The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 22, 2013

Coaching others to shoot for goals

Kelly Urban

EBENSBURG — Dylan Link is one busy guy, and he prefers it that way.

“I don’t like to be bored. If I’m just sitting at home with nothing to do, I’ll start pacing the floors,” the 19-year-old Ebensburg resident said. “I’m always trying to better myself and want to make each day better than yesterday.”

Link, a Mount Aloysius College sophomore who is majoring in secondary education with a focus on history and political science, serves as the head coach for junior varsity boys basketball and assistant coach for varsity boys basketball at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School.

“I played basketball at Bishop Carroll and I always wanted to coach, so when I was asked to help out I figured it would be a great opportunity,” he said.

He took on the positions last year and said coaching is very different than playing.

“Some people can play and some can coach, but there aren’t a lot of people who can do both, so there’s been challenges,” Link said.

One of those challenges is coaching students he played ball with not so long ago.

“I’m working with a great group and they do show me respect,” Link said. “We’ll have our scuffles here and there, but they understand that I do know more than what they think I do and they listen to me.”

Link said he plans to continue coaching and has aspirations to become a head coach or coach at a higher level.

“This has given me a chance to start somewhere and I’m really enjoying it, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

He’s also an avid golfer and received his first club when he was just 2 years old.

“I love the game,” Link said. “I started playing in high school and was never too focused on it because I wanted to play basketball in college, but my senior year I really started to enjoy it.”

He’s currently on the golf team at Mount Aloysius and devotes as much time to honing his skills as possible.

“I like to be out there three or four times a week, and in the summer I’m out every day,” Link said.

His dedication to golf is so strong that he has aspirations to go pro.

“I know it’s a long shot and a big dream to have, but you have to have goals,” Link said.

And for the past two years Link has worked as a certified PIAA basketball referee for local junior high and elementary school games.

“I just want to stay active in the game, and I like working with the younger kids,” he said. “Hopefully, I can make it a better experience for them and they can learn more about the game.”

Link also is active in several education and history clubs at Mount Aloysius and serves as a peer tutor.

Joe Skura, an English teacher and assistant athletic director at Bishop Carroll, called Link a class act guy who is driven, focused on his goals and dreams, and motivates everyone around him.

“As his former teacher I witnessed his ambition in my classroom every day,” Skura said. “I now see him as a positive role model to our student athletes and an asset to our school community. I have no doubt he is going to go on and make big things happen.”

But even with his full plate, Link has no plans to slow down.

“I want to be successful, whether it’s with teaching, golf or coaching, and I feel like I’m waiting for an opportunity or chance I can take advantage of and then make the best of it,” he said.

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