Longtime Hampton athletic director Bill Cardone to retire
Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 11:15 AM
Cardone, 67, is retiring this summer after nearly three decades at his alma mater, where he graduated in 1973 as a three-sport athlete. A Hampton resident, he was one of the longest tenured among active ADs in Western Pennsylvania and remains heavily involved in WPIAL athletics as chairman of the league’s basketball committee.
His last day is June 30.
“I’ve been here for 29 years now, and there are a lot of things I want to do for the rest of my life,” said Cardone, who became the school’s athletic director in 2000. “It’s just time. Everything is good. I’ve got no issues. But one day, when you’re sitting and going over things, you just know it’s time.”
He won’t stay idle for long. Less than a month after his last day, he’ll be flying to Europe for a trip to Italy, a country he has visited 11 times already. Travel ranks on his to-do list.
“I’ll do things that I couldn’t do when I was working,” he said. “I love to travel, so I’ll probably travel a little bit more. I’ll spend more time with my family. I’ve got three granddaughters, so I’ll go do things with them, and spend a little more time with my wife.”
Cardone plans to keep his seat on the WPIAL basketball committee, so he’ll remain involved in high school sports, even in retirement. Before becoming an AD he served various times as an assistant coach in football, basketball and track, and said he might consider volunteering again someday.
“He was a fantastic athletic director,” said Hampton track and cross country coach Heather Dietz, who worked the past 18 years with Cardone. “He always backs his coaches. He’s very consistent. You know your expectations when you are a coach under him. He holds a high standard. That’s what allows Hampton athletics to be as successful as they are. I’m going to miss him terribly.”
High school sports have changed over his career, Cardone said, but he doesn’t believe the kids involved are all that different than their predecessors. The biggest catalysts for change are outside influences, such as AAU programs, cultural issues and the added money of Name, Image and Likeness deals.
“High school sports used to be the truest of sports,” said Cardone, noting that isn’t necessarily the case anymore. “Professional sports are professional sports. College sports are now professional sports. High school sports are college sports. And middle school sports are high school sports.
“It’s a trickle-down effect.”
Still, Cardone said he remained optimistic about the future of high school athletics, particularly at Hampton.
“I’m optimistic about our kids,” he said. “I think with the way they carry themselves and the way they do things, I’m very optimistic about their futures. I think there are just a lot of outside influences that are being thrown into the high school athletic realm.”
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association in 2018 named Cardone the athletic director of the year for Region 4, which included all WPIAL and City League schools. He insisted his success at Hampton was always a team effort, from the administrators to the coaches to the game officials.
Yet, the most important, he said, was the support of his wife Theresa, along with daughter, Corey, and son, Dane, who both were athletes at Hampton.
“I’m very, very fortunate here,” he said. “I’ve worked for great principals and great superintendents. There are good people all through the district. Our community is strong. But the big thing is, I’ve been very fortunate to have a great group of coaches who’ve coached under me.”
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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