New York Yankees mourn the passing of John Szponar

The New York Yankees mourn the passing of Tampa-based Yankees Community Relations Vice President John Szponar.

June 26th, 2018

The New York Yankees mourn the passing of Tampa-based Yankees Community Relations Vice President John Szponar.

"John was a warm and kind-hearted man who was a dear friend to us and so many individuals throughout the Tampa community," said the Steinbrenner family. "In this difficult time, we celebrate the incredible difference he made as a mentor to young people during his tenures at Tampa Catholic and Jesuit High School and as a leader in the community over his many dedicated and distinguished years with the Yankees. His passing is a great loss to the Yankees family, and he will be profoundly missed. We extend our deepest condolences to John's family, friends and loved ones."

Szponar (spuh-NAR), 66, was responsible for countless events and community initiatives since joining the Yankees organization in 1989, having worked closely with George Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family. A native of Culver, Indiana, Szponar was intimately involved with some of the Yankees' most-cherished longstanding traditions, including their annual Holiday Concert, Boys & Girls Club Luncheon, and Hillsborough County "Coach" Foundation Dinner/Dance, all of which served to provide joy, recognition and resources to members of the Tampa Bay community.

The "Coach" Foundation Dinner/Dance, which recently held its 29th annual edition and recognizes public and private high school coaches for their commitment to student-athletes, held special significance to Szponar. After graduating from Tulane University and playing three varsity seasons on the men's basketball team from 1970-73, Szponar was a teacher, coach, and administrator at Tampa Catholic (1974-79) and Jesuit High School (1980-89), notably leading the Tigers basketball team to the 1984 Florida State Championship as head coach.