NCAA finalist, coach, photographer Jack Stanbro passes

Jack Stanbro, whose diverse career in wrestling as an NCAA finalist, World competitor, successful high school mat coach and respected photographer of the sport spanned more than six decades, passed away Saturday. He was 80.

Jack Stanbro
Stanbro wrestled at Ithaca College in upstate New York, making it to the 191-pound title match at the 1960 NCAA Wrestling Championships at University of Maryland, where he lost to Oklahoma State's George Goobner. That same year, Stanbro was a finalist at the National AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) championships at 191.

While at Ithaca, Stanbro was a teammate of fellow NCAA finalist Bob Marella, heavyweight runner-up at the 1959 Nationals, who later became professional wrestler and announcer Gorilla Monsoon. (In fact, according to a tribute to Monsoon at a Canadian pro wrestling website, Marella tried to persuade his friend to enter the "squared circle" but Stanbro reportedly declined because it meant being away from home, and his dislike for "the showmanship aspects of pro wrestling.")

Stanbro's on-the-mat accomplishments went beyond Ithaca College, as he also competed for the New York Athletic Club. He won championships at Eastern AAU, Senior Mets, and National YMCA, and was a member of two U.S. world teams. Stanbro's overall record as a wrestler was 225-13-5, according to a 2002 tribute to the wrestler/coach/photographer in Wrestling USA magazine.

Stanbro shared his on-the-mat experience as a high school wrestling coach. As coach at Lindenhurst High School, Stanbro's teams were New York State Section XI champions for five consecutive years, compiling an overall record of 249-27-4 in both varsity and junior varsity competition. In addition, Stanbro coached wrestling for 18 years at Johnson City High School, winning many section and state honors. In addition, Stanbro was a past president of the Section XI and the Section IV Wrestling Coaches Association, and has a lifetime coaching record of 349 wins, 69 losses and 11 ties.

Stanbro is also noted for his promotion of international styles of wrestling by teaching large groups of boys in freestyle and Greco-Roman, as well as directing both junior high and junior age level wrestling tournaments. He was selected as Freestyle Coach of the United States Junior World Championship Team. He also coached United States national teams that toured Japan in 1971, Poland in 1973, and Russia in 1989.

Stanbro was a long-time wrestling official, serving as a 1E pairings official. In addition, he started and oversaw the Wrestling Hall of Fame - Upstate N.Y. Chapter.

For all his accomplishments, Jack Stanbro was inducted into the Ithaca College Hall of Fame.

Many wrestling fans may be most familiar with Jack Stanbro for his incredible photos that expertly captured mat action. He was a long-time contributor to Wrestling USA magazine. In addition, Stanbro was a past president of the National Wrestling Media Association.

Jack is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Sonja: his children, Thomas (Carole) Stanbro, Kathleen (Michael) Rasso, Christine (William) Madden, Audra (Robert) DeMarco, William Stanbro, and Jack Jr. (Cynthia) Stanbro: his grandchildren, Victoria, Samantha, Ashley, Keegan and Kallyn: his sisters, Shirley Clark and Nancy Siebert and many nieces and nephews.

UPDATE 11/22/17

Services have been announced.

Visitation will take place Friday, Dec. 1 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at St. James Parish, 155 Main St. Johnson City, N.Y. until the start of the funeral mass at 11:30 a.m. at the church. Committal of his ashes will be done privately by the family.

Those wishing to make memorial donations are invited to contribute to:

NY State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
C/O Carl Koenig - President
PO Box 83
Oxford, NY 13830

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
PO Box 5028
Hagerstown, MD 21741-5028


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Jcampo (2) about 3 and a half years ago
Coach Stanboro wrestled at Cortland State not Ithaca. He was a pioneer for wrestling in the state of New York. To replace a man like Coach Stanboro is impossible.
RedWino (1) about 3 and a half years ago
Jack was at Cortland or a short period of time and transferred to Ithaca. He received his degree from Ithaca college, which is why he is in the Hall of Fame at Ithaca.