Balistrere steps down as Mount St. Mary's AD

August 18, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

EMMITSBURG -- Thomas Balistrere, who has played an integral role in Mount St. Mary's College sports for the past nine years, surprised the school's administration yesterday by resigning after four years as athletic director.

Balistrere, whose resignation is effective tomorrow, decided to give up his position to return to the high school teaching career he left behind in 1985.

Next week, he will begin at Fairfield High School in nearby Carroll Valley, Pa., where Balistrere will teach English and take over as the school's athletic director.

"Being an AD, you get more and more paperwork. I've always loved the classroom," said Balistrere, 51. "It was something I thought was good for me and good for my family."

Balistrere lives in Carroll Valley, and he will join his wife, Charlene, at Fairfield High, where she also teaches English.

After graduating from Albion College (Michigan) in 1966, Balistrere spent 20 years teaching and coaching basketball at high school and college levels in Michigan and Pennsylvania. He was hired by Mount St. Mary's in 1985 as the first director of the $11 million Knott athletic complex, which includes the 3,500-seat Knott Arena. He became athletic director in 1990.

During his tenure, Mount St. Mary's finished no lower than third in the Northeast Conference Commissioner's Cup standings for the top overall athletic program, and the Mount had the top number of student-athletes on the Commissioner's Honor Roll three of the four years.

"It's been a great experience. I've worked with wonderful people here," Balistrere said.

Although Balistrere's announcement did not come as a shock, the timing of it caught the Mount St. Mary's administration off guard.

"Did I know he was leaving? No, not until yesterday," said Robert Pastoor, vice president for student affairs. "With the school year about to start, the timing is certainly not good."

Pastoor said the school will begin a search for a replacement immediately. "My hope is that the search and appointment of a new athletic director will be completed by November," he said.

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