The New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) has announced that Shane MacDowell will become the new Head Cross-Country Ski Coach effective September 1, 2017. MacDowell replaces Margaret Maher, who has held the position since 2006.
MacDowell, originally from Peru, Massachusetts in Berkshire County, attended Burke Mountain Academy in East Burke, Vermont as a cross-country skier before heading to the University of New Hampshire (UNH). MacDowell competed on their NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country Ski Team for four years while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Journalism. During his college athletic career, he earned multiple top-15 finishes on the EISA Division 1 circuit.
Upon graduation from UNH, MacDowell started his professional career with a position at Boulder Nordic Sport East (BNS), working as a wax technician and sales associate. Simultaneously, he continued his love for skiing and ski racing by serving as Head Ski Coach of the Cape Elizabeth High School Ski Team in Maine and, later, the Head Coach of the BNS Acceleration Project. During that time, he was the Head Wax Technician for the USSA J1 Scandinavian and OPA Cup Finals trips in Europe in 2013.
MacDowell went on to hold several coaching positions throughout the United States, including serving as Gold Team Assistant Coach and Head Wax Technician at the Sun Valley Ski Educational Foundation in Idaho. Later, MacDowell returned East to assume the role of Assistant Cross-Country Ski Coach at the Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield, Vermont. Most recently, MacDowell has served as the Assistant Cross-Country Ski Coach at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, one of the nation’s premier collegiate Division 1 programs.
MacDowell says, “I am very excited to be joining such a great program as NYSEF. I look forward to building on the strong program that Margaret has cultivated during her tenure with NYSEF. I plan to use everything I’ve learned over the years with different programs to help each athlete achieve their goals and reach their greatest potential.”
NYSEF Executive Director John Norton notes, “We’re pleased that Shane has decided to join our team. He brings a level of professionalism and dedication to athletic excellence through his experience at both the elite and grassroots levels. I’m excited to see what Shane brings to the already thriving program that Margaret has helped build.”
“Shane moves to Lake Placid with ski coaching experience at the college and junior levels” remarked Margaret Maher, who held the position for over 11 years. “I’m excited to see a fellow UNH Wildcat take over the NYSEF program and look forward to watching the athletes grow and excel to the best of their abilities”. Maher has decided to take a full-time job as a registered nurse in orthopedics and sports medicine starting in September. MacDowell will begin work in early August alongside Maher to finish the summer training season.
MacDowell’s brings a strong level of enthusiasm for the outdoors with him to the Adirondacks. When he’s not focused on cross-country skiing, he canoe races throughout the country and has a passion for building canoes. He also enjoys many outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking and running.