Carlynton athletic director stresses life lessons learned from sports

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Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 9:01 AM


Nate Milsom is in his ninth year as athletic director at Carlynton after serving as assistant AD for three years.

Milsom has been married for almost as long as he’s been an athletic director. He and his wife of nearly nine years have a 7-year-old daughter Juliana and a 4-year old son Noah.

His wife Lisa also works in education. She is a teacher at Hampton.

Milsom grew up in Robinson Township, attended Montour and went to West Liberty University on a football scholarship before transferring to Robert Morris.

Milsom took time from his busy schedule to answer some questions.

What sports did you play when you were younger and how good were you?

I played baseball, basketball and soccer up until middle school, where I played baseball and basketball in seventh and eighth grade. When I got to high school, I decided to play football only and earned a scholarship to West Liberty before transferring to Robert Morris.

When did you first consider a career involving athletics?

I have loved athletics my entire life. My parents were both teachers, and my dad was my coach since I was 4 years old and was always there to support me along the way. I knew that when I was in high school that I wanted to go into education and coach and it was always a lifelong dream of mine to become an AD. My life revolved around sports for as long as I can remember.

What have been some of the toughest obstacles in being an AD during this pandemic?

You never know what each day will bring and who will need to quarantine and for how long. Our administration has been extremely supportive of this entire process, and it truly has been a team effort. This would not be possible if I did not have so much support from the community along the way.

What do you look for when looking to hire a new coach?

We look for someone who “gets it” and is in coaching for the right reasons. All of our coaches are student-first and all have the same focus on developing the kids to become great people further in life. We want our kids to graduate and become better people in the world and be role models for others.

Right or wrong, most coaches are measured by wins and losses. What else do you use when judging a current Carlynton coach?

They are measured by wins and losses to everyone outside of our community, but we judge our coaches on if they are making our kids better people. Our athletes are held to a higher standard, and that is the expectation coming in. All of our coaches are on the same page, and we have the same philosophy across the board. The wins will come with being a model citizen.

What are some of the great things … and not so great things that go along with your job?

The great things are seeing kids succeed and learn from their wins and losses. The best teaching moments in life are learned after a big win or a big loss, and we have experienced many of those along the way. It is such a cool thing to see how our kids learn life lessons from these moments. Just like with any job, there are going to be some things that you will have to deal with but there are plenty more great things than not.

The new basketball floor looks great. Are there any other facility changes or upgrades in the near future?

I am hopeful that we can continue to build on the great facilities that we have already. We have a very historic stadium off campus that is a great atmosphere, but in time, that will need to be upgraded eventually. Our strength coach just updated our weight room/training facility that we believe is up there with some of the best in the WPIAL. Our kids take pride in our facilities, so I hope that we can continue that momentum.

Can you see yourself as an athletic director in another 10 years? How about 20 years?

God willing, I hope so as I truly enjoy it and have a very supportive wife and family that make it possible. Twenty years might be a stretch, but you never know.

People would be surprised to know that one of your responsibilities is …?

Discipline for grades 7-12

A lot of your programs have done well. However, football has been a struggle. What will it take for the Cougars to turn the corner?

I feel that we have the right coaches in place now to turn the corner. The entire staff from top to bottom has bought into the philosophy that we are about making our kids better people in life. They truly care about the kid and not just the athlete and support the kids through everything they do whether it is school or life.

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