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Fox Chapel Area Athletic Director Named to WPIAL Board

Fox Chapel Area School District Athletic Director Michael O’Brien has been elected to the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Board of Control, becoming the district’s first administrative representative to serve on the governing organization. His one-year term began July 1, 2020.

Michael O'Brien

In this role, O’Brien will be part of a 19-member group that oversees all activities and decisions regarding the 132 WPIAL-member schools. 

“I am proud and honored to serve on the WPIAL Board of Control,” says O’Brien. “I am very much looking forward to helping the WPIAL continue to find ways to improve the quality and experience of scholastic sports. Especially in today’s unprecedented environment, I feel privileged to be a part of a governing body that plays a huge part in ensuring the highest standards and expectations for all athletes, coaches, spectators, and those involved with interscholastic sports.”

During his almost 16 years with the Fox Chapel Area School District, O’Brien has overseen numerous renovations and improvements at the high school and Dorseyville Middle School, including the addition of new artificial turf practice fields for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse, as well as on the baseball and softball fields. He also was intricately involved in the renovation of the high school pool with a state-of-the-art natatorium.

O’Brien also realigned the middle school sports seasons to not only better align with those at the high school, but also to enable younger student-athletes to join varsity and junior varsity members in certain activities, such as preseason strength and conditioning training.  Additionally, O’Brien helped implement the Unified Sports Program in conjunction with Special Olympics, which received recognition as a 2019 National Banner Unified Champion School.  

One of the achievements of which he is most proud of is the creation of a school-sponsored strength and conditioning program that is open to middle and high school students. Led by nationally certified instructors, the goal of the program is to help young people reach their full physical health potential through a proven science-based approach. 

“Above all else, I think what I am most grateful for are the many relationships I’ve built with former players,” adds the athletic director. “It is gratifying to see these men and women reach important milestones after high school, and when I am asked to share in those events, it is extremely rewarding – it is the best part of my job.”  

O’Brien is a member of the PIAA Athletic Directors Association and has served on its membership committee. He is also a member of the WPIAL Athletic Director’s Association and has served on the WPIAL basketball steering committee, as well as served as vice president of the Big 56 athletic conference, which includes all the 5A and 6A WPIAL schools.