By: Don Rebel
Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 5:32 PM
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Buddy Valinsky is no longer in charge of the Dragons, but the coaching fire within is still burning bright.
Once day after Allderdice boys basketball had its season end with a 64-58 loss to Mt. Lebanon in a PIAA second round game, the coach of the Dragons resigned.
“My parents and kids knew this was going to be my last season,” said Valinsky, who coached two stints at Allderdice. “The sooner I get it out there, the better for the school moving forward.”
Valinsky made it very clear that he is not retiring. He would love to coach in the WPIAL at either the Class 6A or 5A level.
“I want to try another avenue of coaching,” Valinsky said. “My goal, even though I grew up in the city and coached here, I’ve always wanted to coach in the WPIAL.”
The Allderdice grad coached for six years at his alma mater from 2001-06 when he stepped down after his first child was born.
He returned in 2012 and has coached the Dragons the last eight years, the whole time hoping Allderdice would join the WPIAL.
“Allderdice has sports in the WPIAL, and if basketball was one of them, I would be staying,” Valinsky said.
“I thought there was potential when I came back that City League basketball might also become part of the WPIAL.”
In his tenures, Allderdice became a basketball power. He won 226 games in 12 years, but one victory that stands out was his first City League title in 2014.
“We had to go to Obama to play the championship game there,” Valinsky recalled. “They were undefeated and had beat us twice during the regular season. But we beat them by one.”
One source of pride for Valisnky was not only his team’s play on the court, but how the players behaved during wins or losses during those games.
“I have always had tremendous athletes,” he said, “but I always wanted to make sure to teach the fundamentals of the game the way I was taught. Our behavior on the court is steller.”
Valinsky is a physical education teacher at Allderdice and hopes to continue that for another year before retiring.
Now his search begins for a new adventure somewhere in District 7. He resides east of the City of Pittsburgh so he was asked if he would like to coach somewhere in that area.
“Listen. To coach in the WPIAL, you have to be open to all opportunities,” he said. “But it would have to be 5A or 6A for sure.”
What about the open Central Catholic job right in his backyard?
“I don’t think they have started the process yet, but if I’m lucky enough to get an interview…”
Allderdice finished the season with a record of 26-6 that included regular-season wins over Latrobe, Butler and Aliquippa and a 60-24 win over Brashear in the 2019 City League championship game — the Dragons’ sixth consecutive district title.
“Our record outside of the City was pretty good,” he said. “We were 19-9 in PIAA play-in state playoff games.”
Valinsky packs plenty of good memories from his time at Allderdice as he sets out for what he hopes is another exciting coaching adventure.
“It’s just the right time to leave,” he said.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.