Jack Johnson, former Minnesota equipment manager, dead at age 62

Johnson donated a $25,000 scholarship to the Minnesota athletics department.

Robert Mews

The man known inside the University athletics department simply as ìJack” died from terminal liver cancer Wednesday evening.

Jack Johnson, 62, served as the Gophers equipment manager for the track and field, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and diving and tennis teams for the past 29 years.

Johnsonís legacy lives on through the $25,000 donation he gave to help fund the Jack Johnson Endowed Scholarship last month, by the numerous athletes who don ìJACK” T-Shirts during athletic events and by the close friendships he had with many of the athletes and coaches.

Johnson was especially close with the womenís track and field and cross country coach Gary Wilson, who missed Thursdayís practice because of Johnsonís death.

Wilson allowed Johnson to be a resident in his home during the disease.

Track and field assistant coach Matt Bingle said he notified the team yesterday of Johnsonís death.

ìI think theyíll be OK, and Jack wouldnít want it any other way,” Bingle said. ìHe would expect the team to push forward and do the best you can.”

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Sports Pavilion.

Donations can be made to the Jack Johnson Scholarship fund or the University of Minnesota.