Bob Harkins

BETHEL — When your school is fortunate enough to have an athletic director with extensive on-snow experience, it is only logical to have him oversee the school’s On Snow program as well. Skiing and snowboarding are integral parts of our athletic program and so should exist within athletics. This move is about improving the totality of the athletic experience at Gould and creating a single department, under the oversight of Athletic Director Bob Harkins.

Positioning the competitive On Snow program within the broader context of athletics allows the school to make a more consistent and holistic approach to the development of young athletes across their careers at Gould.

Mr. Harkins returned to Gould this year having directed Gould’s Winter Term Program from 2011 to 2016 and as athletic director in the late 1970s. He grew that program to more than 20 students, where many of the school’s top On Snow athletes first come to Gould. He also introduced a series of early-season alpine training camps that helped recruit many new athletes to campus each year.

He is a Maine Ski Hall of Fame inductee and former U.S. Ski Team coach. He spent 15 years as a VP at Sunday River Resort overseeing many departments including Competition and Events, and he recently finished a planned three-year commitment to Mt. Abram as general manager.

Mr. Harkins is excited to see young people engage in team sports, but also in a wide range of activities—road cycling, mountain biking, fly fishing, and Outing Club, among others—that take advantage of the local environment and promote a love of the outdoors. Did we mention that he is also a Registered Maine Guide?

“What I hope to bring to Gould is a healthy perspective on the importance of the role of athletics in young people’s lives,” Harkins said. “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.”

Going forward, the resources of our entire Athletic Department will be positioned to benefit our students and our coaches. Gould’s athletic offerings are so much more comprehensive and inclusive than they were even a decade ago. There is something for everyone.

“Our competitive On Snow programs are an integral and defining part of our athletic program,” says Head of School Tao Smith. “With Mr. Harkins at the helm, this feels like the right time to make this transition. He is here to help support Gould’s coaches and to ensure that all of our athletic programs—and our athletes—continue to thrive at Gould.”

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