Harvard University Seeks New Head Coach

FasterSkierApril 18, 2023

Job Summary

This position serves as the leader of the men’s and women’s Nordic skiing and embraces the vision of principled leadership, academic integration, and competitive excellence. The Head Coach leads by developing a vision, setting team goals, and building a healthy and transformative culture. The Head Coach is responsible for all aspects of the program, including student-athlete development, planning and preparation for practices and contests, managing team staff, identifying and recruiting prospective student-athletes, budget, operational logistics, providing leadership to the respective Friends Group, and participating in appropriate University, community, alumni/ae and media relationships – all in compliance with University, Ivy League and NCAA rules and regulations.

The Head Coach uses athletics as the means to educate student-athletes. This position serves as a teacher and mentor in the holistic development of student-athletes to help build character and teach valuable life lessons including work ethic, discipline, resilience, accountability, adaptability, teamwork, humility, and leadership – in support of the University and College missions. The head coach impacts personal development in addition to athletic development in a meaningful and lasting way.

The Head Coach is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes to achieve and maintain peak performance. In the Ivy League, program success is defined broadly and involves much more than winning – a successful program imparts the life lessons described in the above paragraph and results in high levels of student satisfaction and healthy team culture. This position is a key ambassador for the Athletics Department and the University and must reflect the highest levels of integrity, ethical behavior, and adherence to Ivy League principles. Overall program success begins with the leadership of the Head Coach.

This position typically requires extensive experience in coaching the sport, with coaching at the collegiate level strongly preferred. Particularly for sports that are more prominent on an international level than in the United States, comparable experience may include playing and/or coaching in a professional or other high-performance environments, such as for a national team or at the Olympic level.

This is a term position renewable at the discretion of the Athletics Director.

Position Description

1.     Athlete Team Management

  • Plans and directs practices, and in-game coaching; develops student-athlete knowledge and skills of the sport, and helps the team perform at competitive levels.
  • Promotes culture of education through athletics. Ensures student-athletes receive meaningful direction and support from coaches by fostering spirit of continuous improvement and learning. Balances athletics within the academic context.
  • Develops and oversees plan for student-athlete recruitment and retention that aligns with values of excellence and inclusion; responsible for strategy’s impact on team performance and reputation.
  • Credibly and effectively leads and communicates with student-athletes. Mentors student-athletes in embracing leadership roles. Uses athletics to educate students about character development and accountability.
  • Ensures academic integration of student-athletes with the values of Harvard College.


2.     Operational Complexity

  • Develops and supervises the execution of team strategy, budget, logistics, and operational direction; as appropriate, develops and executes national and international recruiting strategy.
  • Ensures compliance with University, Ivy League, NCAA, and other rules and regulations (including the University Conflicts of Interest and Commitment policy).
  • Leads, directs, and reviews the work of assistant coaches; recruits and develops assistant coaches.
  • Participates in professional development and sport governance/leadership activities.
  • Identifies, explores, and implements innovation opportunities/trends as appropriate.
  • Identifies and resolves problems frequently of a complex nature, which may require intricate solutions that impact the team.
  • Communicates effectively with athletics administrators.


3.     Communications & Influence

  • Effectively communicates with Harvard community, including students, Faculty and staff, alumni, and donors.
  • Generates interest and enthusiasm for the sport within and outside of the Harvard community.
  • Responsible for maintaining and building high viewership and public interest of contests consistent with the applicable sport.
  • Maintains and typically cultivates positive media interest consistent with the applicable sport.
  • Responds to media inquiries as appropriate.
  • As appropriate, requires the ability to influence positively public interest.


4.     People Management 

  • Recruits assistant coaches and team operations staff.
  • Leads, directs, and sets goals for assistant coaches and staff.
  • Monitors and reviews the work of assistant coaches and staff, provides timely feedback, and takes prompt corrective action as necessary.
  • Keeps abreast of Harvard policies, communications, and initiatives relating to employee relations, and keeps assistant coaches and staff informed as necessary.
  • Promptly responds to complaints by or against assistant coaches and staff pursuant to University policies.
Remi Drolet became the first Harvard NCAA Champion in program history with his win in the 20 k classic Saturday. (Photo: (c) 2023 Nancie Battaglia)

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Demonstrated technical knowledge of Nordic ski training, technique, and competition
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills
  • Possesses strong communication skills
  • Able to work cooperatively with Alpine Coach in managing program resources and budget

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Requires at least 5 (five) seasons of coaching Nordic skiing at the collegiate, professional, or Olympic level (club coaching will be considered). Experience competing as a Nordic skier at the collegiate, national, or Olympic levels will count towards this requirement.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

(The following Additional Qualifications are strongly preferred.  If you meet some, but not all, you are still encouraged to apply; we value employees with a willingness to learn):

  • Requires advanced management and leadership knowledge.
  • Requires complete mastery of sport-specific knowledge and relevant issues.
  • Understands, embraces, and demonstrates the philosophy, principles, and policies of college athletics.
  • Basic proficiency in Excel, Word, e-mail, and web-based applications.

Certificates and Licenses

  • Valid driver’s license needed.
  • CPR and First Aid required.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to lift equipment associated with the sport.

Working Conditions

  • Evening and weekend work required.
  • Frequent travel required.
  • Job requires work in extreme environmental conditions, including extreme heat and cold, rain, and high levels of noise.

COVID Vaccine Policy: The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated (primary series) against COVID, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Information. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/.

Additional Information

Harvard is a highly selective liberal arts college whose mission is to educate citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. The College is a residential institution of nearly 7,000 undergraduates and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard is deeply committed to the intellectual, social, and personal transformation of its undergraduates during their four years at Harvard.

The Department of Athletics offers 42 varsity programs for men and women, more than any other Division I school in the United States. We also offer extensive recreational and intramural programs.

Harvard employees have access to a competitive benefits package that includes multiple options for the health and well-being of our employees as well as ongoing professional development.

All formal offers will be made by FAS Human Resources. We regret that, due to the number of responses we typically receive, we may be unable to respond to phone calls or contact personally those applicants not selected for an interview.

We actively seek and welcome applications from diverse candidates and from those with a demonstrable commitment to a more inclusive society.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on-campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
NCAAs leave Lake Placid with many programs having achieved milestones. Harvard saw its first NCAA All-American and Champion with Remi Drolet, well University of Alaska-Fairbanks saw seven All-American finishes over two days of racing. (Photo: (c) 2023 Nancie Battaglia)


  • Evening and weekend work required.
  • Frequent travel required.
  • Job requires work in extreme environmental conditions, including extreme heat and cold, rain, and high levels of noise.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.


To apply, please visit: https://bit.ly/3A1ON9A



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