriashev that she forgave herself for it.

The reunion with Ouriashev came in an effort by Gold to try to salvage the season after what would be its lowest ebb, a sixth-place finish last month at the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia, where Gold received her lowest international scores since 2012. 

Two weeks of repair work had produced encouraging results for Gold, but the fixes clearly were short lived.

In a text message Sunday, Ouriashev said he had "no idea" whether Gold would return to him full time in preparation for the Olympic season.

"I feel very upset," Ouriashev said of his reaction to Gold's ninth-place free skate in Kansas City. "She was the best talent for ladies figure skating. I still believe in her."

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