Vince Sortino has been selected as the 2015 Region IV athletic administrator of the year.
Sortino has been employed by the Baldwin-Whitehall School District for 25 years. He started out as a special education teacher and evolved into his current position as athletic director.
“I am very appreciative and humbled that the athletic directors from around the state felt that I am deserving of this award,” said Sortino, who has been Baldwin’s athletic director since 2006. “It is always special when you get recognized by your peers for the work that you do on a daily basis.
“This award is a reflection of the support that I have from our teaching staff, custodial staff, maintenance staff, students, parents, administration and school board. Without everyone giving me their support over the years, this kind of award would not be possible.”
During Sortino’s tenure at Baldwin, he has served as the head boys’ soccer coach, head girls’ basketball coach, head boys’ basketball coach, head girls’ softball coach, assistant football coach, assistant girls’ basketball coach, assistant boys’ basketball coach, student council advisor, senior class advisor and equipment manager.
“What I enjoy most about my job would be watching our student-athletes compete day in and day out,” Sortino said. “I am their biggest fan. We have the greatest student-athletes, and I have the opportunity to watch them practice and play all year long.”
Sortino has built a most-impressive resume at Baldwin.
He is a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the WPIAL, and is a certified instructor for the American Sports Education Program.
Sortino is an executive board member for the District 7 Athletic Director Association, where he serves as the treasurer and membership chairperson.
He also serves on the WPIAL softball committee.
Tim O’Malley, the WPIAL executive director, had high praise for Sortino.
“Vince is the ultimate professional, always willing to go above and beyond in his promotion and support of interscholastic athletics and the student-athletes that have chosen to become involved,” O’Malley said.
“He is highly involved and very active not only in administering to Baldwin athletics, but (is) a valuable asset to the WPIAL, working on the softball committee and administering to countless WPIAL activities held at Baldwin.
“People like Vince make the WPIAL the organization that it is.”
Sortino, who is a certified PIAA sports official, is the immediate past president of the Quad-A Athletic Directors Association, and is the treasurer for the South Hills Athletic Directors Association.
He has been instrumental in improving and upgrading the facilities at Baldwin High School with the support of the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board.
The upgrades have included the gymnasium, football stadium and track, soccer complex and Harrison field.
Baldwin has hosted WPIAL championships in boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, soccer and volleyball, as well as the Class AAA and Class AA track and field championships.
“I feel that one of my biggest accomplishments would be the upgrading of our facilities,” Sortino said. “We have first-class facilities, and we are recognized throughout the state as so.
“To go along with our first-class facilities, I have a first-class staff. Former secretary, Cindy Leaf, current secretary, Nancy Petrichko, athletic coordinator, Brad Schulte, and ticket manager/event manager, Rich Wright, do an unbelievable job getting our events ready and managing our events so that there are no problem come gametime. I am blessed and grateful that I have them on my staff.”
Sortino received his bachelor of science degree in special education from Duquesne University, and his secondary school principals certification from the University of Pittsburgh.
He is an avid supporter of the Special Olympics, and the Baldwin-Whitehall School District annually hosts the Allegheny County Special Olympics summer games.
Sortino also has been the clock operator for Duquesne men’s basketball for the past 33 years.
He served as a school board member in the Keystone Oaks School District from 1988-1992, as vice president and as chairman of the athletic and finance committees.
Sortino, an Upper St. Clair resident, has been married to his wife, Kristin, for 28 years. They have five children: Nicole, Brittany, Vince Jr, Stephanie and Alyssa; and two grandchildren: Kendra and Neeko.
“A special thank-you to my wife Kristin and my family for allowing me to do what I do,” Sortino said. “Without their support, my job would be difficult to do.
“I have been blessed for a very long time for what I have, and I am thankful to be a ‘Fighting Highlander.’”
This is not the first honor for the dedicated Baldwin adminstrator.
Sortino has reeled in several other administrative awards during his distinguished career.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.