Burke Mountain Academy (BMA) has announced the hiring of Felix McGrath to the position of Sport Director effective August 1, 2019. The newly created position will oversee BMA’s alpine development methodology for all ages including BMA’s junior program, the academy itself and the newly created BMA E-Team for post high school aged athletes to ensure continuity in athletic progression through the scope of the program. He will work closely with BMA Athletic Director Brad Wall who will continue to oversee the U14-U19 curriculum and coaches associated with the academy proper.
“It would be hard to accurately convey how significant we feel that this strategic hiring will be for our program,” commented Willy Booker, BMA Head of School. “Felix’s background uniquely qualifies him for this position because he is one of only a small group of Americans who can claim to have been successfully developing athletes from the club level, through World Junior Championships and onto the World Cup with consistency. He not only has the pedigree as a coach and program director, but he also has competed at the highest level individually and has the added unique perspective of being one of the key contributors to the successful development pipeline in Norway.”
The creation of the Sport Director position will allow BMA to fully integrate all of BMA’s programs with more intentional programming than has been previously possible. McGrath will be responsible for the athletic development methodology for the full scope of age classes from U8 through U21. His work at BMA will have him on site for most of the school year and all prep period camps, however, he will maintain his primary residence in Norway which will also allow him to act as a point person for organizing any European and Scandinavian activities.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Burke and helping this team continue to build on an already successful model,” commented McGrath. “BMA is a great fit because I feel that we have alignment in our belief that long-term athletic development must be prioritized over short-term results in order to develop the skills necessary to compete at the highest level in alpine racing. Burke has all the necessary ingredients to develop great skiers; world-class training venues, excellent coaching, and the right culture. My hope is to accelerate the very positive momentum that has already been established.”
McGrath adds that “Along with being committed to developing high-level skiers and athletes, I am a believer in being a ‘skier for life’ regardless of ability level or achieved results. This is an aspect that I have emphasized at our club and academy programs in Norway because every skier is equally as important and should have the opportunity to reach their goals.”
McGrath, a Vermont native, has a long and distinguished career in alpine ski racing dating to his time as a U.S. Ski Team and World Cup competitor who was named to 6 World Championship and Olympic teams. He is one of a very small group of Americans who succeeded in reaching the World Cup podium in slalom and in 1988 he finished third in the World Cup overall slalom standings. Following a successful amateur career, McGrath competed successfully as the top American on the U.S. Pro Tour for several seasons. He began his coaching career at the University of Vermont (UVM) where he was the Head Alpine coach from 1999-2005 helping scores of UVM skiers win individual NCAA championships and All-American honors. In 2003, McGrath relocated to Oslo, Norway, with his wife and children and coached the Norwegian Women’s World Cup team for 2 years. In 2007 he started as a coach and in 2011 became the General Manager of Baerums Ski Club (BSK) which is one of the largest most highly regarded ski clubs in the country. In 2015, he was appointed General Manager of the affiliated Donski Ski Academy and has held the General Manager titles for both BSK and Donski until his recent decision to join BMA. There are currently a significant number of Norwegian National Team members and, notably, a large number of Norwegians racing for NCAA Division I teams who have come through the club and academy system that McGrath directed.
Release courtesy of BMA.