As a part of Killington Mountain School’s (KMS) continued growth and expansion of its programs and offerings, the Northeast ski academy now maintains and executes all USSA and FIS events at Killington Resort. Chuck Hughes, a veteran coach with international coaching and officiating credentials as well as deep ties to KMS and Killington Resort, will head the department as the new events manager.
“When it comes to event knowledge and experience, Chuck is simply the best,” said Head of School Tao Smith, of Hughes, who also will be the technical delegate for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. “In addition to being the Eastern Region Alpine Official Committee Chair, Chuck understands the ins and outs of running races from grassroots events to the World Cup level. To say that we are excited to have Chuck’s presence on our team is an understatement!”
Don’t worry, Killington will continue to manage world-class events like the Dew Tour! The KMS events department will facilitate and manage the operations of events this year including the Hole Shot Tour, a boardercross/skiercross international FIS event with only three stops in the United States (Killington March 6-8), an international FIS NorAm Freestyle event Feb. 21-26, the J3 Finals March 8-11, and multiple VARA and Freestyle A and B competitions.
“Having someone like Chuck driving the operations of these events is so beneficial for our student-athletes and the growth of our programs,” said Matt Gnoza, director of sport development at KMS. “Having this high level of competition at our home mountain provides an edge to our student-athletes and will help them excel further in their sports. With larger training and competition facility plans in the works at KMS, the managing of these events made perfect sense for everyone involved.”
Hughes said that he’ll be looking to bring bigger championship events to the schedule next year and hopes to have the alpine FIS high level series back at Killington, so KMS student-athletes can race at this level on their own mountain.
“We now have a direct hand in running these events in a way that we need to for the needs of our student-athletes, and we plan on pursuing events that will help them excel in their sports,” said Hughes, whose three children all raced for KMS, two of them going on to ski for the US Ski Team. “What we’re trying to do is to continue to raise the bar of our events. If I can bring an event to Needle’s Eye that’s at the FIS level, that gives our student-athletes an opportunity to score in a points race, win a race on their own home hill and give them more of an advantage. That also will bring top national and international athletes here for good competition. It’s another natural step in the growth of the school.”
Hughes plans to make some changes in the structure of the races at Killington and will work with his department and resort personnel to take these events to the next level. He said that coordination with the resort will be important, as these events-and the athletes they attract-will still be held at Killington Resort on its trails and terrain. New competition facilities at Killington also are on the table for the future.
Hughes started coaching in 1975 for the Pico Ski Club and attended the first USSA Coaches Academy in 1980. Since then he has taught and coached for Killington Resort, Pico Ski Club, Burke Mountain Academy, Winter Park, the Ontario Ski Team, the Southern Ontario Ski Team, and KMS. He is a certified USSA Coach and Alpine Official and a FIS Technical Delegate (TD) for Alpine (speed certified and examiner). He has been a TD for events in World Cup, Canadian National’s, NorAm Cup, FIS UNI’s, EISA Championships, NCAA Championships, South American Cup in Chile, USCSA Regional Championships, and at all levels of USSA races.
Hughes has served as a member of many boards including VARA (past president and current board member), Eastern Alpine Officials Committee (chairperson), and VARA Alpine Official (chairman). He is currently a member of the USSA Sport Committee, the USSA TD Working Group, and the US FIS TD Working Group.
He was the recipient of the Burckett/Dodge Award for Outstanding Officiating in the Eastern Region and the VARA Volunteer of the Year Award. His wife, Betty, was the director of academics and headmaster at KMS for 16 years. They live in Killington, where they have made their home for the past 29 years.