After a storied 36-year coaching career that produced countless elite skiers for Holderness School, Director of Eastern Alpine Craig Antonides (Class of ’77) is moving on to pursue new adventures.
If anyone knows what it takes to achieve success at Holderness and beyond, it’s Craig. Having grown up in Aspen, Colo. and Waterville Valley, N.H., Antonides enrolled in Holderness and skied competitively for the school in the 1970s. After graduating in 1977, he would go on to ski for Middlebury College, compete on the Peugeot Pro Ski Tour, become a four-time New England Nastar Pacesetting Champion, and earn a silver medal in the GS at the 1992 Masters Nationals. Antonides returned to coach at Holderness in 1984, and in the years since has coached countless high-level skiers; became a USSA Level 400 certified coach, Level 4 Referee, and Level 4 Competition Official. He also served 20 years as chairman of the New Hampshire Alpine Competition Committee. In 2002, Craig was named the New Hampshire Alpine Racing Association Coach of the Year.
“One of the many qualities I have always appreciated about Craig is that he has consistently championed and believed in all of the athletes he works with, not just the top skiers,” says Head of School Phil Peck. “Knowing that your coach believes in you is perhaps the most important quality a coach can possess. Linked to this quality, Craig has always embraced the mission of Holderness. Nobody, ‘bleeds blue’ more than Craig, and we are proud to claim Craig as an alumnus and former colleague. We look forward to having Craig remain close and watching him on his next adventure.”
Wherever Craig’s next adventure takes him, he will likely be guided by a work ethic forged, in part, by his experience at Holderness. In Craig’s experience, success at Holderness – whether on the slopes or in the classroom – depends on hard work. That strong work ethic was key to helping Antonides’ Holderness skiers excel in a competitive environment.
“We managed to just crank out results, and it takes extra effort at Holderness compared to what the academy kids do,” Antonides says. “They have to go to school, they have a job at school, it’s a bigger community, and so to get those results requires extra effort on all the coaches’ parts and the kids’ part.”
Indeed, balancing athletics and academics is an invaluable part of the Holderness experience. “It’s a life lesson and they seem to learn a lot in the process,” Craig says. “I think a lot of them continued on to have really nice college careers and the foundation was built at Holderness.”
Much like his student-athletes, Craig’s accomplishments weren’t limited to the slopes. He completed the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb for 25 consecutive years and spent a number of years coaching boys varsity soccer with Randy Houseman, winning NEPSAC Championships in 2010 and 2015. Craig counts those two championships as among the highlights of his coaching career.
“That was different because it was a team sport, a different vibe,” Craig says. “I’ve had more than ample success on the hill with all kinds of kids but the team concept was something I hadn’t really ever had a taste of.”
When he looks back at his long career at Holderness, Craig says he’s proud of his student-athletes and everything they’ve done – at Holderness and beyond.
“It’s a lot of great kids – a ton of them – and I’m really proud of their accomplishments while they were at Holderness, and when they moved on,” Antonides says. “It’s a long list.”
Release courtesy of Greg Kwasnik/Holderness School.