Since Ron Belinko retired five years ago as coordinator of athletics for Baltimore County public schools, he hasn’t slowed down much.
Leaving his day job just gave Belinko, 75, more time to pass along the knowledge he gained in 46 years as an educator, coach and athletics administrator. He has remained involved in leadership training and certification programs, presenting at workshops and conferences across the country and even at an event in Prague in the Czech Republic.
On Dec. 12, Belinko will be inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame at the 48th annual National Athletic Directors Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.
“It’s humbling to know that you’re included with the many folks who have been inducted,” he said, “and you also take some pride in some of the things you were able to accomplish with a lot of other folks’ input over the years.”
Belinko, a Southern High (now Digital Harbor) graduate with a degree from the University of Baltimore and a master’s from Morgan State, is already a member of the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame, as well as the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
He spent his early years coaching and teaching at Eastern Tech and Overlea before moving to the central office. A former president of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, he remains involved with the MPSSAA and the MSADA.
For the NIAAA, which fosters professional development for athletics administrators, Belinko chairs two of the organization’s 45 leadership training courses and has served as vice chair of its certification committee. He also initiated the NIAAA’s outreach grant for Baltimore City’s athletic directors.
“I was brought up with some good mentors that always believed in giving back, and that’s people like Mildred Murray, Paul Rusco and Ned Sparks. They always pressed upon you to give something back,” Belinko said.
“Being involved with the NIAAA, you get to express some of the things you’ve done and give your expertise to other ADs across the country by presenting at national conferences and getting involved in leaderships training, the NIAAA leadership training program and teaching these courses all around the state of Maryland and nationally. You were giving something back, and that’s certainly what I believed in.”
Ron Belinko spent a lot of time at high school games over the last 21 years, despite the heavy load of office work and meetings that came with being coordinator of athletics for the Baltimore County Public Schools. He never could let go of the student-athletes who remained the focus of everything he did over a 46-year career as a teacher, coach, athletic director and central office administrator with the county.
Belinko has been active in national organizations much of his career. He and Jill Masterman, who held the second highest position as supervisor of athletics in the county, both became involved nationally and worked to bring national certification to their athletic directors while developing innovative programs such as allied sports in the county.
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“You can’t do it alone, and I owe a great deal of gratitude to Jill Masterman, who was instrumental in establishing some of the things that we put in place in Baltimore County over the years when she was in the office with me.”
After retiring, Belinko moved to the beach in Delaware, but he hasn’t had much time to work on his golf game.
In 2013, the NIAAA sent him to teach a leadership course at the American International Schools conference in Prague. Being in Delaware, he was recruited by the Delaware Athletic Directors Association to teach a leadership course at their conferences.
“Knowing you’re retired, they keep calling on you and I haven’t learned really to say no,” Belinko said with a laugh, “but it’s a way to keep involved and it forces me to keep up on things. It’s something that gives you a purpose in retirement knowing you’re doing something to help other athletic directors.”