John Sowinski, pictured here in our 1958 yearbook, died from a heart attack on Saturday, March 7 in Springfield. He was 78.
Sowinski attended St. Patrick High in Chicago, served in the Marines, and earned a B.S. and M.S. in education from Eastern Illinois University.
He joined the SHS faculty in 1956, teaching history and economics in the Social Science department. He coached tennis and was assistant coach in football, for coach Willard Duey. Sowinski served as head football coach in 1962-78. He had 9 winning seasons and a career record of 76-69-8.
He then became manager of field service in the State Employees Retirement System. After retirement in 1987 he worked as a coaching assistant at Sacred Heart-Griffin for 22 years.
Among city coaches, Sowinski holds the fourth best-winning record and positions in two sports Halls of Fame, for Springfield and the state of Illinois. For a full story, see today's SJR.