John Hordines

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  • December 18, 2023
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The Syracuse University Varsity Club honored John Hordines at a ceremony in the Carrier Dome in September 1985. The certificate it presented to Mr. Hordines exemplifies why the spirit of Coal Region Athletes is so important, and how athletes like Mr. Hordines inspired those who followed. In part, the certificate said: “John Hordines, 1934 graduate in education, you hitchhiked to Syracuse University in 1930 to try out for the football team, and thus began a college athletic career during which you earned letters in football, crew, track and wrestling. You played semi-pro football, edited a wrestling magazine, wrestled professionally and originated the Mr. American contest before you found your true calling in life: working as athletic director, coach and industrial arts teacher at the New York State Institute for the Blind.

“With a will as hard as anthracite, you taught young men to see without eyes. You established a Boy Scout Troop of the Blind. You organized and coached a Blind Rowing Crew and took them into competition. Your dream today is to establish a Hall of Fame to honor handicapped persons.

“Your story of personal triumph and of meeting the great challenge of teaching self esteem to those less fortunate provides inspiration for all. We are honored to name you a Syracuse letterman of distinction.”

Mr. Hordines still lives in New York near his alma mater. Though retired, he still dreams of ways to help the blind complete in athletics and life.

Categories: 1989 Hall of Fame