SAD NEWS Pat Stark, May His Memory Be Eternal
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our AHEPA Brother Pat Stark, May His Memory Be Eternal!
Walworth - June 19, 2020 at the age of 90. Predeceased by his parents, Gus and Kiratca Stark; sisters, Theopesty (Theodora) Vangellow and Athen Copanus; and brothers Michael and Louis (Sandy) Stark. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Catherine Stark; his children, Peter, Rick (Kathy) Stark and Kathleen (Peter) Landers; grandchildren, Jacqueline (Jeff) Heeder, Danny, Bryan, Michael, Katelyn; great-grandson, Jaimesyn; sister-in-law, Ann Stark;and many nieces and nephews.
Pat was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. His parents were the owners of Stark’s Bakery in Syracuse. Pat delivered bread for his father while attending Syracuse Vocational High School. He survived polio at the age of 11.
Pat and his brothers were high school sports legends in Syracuse. Pat was a standout high school football, basketball, and baseball player. He scored 78 points in a high school basketball game in 1949, the third highest single-game total in New York State history.
Pat attended Stanton Military Academy in Virginia on a scholarship prior to being awarded a football scholarship to Syracuse University in 1950. During his three seasons as the starting varsity quarterback, Pat established several school records, including most touchdown passes in a game, and helped guide the Orangemen to their first postseason game in school history - the 1953 Orange Bowl. During his senior season, Pat was named to Red Grange's All-America Team and was chosen to participate in the prestigious East-West Shrine All-Star Game. College Football Hall of Fame Coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, called Pat the best quarterback he coached in his 25 seasons at Syracuse.
After his stellar collegiate career, Pat was selected in the second round of the 1954 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was called by his country for military service. He served in the Army at Fort Dix from 1954 to 1956. Coaching was Pat's calling and he returned to his alma mater in 1956 to join Schwartzwalder's staff as an assistant. Three years later, he helped Syracuse win the national championship in football, and has participated in the team reunions ever since.
After his retirement, Pat served briefly as the school's athletic director and started the University of Rochester Athletics Hall of Fame.
Pat went on to coach at the University of Rhode Island and Harvard University and was the primary play-caller in Harvard's stirring comeback against Yale in the classic 29-29 tie game in 1968. Despite receiving offers from Division I schools, Pat chose to accept the head coaching position at the University of Rochester in 1969 so he could be close to family and coach Division III student-athletes. His coaching career at the University of Rochester spanned 1969 to 1982, where he led the Yellowjackets to a 69-64-3 record. In 1971 Rochester Mayor, Stephen May, issued a proclamation to Pat acknowledging the 1971 team's 8 game winning streak and outstanding season. Pat was an inspiration, mentor, and life coach for his players and the coaches that followed him.
Some of Pat's many honors include: Induction into the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame in 1995; the University of Rochester Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000; the Frontier Field Walk of Fame in 2000, and the Hellenic Athletic Hall of Fame (Order of the Ahepa). In 1991, he was named a Letter Winner of Distinction at Syracuse University, and in 2013 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Rochester.
Pat was a dedicated parishioner at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. He cherished his time with his family and friends. He had many hobbies including refinishing antiques, reading history books and his many tours to Normandy, France.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of University of Rochester Medical Center for the medical care and support that Pat received over the past years.
Pat was a member of the Order of AHEPA Flower City Chapter #67.
Relatives and friends may call Monday, June 22, 4-7 PM, with the Trisagion Service at 7 pm, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 962 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607, where his Funeral Service will be held Tuesday at 10 AM. Interment at White Haven Memorial Park. Standard COVID-19 procedures apply. Masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Pat may be directed to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church or Pat Stark Endowed Fund for Football or URMC Internal Medicine, University of Rochester Office of Gift and Donor Records, 300 East River Road, Box 270032, Rochester, NY 14627. To share a memory or photo of Pat visit www.anthonychapels.com.
The following appeared in the Sports section of the Saturday Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Former Syracuse QB and University of Rochester football coach Pat Stark dies
Sal Maiorana - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Pat Stark, an iconic figure in the University of Rochester athletic department as both a coach and an administrator, died Friday. He was 90 years old.
"Today we say goodbye to our close friend, Pat Stark. He was a leader for all of us in Rochester Athletics," said George VanderZwaag, the executive director of athletics at the UR. "While our hearts are heavy, we feel lucky to have known him. We celebrate his life, while our thoughts are with his wonderful family."
Mr. Stark served as the Yellowjackets head football coach for 15 years, 1969-83, and he ranks second in school history with 69 victories, second only to Elmer Burnham's 82.
During a stretch from September 1970 to October 1971, Mr. Stark's Yellowjackets won 12 consecutive games, and his 1971 squad finished with a record of 8-1.
Mr. Stark attended Syracuse University and played quarterback for the Orange. He made the All-East team selected by The Associated Press and United Press International in 1952 and 1953, and he was named to the Red Grange All-America Team in 1953.
Mr. Stark led Syracuse to the Orange Bowl in 1953, when the Orangemen played the Bart Starr-led Alabama Crimson Tide, and he played in the East/West Shrine Game after his senior year. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL drafted him in the second round, 19th overall, but he chose not to play football professionally.
After graduation, he worked as an assistant coach for the Orange and was part of the staff when Syracuse won its only football national championship in 1959.
Mr. Stark later served as the offensive coordinator at the University of Rhode Island and at Harvard University before he came to UR.
After retiring from coaching, he moved into a role as an assistant athletics director for external affairs. He helped students with placement for internships and jobs following their graduation.
He played a pivotal role in creating the university's Athletic Hall of Fame. The first class was inducted in 1992, and Stark was eventually enshrined in 2000.
Stark was awarded the Syracuse Letterwinner of Distinction Honor in 1991 and was inducted into the Syracuse Hall of Fame in 1995. He was named to Syracuse's Centennial Football Team, and was inducted into the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame and the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.
"In the very first week I was on campus, coach Stark went out of his way to make me feel welcome and help teach me about the history of the University of Rochester football program," said current head coach Chad Martinovich. "Over the course of my time here, he has become both a friend and a mentor to me. Coach Stark has left a legacy within the U of R athletics department that is unrivaled. It has been a privilege to get to know him over the time I have been a part of this community."
Mr. Stark is survived by his wife, Cathy, son Rick, daughter Kathleen E. Stark Landers, and son-in-law Peter J. Landers.
May his memory be eternal, wishing the very best wishes to you and your families STAY SAFE.
Brother Lou Katsos
AHEPA District 6 Governor