This spring, Michael Kuta will take over Martha Fenton’s position as Athletic Director of Phillips Academy. Mr. Kuta has been part of the Athletic Department at PA for 26 years. He first came to Andover in 1983 as a Teaching Fellow after graduating from Northeastern University in 1982. That year, he coached JV football in the fall, worked as an athletic trainer in the winter, and coached track in the spring. In 2000, Mr. Kuta formalized the Strength and Conditioning program. He added functional training, with medicine balls and bands targeted to a stronger core, abdomen and lower back, to the traditional training of weight lifting. Mr. Kuta is currently an athletic trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, Instructor in Athletics, and academic advisor. In addition, he works with hockey players in the rink during Winter term. While working with individual interscholastic teams, he also works with students in Praxis, a community service basics program on campus. He works with students of all levels on enhancing performance and preventing injuries. Mr. Kuta believes in using the opportunity presented in the athletic arena to educate students regarding a comprehensive approach to the academic day. He said that his long-term goal as the Athletic Director is to help students find a healthy balance between athletics and academics and to give students a lifetime of wellness patterns, such as regular exercise and stress management. He hopes the school will raise the students well in the educational, residential, and fitness arenas. He understands the difficulties a place like PA can present and hopes that students will find an effective way to balance their lives and not steal from the night to make up for work not done during the day. Mr. Kuta hopes the students will buy into the notion that “you have to rest as hard as you work.” Mr. Kuta will try to maintain the status quo set by Martha Fenton and Leon Modeste, the past Athletic Director. He does not expect to make major changes to the program immediately Nevertheless, Mr. Kuta said that he would like to get students and coaches more invested in the athletic program. He also hopes to create memorable athletic experiences for students and to foster lasting team bonds through shared hardships and victories. Mr. Kuta noted his most rewarding experience as the day-to-day gratification he gets when he works with students and he looks forward to this new responsibility.