Jan Buron

Jan’s Junction is named for Jan Buron, who came to Alaska after, having left his native Poland in 1991. He had attended the government sport school in Zakopane, Poland from the age of 11, and later was named to the Polish National Cross Country Ski Team. After moving to Alaska in 1992, Jan worked as an assistant coach for the Alaska Sports Academy training program before forming his own club training and racing program in 1997, Alaska Winter Stars (AWS). AWS quickly established itself as one of the top junior development teams in the country, whose athletes began winning medals at a rapid pace at the USSA Junior National Nordic Ski Championships. By 2024 AWS skiers had 150 podiums, 45 of them gold medals. Twice the Alaska Winter Stars team has been recognized as the top USSA club for boys, girls, as well as winning the overall award. Additionally, Jan has twice been awarded the USSA Domestic Coach of the year, in 1999 and 2010, and also the USSA International Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2020. He has coached numerous Olympians, including Gus Schumacher, who became the first Male US Junior World Champion in 2020.

Jan also has nurtured a very strong, dedicated Winter Stars Masters training and racing team, whose members have won multiple Master’s World Cup championship golds over the years, as well as sharing the fun found in suffering at AWS sessions. In addition to running the Alaska Winter Stars private program, Jan has also been the head coach of the Service High School ski team since 1998, where his teams have won 25 state team titles, and 29 individual Skimeister awards through 2024. He is a legend of the high school ski coaching community.

Jan’s philosophy for coaching is to give all kids a chance and opportunity to grow into a champion. He wants his athletes to believe in themselves by building healthy habits so they can see for themselves how they have improved over time, and see what they can achieve if they keep working and believe in themselves.

People started calling this particular intersection “Jan’s Junction” after It became Jan’s favorite place to meet up with the athletes after they have done their warmup and are ready for the day’s workout. Jan says that the variety of loops that branch off from the intersection is perfect for doing a variety of workouts. It is well lit in the winter, and there is enough space that even a sizable group can gather while still staying out of passing traffic. It is very appropriate that it should now be officially named “Jan’s Junction”.