SR Staff Report
Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Release courtesy of Burke Mountain Academy
Burke Mountain Academy is pleased to announce the addition of Jesse Hunt ’83 to its coaching staff as Sport Director, assuming the position from Felix McGrath, who will continue with BMA in the newly created position of European Programs Director.
Hunt joins BMA following a successful 20-year career with US Ski & Snowboard, where he held the position of Alpine Director since 2018, his second tenure in that role, having held the position previously from 2003 through 2009.
“Since graduating from Burke Mountain Academy in 1983, I hoped to return there someday in some capacity. I’m thrilled to return as Sport Director. This opportunity truly leverages all my experiences, and I look forward to continuing to elevate the quality of an already excellent program,” notes Hunt. “I’m highly motivated to make a significant impact on athletic development in American skiing, and I believe Burke gives me the best opportunity to do that.”
Head of School Willy Booker ’96 says the enthusiasm is mutual as Hunt will lead all U8 through U19 athletic programming. “He brings an unprecedented track record of success in Alpine Ski Racing back to BMA, confirming our intent to continue to drive for performance and innovation in alpine development,” comments Booker.
During Hunt’s tenure at US Ski & Snowboard, the alpine teams won four FIS overall World Cup titles, 12 Olympic medals, and 18 World Championship Medals. In total, he spent 20 years with the US Ski Team and an additional nine years as the Program Director for Park City Ski and Snowboard.
“There are few people with Jesse’s credentials as a competitor, a coach, and a program director. We are lucky to have him, and I look forward to collaborating closely with him to continue to push BMA’s program forward,” adds European Programs Director Felix McGrath.
As BMA’s Sport Director since 2020, McGrath made significant advancements to BMA’s training and technical progression. “Felix has done incredible work raising the expectations for our coaches and athletes. He elevated our program in immeasurable ways, and we’re excited to build on the obvious next steps in this process,” says Booker.
McGrath will turn his attention to his new role of European Programs Director, a strategic initiative to provide BMA athletes more international exposure by organizing European camps, building on the previously established strategic partnership with Baerums Ski Club in Norway, and providing coaches and athletes exposure to European racing and training opportunities.
“The prospect of Felix and Jesse, two of the top minds in our sport, working together to drive BMA’s program forward is beyond exciting. We are fortunate to have this opportunity and look forward to good work ahead,” concludes Booker.