Bob Harkins. Gould Academy

BETHEL — Gould Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of Bob Harkins as athletic director for the 2020-2021 school year. He previously worked at Gould as athletic director in the late ’70s and again from 2011 to 2016 as Winter Term director.

“Things were considerably different during my initial years at Gould,” Harkins says. “Today’s program offerings are so much more comprehensive and inclusive. There is something for everyone. It is exciting to see young people endeavor in team sports, but also in a wide range of activities like road cycling, mountain biking, fly fishing, and the Outing Club that take advantage of the local environment and promote a love of the outdoors.”

Harkins is a Maine Ski Hall of Fame inductee and former U.S. Ski Team coach. He introduced a series of early-season alpine training camps that helped recruit many new athletes and families to campus each year. He grew the Winter Term program to more than 20 students, a program many of the school’s top On-Snow athletes start in.

“What I hope to bring to Gould is a healthy perspective on the importance of the role of athletics in young people’s lives,” he says. “Competition in everyday life is a reality, and there is so much to be gained through participation in a variety of activities — experiences and skills that are foundational to one’s development. I have worked with athletes and coaches from the local level to the international level for close to 50 years, and I am super excited to become part of the community and work with Gould’s talented group of coaches and student-athletes.”

Harkins spent fifteen years as a VP at Sunday River Ski Resort overseeing many departments including Competition and Events. He also served as Gould athletic director back in the 1970s, and recently finished a planned three-year commitment to Mt. Abram as general manager.

“The thought of someday returning to Gould has been on my mind since I left,” says Harkins. “Having directly experienced the effect the school had on my two sons, and seeing the path that the two of them are on now, I am very thankful. Gould is simply a great place. I look forward to being part of the community again.”

The school is enormously grateful to Tara Whiton, who served as athletic director for the last two years and is now a professor of Community Health at the University of Maine Presque Isle.

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