Bilinsky excited for role as Mt. Pleasant athletic director
As Mt. Pleasant's new athletic director, Allan Bilinsky said he understands the district's standard of sporting excellence.
“You see ‘MP,' you know it's Mt. Pleasant,” said Bilinsky, 39, a North Huntingdon native and 1994 Norwin Area graduate. “There is a really rich tradition to uphold here.”
Bilinsky also will serve as assistant junior-senior high school principal, and he said his mission is to keep district students on par academically.
“We want our kids to be educated as best as possible to have the best lives possible,” said Bilinsky, whose role at the district started June 10.
Bilinsky's career began shortly after his 1999 graduation from West Liberty, where he majored in physical education and health. That year, he started teaching physical education and health at Warren County middle school in Front Royal, Va., part of a district where he also coached varsity football, varsity boys basketball and middle school track and field.
In 2003, he was hired as a middle school physical education and health teacher in the Penn Hills school district. The following year, he became an assistant coach of the Penn Hills varsity football team. He also coached middle school boys track and basketball at Penn Hills.
In 2010, he also took on coaching duties at his high school alma mater. Characterizing himself as a coach who “wants to win,” that drive is what attracted him to the athletic director position at Mt. Pleasant.
“Just the number of section titles are astronomical here,” Bilinsky said, citing the achievements by the district's football, wrestling, girls golf, boys tennis and softball teams in particular.
Approximately five years into his tenure at Penn Hills, Bilinsky earned K-12 Principal Certification from Cal (Pa.). When he noticed earlier this year that Mt. Pleasant was looking for an athletic director who also could function as an assistant principal to senior high school principal John Campbell and junior-high school principal Robert Gumbita Jr., Bilinsky jumped at the chance to apply.
“It is a career leap,” he said. “I'm very excited about it. I was ready to make a change. I like it here so far. It's a little smaller atmosphere than where I've been, warm and open with a lot of camaraderie. It's been open arms from the moment I walked in.”
According to Gumbita, Bilinsky stood out in the interview process.
“I think he's going to fit in with our team as far as both athletics and academics, and what we're trying to do with both,” Gumbita said.
Campbell also noted Bilinsky's extensive athletics background and his role as an educational leader at Penn Hills.
“You add those two things to his personality, and I think it's a very good fit here at Mt. Pleasant,” Campbell said. “I think he's going to do a great job for us. There's a lot of pride and tradition here, both athletically and academically, and he understands the importance of the student-athlete role in the lives of students.”
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.