WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley retiring, board promotes Amy Scheuneman

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Monday, December 16, 2019 | 4:55 PM


The WPIAL will have a change in leadership this summer.

WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley is retiring June 30 after 14 years as the district’s top administrator and will be replaced by Amy Scheuneman, the associate executive director. The WPIAL board accepted O’Malley’s resignation letter Monday and voted to promote Scheuneman effective July 1.

O’Malley, 69, leaves with two years remaining on his contract. His resignation was contingent on the WPIAL promoting Scheuneman to executive director.

“Amy is ready,” said O’Malley, who was hired in 2006. “When the board asked me last year (to accept a three-year contract extension), I said I’ll stick around for a while, but I won’t stay forever. She’s worked here six months, and it’s obvious to me that she can do this.”

Scheuneman, a WPIAL board member since 2013, was hired in July as associate executive director, a newly created position. The Plum native and Robinson resident is a former athletic director at North Hills (2016-19), Bethel Park (2006-16) and Avonworth (2003-06).

She will become the fourth full-time executive director in WPIAL history and the first woman to lead the district. She follows Charles “Ace” Heberling (1976-97), Larry Hanley (1997-06) and O’Malley.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Scheuneman, who never viewed her gender as a barrier in WPIAL athletics.

“I don’t see me as being different,” she said. “I just see myself as one of the guys, so to speak.”

Scheuneman already has led a number of WPIAL initiatives, including the Sportsmanship Summit in November and a recent league-wide survey of schools for the upcoming football realignment.

“The board made a great choice in Amy,” O’Malley said. “She’ll be good for the league.”

The executive director isn’t a member of the board and doesn’t vote on specific issues but does have tremendous influence on the WPIAL’s direction.

O’Malley’s tenure will be remembered in part for his efforts to maintain the tradition of the WPIAL, including championship games at marquee venues, as the landscape of PIAA sports shifted during six-class expansion. Under pressure at times to conform to the PIAA, O’Malley often worked to maintain some independence.

He also is known to be conscientious of the budget and stringent when it comes to enforcing league rules.

“Through his time, there have been a lot of changes,” Scheuneman said. “He’s been able to keep morale up and kept people interested (in preserving) the heritage of the WPIAL. He’s been a great leader as far as our district is concerned.

“He’s provided a lot of guidance and information. I’ll use that to my advantage to continue what he’s already established.”

O’Malley was an educator for 34 years before becoming WPIAL executive director in April 2006. The former physical education teacher worked 15 years as an athletic director at Moon, North Allegheny and Butler, and also coached football at Avonworth, Pine-Richland, Hopewell and Moon.

“I’m just happy I had the opportunity to serve the league for as many years as I have,” O’Malley said. “I’ve worked hard to make sure the status of the organization hasn’t deviated much from the way Ace built it. Now it’s somebody else’s turn.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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