Buddy Valinsky named boys basketball coach at Norwin

Monday, May 20, 2019 | 7:45 PM

Buddy Valinsky said he would have remained at Allderdice had the school joined the WPIAL in boys basketball.

Because that wasn’t going to happen, though, he decided to leave the program he built into a perennial power to make inroads to the WPIAL, only in a different way.

Valinsky, who guided his alma mater to a record six consecutive City League championships, was hired Monday night to be the next coach at Norwin.

He replaces Lynn Washowich, who resigned in April after 17 seasons. Washowich was 223-173, made the WPIAL playoffs 12 times and won two section titles.

Admittedly wanting a challenge, Valinsky, 59, decided the time was right to make the move to District 7.

“The City League, honestly, started to not be challenging any more,” he said. “I needed a change. I can’t tell you how excited I am to coach at Norwin. This all happened so quickly.”

Valinsky, who went 226-97 in 12 seasons at Allderdice — the only coaching job he has had — and was a finalist for the Central Catholic boys job but Brian Urso instead was named the successor to longtime coach Chuck Crummie.

“I had hoped to fall in line with a 6A program,” Valinsky said. “That’s where Allderdice was so that’s where I wanted to coach. There aren’t many 6A jobs open all the time so I know I am fortunate.

“(Norwin) will be a different type of program, and we’ll be in a really good conference with some really good coaches. We’ve played several of those teams; the only team we haven’t played (from Section 3) is Connellsville. You have to come prepared every night; this section will be a battle.”

Allderdice beat the WPIAL champion in the PIAA playoffs in two of the last four years. The Dragons made the PIAA final in 2016.

Valinsky, who will retire as a health and physical education teacher at Allderdice next year, has done his homework on Norwin.

“Their band is like a 27-time state champion,” he said. “I think the first person I need to meet is the band director.

“They have had so much success in so many sports … boys and girls soccer, softball, baseball … football is in such a tough conference. I think (athletic director) Brandon Rapp has done a really outstanding job. He is a young, up-and-coming AD.”

And Valinsky is a veteran coach who is a rookie all over again.

“I want to establish a culture,” he said. “Lynn did a great job here, and they had some great years. I want to build a feeder program and plaster my name all over it. With the City League, you can’t do that because you have kids going to different schools. I want to have clinics and camps and keep the kids involved from a young age.”

A Squirrel Hill resident, Valinsky said he plans to be in North Huntingdon a lot in the coming months.

“I have been out there before,” Valinsky said. “I live on the good side of the tunnel so my GPS says it’s only 16 miles. Not far from Route 30. I can make it out there in just under 30 minutes. Summer time is the most important time of year for a program,” Valinsky said. “That’s where you need to put the most time in.”

A standout at Allderdice in the 1970s before a college career at Morris Harvey, which later became the University of Charleston, Valinsky has to see his players before he can determine how they will play.

“We played many different ways at Allderdice,” Valinsky said. “We played up-tempo and we played a defensive game. I can tell you one thing, we’re going to shoot it. I see too much passing and standing around. We’ll have to take a look at what we have coming back.”

As for the name Buddy, the coach said it’s a decades-long nickname that stuck. Bruce Valinsky? Who is that?

“My older brother named me that,” he said. “Nobody knows who Bruce is.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .


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