Sortino: Baldwin plans to eliminate athletic director position
Baldwin athletic director Vince Sortino, who oversees dozens of sports teams in one of the WPIAL’s largest districts, said Friday that the school board plans to eliminate his position entirely.
“The superintendent came in and told me this morning that the board wanted to eliminate the athletic director position,” said Sortino, a former special education teacher who has worked in the district for 28 years, the past 12 as athletic director. “He said they’re going to restructure it and pick up some of the duties by other administrators. Are you kidding me? For a (Class) 6A school? It will never work.”
Baldwin-Whitehall superintendent Randal Lutz, reached late Friday, said in a text message that he would not discuss personnel matters publicly. The school board meets at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday.
Baldwin is the 11th largest high school in the WPIAL, according to PIAA enrollment figures. Counting both middle and high school sports, Baldwin has more than 70 teams.
The high school fields 26 varsity teams.
“It’s not about me,” Sortino said. “It’s about the programs, the kids and the position. You can’t eliminate a position like that in a school our size.”
Sortino was told the decision was financially motivated and that the board would vote “overwhelmingly” in favor, he said. Sortino also coaches the softball team, which just reached the PIAA quarterfinals, and represents athletic directors as a member of the WPIAL board of directors.
He was selected as the top athletics administrator in Western Pennsylvania (Region IV) by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association in 2015. Under his guidance, Baldwin is a host site annually for WPIAL championships in track and volleyball.
“(The board’s plan) is not good for our sports programs,” Sortino said. “It’s not good for our coaches and it’s definitely not good for our kids.”
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.