Former Syracuse WR and coach Joe Szombathy dies at 87
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Former Syracuse wide receiver Joe Szombathy, who went on to serve in the school's athletic department for more than four decades, has died.
The school said Szombathy, a native of Gainesville, Georgia, died Aug. 14 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center after an extended illness. He was 87.
Szombathy was a co-captain of Syracuse's first bowl team and led the Orange in receiving in each of his three seasons. As a senior, the Orange (7-2) finished ranked 14th nationally in 1952 and played Alabama in the Orange Bowl, with Szombathy scoring the Orange's lone touchdown in a 61-6 loss.
After a brief stint coaching in high school, Szombathy returned to Syracuse in 1957 as an assistant to Ben Schwartzwalder. He helped lead the Orange to the 1959 national championship and coached in six bowl games.
In 1974, Szombathy was named executive director of the Varsity Club and the newly formed Orange Pack, the university's first official fundraising organization focused initially on raising money to assist with football recruiting. Under his direction, the Orange Pack became a fundraising and support organization for all Orange teams.
Szombathy retired in 1999.
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