In 1988, Jeffrey Nolt got a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and History at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. Now based in Baltimore, he has led three lives in skating: in pair skating, in coaching, and in television work.
As a pair skater, he studied under Ron Ludington with his sister Suzy. Their best season came right after a recovery from a near-fatal accident at a televised competition. The Nolts toured with the Ice Capades for a few years, before retiring as a pair in 1989.
Nolt began working with ABC Sports on televising skating events in 1988, when he started out as a runner - typically a young skater or former skater, who keeps tabs on competitors and programs for the directors. He moved on to sit at the judges' table, wearing a headset through which he received instructions on how to cue the referees. Despite being reprimanded for showing too much enthusiasm for well-done programs, he enjoyed that job for the opportunity to exercise his talent for calm under fire.
In recent years, he has been working as an assistant to ABC director Doug Wilson. Nolt now typically works four or five skating events a year, such as the Grand Prix Final and the World Championships. He has worked every U.S. Nationals but one since 1988. He has found that this schedule provides a good balance between television work and coaching.
The opportunity to view the top levels of the sport from a director's perspective has helped Nolt to clarify what he would like to encourage in his own coaching. At the 2000 World Championships, Nolt was especially impressed with the European ice dancers' facial expressions, and the unfettered creativity of the male partners.
Nolt began coaching while he was an undergraduate at Syracuse University. But he had to think things through before he embraced coaching as his life's work. Although Nolt said, "I always knew I was gay," he dated "some great women" until he fell in love with a man around 1989, and came out.
After working some other jobs, Nolt settled on coaching. Nolt has been coaching freestyle, Moves in the Field, pairs, and performance classes. He teaches group classes, including adult groups, and an adult ice theatre ensemble called Fine Wine.
It is characteristic of Nolt that he will not allow homophobia to dictate how he skates, coaches, or choreographs. He takes his cues from the skating itself, what he finds important within it, and the kinds of skating he would like to see.