Ski coach Tom Reynolds instructs a group of skiers.

When Tom Reynolds is inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, somebody should also hand him an award for his humility, kindness and devotion to the students and athletes he has taught and coached for several decades.

But Reynolds is just fine with being a member of the Maine Hall. He doesn’t mind all the fuss. He has enjoyed in his long, fruitful life as an educator and coach in a sport that gave him so many opportunities.

Reynolds will be joining a handful of inductees who will be honored on Sunday, May 21, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

“It is unimaginable,” Reynolds said. “I am not all about me, you know what a I mean. People have been good to me. You are working for somebody who can help you.”

The 84-year-old gentlemanly Mainer has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

“I will continue to do clinics, but I am not going to hang on and work for a ski school,” Reynolds said. “I have worked for Sugarloaf from the time I left UMF (University of Maine at Farmington) until we moved to New London, N.H.”

“We moved to New London in order to be closer to our children. We have a grandson who is an athlete and we wanted to see him.”

In the meantime, he has been working at a ski school at Mount Sunapee Resort

“I have been doing training for instructors and what they call workshop and privates,” Reynolds said. “I would like to continue doing private clinics and lectures. I am not even interested in slowing down.”

Looking back

Reynolds made a name for himself in Maine as a top-notch instructor and coach.

Before he retired from UMF in 1999, he coached the Beavers’ ski team in the late 1960s and 1970s. He steered his teams to four collegiate alpine championships and three Canadian-American collegiate championships.

From 1979 to 1982, he was associated with the U.S. Ski Team and president of the USSCA in the 1980s. He also began the popular UMF Ski Industries Program, which focuses on the business side of the skiing.

“I have known coach since 1975 when he was my coach at UMF for the ski team,” UMF Alpine operations coordinator and ski coach Scott Hoisington said. “He was also involved at Titcomb Mountain, where I grew up skiing.

Hoisington wasn’t surprised at Reynolds’ Maine Hall induction.

“He has been a great mentor and leader to so many of us who have had the opportunity to have met him,” Hoisington added. “A dedicated educator and someone who truly loves the sport of skiing.

“He has supplied many of his students with opportunities to work in the industry and keep his principals moving into the next generation. He has also instilled the love of the sport in so many of those who went to his classes or had the opportunity to have himself as a coach.”

UMF athletic director Sally Davis is delighted to hear of Reynolds’ induction.

“We are very excited about his upcoming induction,” Davis said. “He is so deserving and we anticipate many alumni and friends will be at the event to help celebrate Tom’s work and the occasion.

“Tom Reynolds’ work lives on today at UMF with our current teams and Alpine Operations certificate program and extends across the country and around the globe in terms of alumni he mentored now working in all facets of the industry.”

“That was fantastic,” Reynolds said. “That is a story in itself. You mention the Ski Industry Program. I drew all that up and gave that to a president and he liked it.

“He said, ‘I got to put it in a drawer because we aren’t ready to do this.’ So I let it go. I kind of forgot about it.

“And then one day, this guy walks into my office. Doc DesRoches is from Rumford. He was the executive vice president of the Ski Industries of America.

“He walked in and I coached his daughter a little bit in the past. We shook hands and talked. He said we ought to start the ski business program. He said there is not enough young people going into ski business. There is a whole world out there and jobs galore that with the proper education they can go with companies and work their way up.

“I said, ‘Hell, Doc, I have it all drawn up.’ So we went into the new (UMF) president. They knew where it was. They saved it, took it out and looked at it. Doc and I put the whole thing together, made a couple of changes and we started the ski industry program. It went dynamite.”

Staying on message

Reynolds is a firm believer that coaching and teaching go hand and it is impossible to separate the two.

“I am a firm believer that coaching is teaching and teaching is coaching,” Reynolds, a Bingham native, said. “You can’t do one without the other.”

“My specialty has been ski teaching and ski coaching, not just ski teaching and not just ski coaching. I don’t know everything…and have all the answers to skiing. I think you are as only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I was lucky.”

At the University of Maine, Reynolds majored in physical education and “took all the coaching courses I could.”

His love for the sport began in his hometown, where he would ski around Bingham. Over the course of his career, he has coached many sports, including baseball and football, but his true passion was skiing.

“I would go around town and see the smoke from the chimneys and say, “You know, I want to be in skiing, I want to teach skiing. I want to coach skiing,” Reynolds said.

He did it well and his passion for skiing has earned him a ticket to the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

Former University of Maine at Farmington ski coach Tom Reynolds made the sport of skiing a rewarding careerTom Reynolds


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