Jack Frost U12/U10 Jim Rooney Memorial Race

Remembering Jim Rooney – 1990

Jim Rooney was a popular ski coach at the Big Boulder Ski School in Lake Harmony. Rooney, an avid skier, had been employed since 1976 as an assistant head coach of the junior racing team at Big Boulder. He had represented the Pennsylvania Alpine Racing Association at the Eastern Junior Olympics at Lake Placid, N.Y., where he was coach. 

Rooney coached about 130 youngsters between the ages of 4 to four and 17 who participated on Big Boulder’s racing team. 

“He was very dedicated to the kids,” previous Big Boulder Ski School Director Mike McGinn said. “He was outstanding as a coach.” 

Rooney was certified with the United States Ski Coaches Association as a Level 1 I race coach. He was also certified as a Level 1 referee with United States Ski Association. 

Rooney had spent a year as a ski coach and Alpine Training Center technician at Burke Mountain Academy in East Burke, Vt. The position was an internship that Rooney was selected for in 1985, said Finn Guneersen, head master at the academy. 

“When he was here, he was just out of college. He was very bright, very upbeat,” Guneersen said yesterday. 

After a year of full-time work coaching and overseeing equipment, Guneersen said Rooney decided to leave the academy rather than continue on as a full-time job at the specialized prep school, which produces 40 percent of the members of the U.S. Olympic ski team, Guneersen said. 

McGinn said that in addition to skiing, Rooney was a tennis instructor at the Big Boulder Lake Club during the summer months and had worked for several years as a kayak guide on the Lehigh River.