Bucky Broomhall, who pioneered the youth Bill Koch Ski League and provided equal opportunity to girl's skiing, was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Western State.
Without Broomhall, the local Nordic ski scene would look an awful lot different. It might be decades behind where it is now, or not even exist. There is essentially no way to account for all that Broomhall – the man who came to Bennington to start youth and high school Nordic programs – has contributed.
Broomhall, who pioneered the youth program that is now known as the Bill Koch League, briefly reflected on his distinguished career Thursday.
Broomhall attended Western State College from 1955-59, and was a member of the Nordic ski team for all four years. He helped the Mountaineers win NCAA Championships in '56 and '57, finished seventh in the nation in his senior year, and later went on to join the U.S. Olympic development team.
While Broomhall was coaching at Mount Anthony Union High School, he kept a hand in the youth league, mentoring the kids who would turn out to be star athletes for him years later. And though he led the Patriots to five state championships as a head coach, he remains just as proud of the fact that the school established equal opportunity before Title IX – which became law in '72 – had fully permeated the athletic landscape of the country.
“We were the first high school in the east – and possibly the country – that had a girls team,” he said.
Over the years, Broomhall has served as a Nordic official for every level of competition from youth to the Olympics. All the while, he and his wife Francis have remained fixtures in the area, and the two still live in the same Shaftsbury home they moved into 44 years ago.
Read more from the Bennington Banner:
A true Nordic pioneer