QUEENS, N.Y. – Jimmy Hanna, a former student-athlete and long-time supporter of the St. John’s University men’s program, died this week after a long battle with illness.
A double alumnus of St. John’s, Hanna earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the school. Hanna, who was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, was a member of the men’s team during its early years before serving as a graduate assistant in the athletic department.
After leaving the university, Hanna remained active with the Johnnies, serving as a founding member and first president of the men’s soccer alumni club.
“Be it alumni games, pre or post-game barbeques, arranging bus trips for 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 longtime friend and former 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 well known in the local soccer community as well, serving as a longtime coach in the Little Neck Douglaston Youth Club before 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 was Jimmy Hanna,” said Dr. Dave Masur, who began his coaching tenure at St. John’s 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.”
A service for Hanna is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. a Rose Hills Memorial Park in Putnam Valley, N.Y.