History

In 1970, a young ski racer named Martha Coughlin approached coach Warren Witherell seeking year-round training to help her achieve her dream of being named to the U.S. Ski Team. Witherell quickly agreed, and Burke Mountain Academy was born. The school was the first ski academy of its kind in the United States and established the model by which all others would follow.

More than 40 years later, BMA remains true to the ethos established at its inception. Enrolling no more than 70 students annually, the Burke philosophy emphasizes developing the whole individual — as a student, an athlete, and a person of character. BMA believes this approach is the cornerstone to success both at Burke and in life beyond high school and ski racing.

Today, Burke is the leading ski racing academy in the United States, partnering with the U.S. Ski Team, and  having produced numerous national team members and Olympians along the way. Our alumni include:

  • 2014 Olympic slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin
  • 117 U.S. Ski Team members
  • 138 national team athletes
  • 33 Olympians
  • 5 competitors at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games

To learn more about the history of BMA, read Sport Illustrated’s 1978 feature on the school. While we’ve come a long way since then, we are proud of our roots and how it all began.