A relationship that started when a parent came to Susquehanna University basketball games to support the work of a daughter turned into a long term friendship for Al Gursky.
Gursky, whose daughter Joann '91 was statistician for the basketball teams at Susquehanna, passed away Monday night at the age of 83.
"Al was a fixture on our football sidelines for many years," said Director of Athletics Pam Samuelson. "His friendliness, humor and love for SU made an impact on all who knew him. He will truly be missed."
Gursky was a regular visitor to the athletic department coach's offices wing and had several friends in the department over the years.
"I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Al," said former head football coach and Senior Advancement Officer Steve Briggs. "He was at all the football games for several years and was a great teacher for the kids working with him on the sidelines."
His relationship with the department went a lot further when he became involved with the Susquehanna Football team. He served as a senior member of the game day crew with the yard markers and first down chains and could be seen most Saturdays in the fall on the opposing team's sideline in his familiar Orange and Maroon shirt, hat and jacket as he trained young students as members of the chain gang.
"Al would always be hitting us up for any (Susquehanna) gear," said Head Men's Basketball Coach Frank Marcinek. "I gave him a few pieces and other coaches did too. He wore those shirts and jackets with great pride."
Gursky stopped working the sidelines at Susquehanna football games just a couple years ago but impression he left on the athletic department, basketball and football games will last for years to come.
"I want to say Al was a rare breed," said Marcinek. "In reality there are more than a few local fans like Al but he stands out as one of those guys I will not soon forget."