PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's Director of Athletics, Steve Bilsky, will be inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Sunday, April 21, 2013.
The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is dedicated to honoring Jewish athletes, coaches, broadcasters and others who have distinguished themselves in the world of sports. Each year those persons being inducted are honored in a ceremony held at the Suffolk Y JCC in Commack, N.Y., the home of the Hall of Fame.
"This is an overwhelming honor," said Bilsky. "To join a group that spans my heroes growing up, to athletes I competed against, to colleagues I have worked with, makes me proud and humbled. I congratulate those receiving this recognition with me, and I look forward to our induction in the spring."
Bilsky was a three-time All-Ivy guard and captained a Penn team that was arguably the greatest in program history-in 1970-71, the Quakers went undefeated through the regular season and NCAA Tournament before falling in the East Regional final.
Now in his 19th year as Director of Athletics at his alma mater, Bilsky has created a rich environment for student-athletes to thrive athletically and academically.
During his tenure, 90 Penn teams have earned conference championships in 22 different sports. Penn has been honored with more than 369 Academic All-Ivy honorees, 34 Ivy League Players of the Year, and 133 All-Americans.
To support that success, Bilsky has made efforts to secure the best facilities and coaching for Penn. Since raising $800,000 in 1994, Penn Athletics has nearly quadrupled the athletic department's annual Weightman Fund. In addition, Penn Athletics recently surpassed its $112-million goal in its Campaign For Athletics Excellence capital campaign, which was part of the University's Making History campaign.
During Bilsky's tenure as AD, Penn has built or renovated nearly 20 facilities, most recently the state-of-the-art George A. Weiss Pavilion which was completed in 2010; Penn Park, which opened in September 2011; and Shoemaker Green in front of The Palestra, which was completed in August 2012.
In terms of personnel, the department has received specific donations to endow 10 head coaching positions as well as the Penn Relays directorship.
Bilsky has also raised Penn's profile nationally, as during his tenure the University has been the host institution for six NCAA Championship events.
In 1996, Bilsky formed the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame; a total of eight classes have been inducted, the most recent on May 10.
Before returning to Penn in 1994, Bilsky was executive director of the Department of Athletics and Recreation at George Washington University. Prior to that, he was assistant director of athletics at Penn (1979-83). His educational background includes a Master's degree in counseling psychology from the Oregon in 1975, and a bachelor's in economics from Penn's Wharton School in 1971.
Bilsky already is a member of the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame (1988), the Penn Athletic Hall of Fame (1998), and the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (2002).