Warren Witherell (deceased)
Year Inducted: 1998
Born: January 2, 1935
Died: May 26, 2014
Warren Witherell was one of the most dynamic figures in alpine ski racing during the last three decades of the 20th century. He was the founder of the ski academy movement that vastly improved the athletic and academic opportunities for America's developing ski racers.
A former world champion in water skiing he used his experiences there to develop his approach to coaching on snow. He was one of the first to observe and be a proponent of the carved turn and as a high school coach at Northwood High School in Lake Placid produced racers who were a force in New York State. In 1970 he founded Burke Mountain Academy and remained its headmaster until 1984. Prior to this the training of young ski racers was largely a weekend endeavor. The success of Burke Mountain influenced the development of ski academies all over the United States making full time coaching a viable profession and leading to the top US racers recruited for the U.S. Ski Team largely coming from the ski academies.
Sharing his knowledge Witherell wrote two books, How Racers Ski and The Athletic Skier.