Director of Athletics for July 2018

Cushing Academy, a co-educational, independent school serving 400 boarding and day students Grades 9 through 12 and postgraduates, seeks a Director of Athletics. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with proven strategic leadership abilities and strong managerial and communication skills to bring strong leadership and energy to directing the school’s athletic program. 

Founded in 1865, Cushing Academy was among the first co-educational institutions in the United States. Cushing Academy offers students a strong college preparatory academic program, with great opportunities in the arts and athletics and providing a strong academic support program. It is a vibrant and diverse school, enrolling students from 28 states and 31 countries. Cushing Academy is a school that engenders strong loyalty in its stakeholders in large part due to its supportive, inclusive, and friendly culture. The on-campus community is very warm and welcoming. Faculty and students consistently highlight the strength of the community and strong relationships as the top reason they love the school.
The School and Athletic Program
Cushing Academy is located on a well-appointed 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, a rural town in Central Massachusetts. Its close proximity to Fitchburg, home to a state university, offers convenient shopping and dining options. Boston is within 60 miles and Worcester is a 40-minute drive, providing easy access to city amenities. There are numerous lakes, hiking trails, and downhill ski facilities nearby for the outdoor enthusiast.
Cushing has excellent athletic facilities. The Iorio Arena, renovated in 2017, is a beautiful, multi-million dollar facility for girls’ and boys’ hockey, figure skating, recreational skating, with cardio fitness studios and locker rooms. Completed in 2016, the Watkins Field House, a 30,000-square foot, state-of-the-art, $12 million athletic center, houses 3 courts for basketball and a volleyball court, fitness studio, and an athletic training center. The lighted Quimby Field received a new turf field prior to the 2017-18 school year and a new softball field will be inaugurated this spring. In addition, there are six natural grass fields and six tennis courts.
A visit to the campus will highlight the significant investments being made to the school’s campus in addition to those noted above. Two new dormitories have recently been completed and the dining hall and another dormitory are currently being renovated.
Cushing supports 36 teams in 14 sports. Dressing in the school colors of purple and white, the Penguins participate in the New England Prep School Athletic Council league. The school has a history of strong athletic programs, particularly in hockey with many graduates going on to play collegiate hockey, including five Olympians and one Stanley Cup winner. Over the past decade, boys’ basketball has become a nationally ranked team. Through the years, Cushing teams have garnered 24 NEPSAC championships in a variety of both boys’ and girls’ sports.
Cushing is looking forward to welcoming a new Head of School in July 2018. Through some leadership transitions in the recent past, Cushing’s core identity as a strong college prep school with great athletics (and an outstanding arts program) became a bit overshadowed by other foci. With a new Head of School and an extraordinary investment in facilities, the school’s leadership is committed to ensuring that Cushing re-focus on its core identity. It is an exciting time for a goal-driven, confident Director of Athletics to join the school community, partnering with many invested, positive stakeholders in strengthening Cushing athletics across the board.
The Position
Cushing’s next Director of Athletics will be an individual who will serve as a strong, visible, positive, and energetic leader. He or she will be responsible for the management of all aspects of the athletic program. The Athletic Director reports to the Head of School, manages a staff that includes the Assistant Director of Athletics, Director of Sports Medicine, Athletic Trainer, and the Equipment and Facility Manager, all of whom work full time in support of the athletic program, and supports and mentors coaches for all 36 teams. The next Director of Athletics will welcome the myriad of opportunities to support students, encourage parent and alumni engagement, educate and energize prospective students interested in athletic participation, and promote Cushing Academy.
The successful candidate will provide leadership in the development, organization, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of each aspect of the athletic program towards a goal of achieving excellence. Towards that end, the Director of Athletics works collaboratively leading and supporting members of the staff and coaches, communicating effectively with parents, members of the community, and colleagues in other schools. Inherent in the position are the responsibilities for planning, curriculum development, program evaluation, personnel management, and financial management. Specific responsibilities include:
  • Managing and overseeing all male and female athletic programs as well as working with others to ensure the school’s athletic facilities remain in good standing
  • Partnering with the Admission Office and head coaches to oversee athletic recruiting efforts and processes 

  • Preparing, monitoring, and maintaining the athletic budget 

  • Supporting, managing, and evaluating all Head and Assistant Coaches 

  • Marketing and promoting all athletic programs 

  • Establishing, monitoring, and enforcing athletic policies and procedures 

  • Assisting in the hiring, and evaluation of the athletic department staff, faculty, and coaches
The ideal candidate will be a well-experienced educator who will embrace the mission, community, philosophy, and culture of Cushing Academy. The successful candidate will possess independent school leadership and coaching experience, ideally understanding the boarding school triple threat model. He or she will be an individual who:
  • Is knowledgeable about, and a strong role model for, best practices in athletics, health, and wellness
  • Possesses successful athletic leadership experience and is adept at hiring, supporting, and mentoring coaches 

  • Is able to inspire and build trust among faculty, coaches, students, parents, and alumni 

  • Is a strong manager, motivator, and a visible and proactive leader 

  • Has a successful track record implementing and enhancing athletic and wellness 

  • Is highly-organized and detail-oriented 

  • Has strong communication skills as a speaker and writer, and ideally appreciates social 
media’s use 

  • Is an adept relationship builder and both a leader and a strong team player 

  • Is a strategic thinker, adept at planning forward and motivating others 

  • Authentically appreciates and can balance and prioritize the needs of students, school, 
and the athletic program 

  • Is committed to diversity and inclusion 

  • Leads with good humor, poise, and a positive spirit 

For Consideration
Inquiries will be treated confidentially and review of candidate files will begin immediately. Cushing offers a competitive salary and provides generous benefits, including tuition remission, health insurance, a 403b retirement program, and housing.

Interested individuals should submit a current resume and a letter of interest to:

Jane Armstrong or Bill Lyons
Independent Thinking
Cushing Academy seeks candidates who share its commitment to diversity in all aspects of the school. It is the policy of Cushing Academy to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religious creed, age, sex, pregnancy, marital status, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, veteran's status, genetic predisposition, or any other legally protected status.
Independent Thinking
PO Box 600247
Newton, MA 02460

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.