The St. John’s University men’s soccer team and the athletic department are mourning the death of Jimmy Hanna, a former student-athlete and long-time supporter of the program who died after a long battle with multiple illnesses.
A double alumnus of St. John’s who earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from SJU, Hanna, who was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1974, was a member of the men’s soccer team during its early years before serving as a graduate assistant in the athletic department. After leaving the university, Hanna remained active serving as a founding member and first president of the Men’s Soccer Alumni Club.
“Be it alumni games, pre or post-game barbecues, arranging bus trips for far away games, or just howling out encouragement during the games, players and parents from the 80s through the 2000s have all come to know and love Jimmy,” said Eddie Silva, Hanna’s long-time friend, and former St. John’s teammate. “Jimmy loved soccer, loved the school, loved the program, and would often talk about how proud he was of the program’s success and winning a national championship while showing you his Final Four ring rarely given to program alumni.”
Hanna was also well known in the local soccer circuit as well, serving as a long-time coach for the Little Neck Douglaston Youth Club before eventually serving as the organization’s vice president and treasurer.
“When I arrived at St. John’s, one of the first people to reach out to me as Jimmy Hanna,” said Dr. Dave Masur, who began his coaching tenure at SJU in 1991. “Jimmy had a love for the program and the university that was evident to everyone he met. His dedication to creating a vast alumni network remains tremendously important to our success. We appreciated his spirit and passion and he will be sorely missed. God bless Jimmy and his family.”