On a day when Michael Phelps announced he was coming out of retirement, outgoing Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky followed the star American swimmer’s lead.
Despite the fact that Bilsky announced his own retirement in late November, the Philadelphia Big 5 revealed Monday that the former Red and Blue basketball star and Big 5 Hall of Famer will become its Executive Director when his 20-year tenure at Penn ends on June 30.
“The Big 5 Athletic Directors could not imagine a better person to assume this position than Steve,” Dr. Thomas Brennan , athletic director at La Salle and chair of the Big 5 Athletic Director Council, said in a release. “The Big 5 is an historic institution in Philadelphia, and Steve understands its importance, the landscape of Philadelphia sports and the challenges and opportunities facing all of the Big 5 schools.”
As Big 5 executive director, Bilsky will consult with each of the athletic departments from Penn, Temple, La Salle, Villanova and Temple in relation to Big 5 activity and competition, community partnerships, sponsorships and special events.
Bilsky’s move is incredibly similar to that of his predecessor at Penn, Paul Rubincam . Three years after he was succeeded by Bilsky, Rubincam assumed the position of Big 5 executive director.
When he takes office in July, Bilsky will also serve as the chair of the newly reformed Big 5 Advisory Board, a body made up of distinguished alumni from all five schools.
“It is a real honor to represent my friends and colleagues at [the Big 5 schools],” Bilsky said. “More than 60 years ago, those athletic directors had a vision which became an enterprise that has never been matched by any city in our country. While collegiate athletics has certainly changed over time, I can say proudly that the commitment to this institution called the Big 5 remains as strong as ever.”