Kubiszyn Family Creates Jack Kubiszyn Scholarship
June 4, 2008
As a demonstration of love and respect for their father Jack Kubiszyn, who played the rare combination of basketball and baseball for the Crimson Tide some 50 years ago, the five Kubiszyn children and their spouses have established two endowed athletic scholarships in Jack's honor.
The Jack Kubiszyn Endowed Men's Basketball Scholarship will benefit full-time undergraduate students who have completed their basketball eligibility and are returning to complete undergraduate degrees. The Jack Kubiszyn Endowed Baseball Scholarship will offer the same opportunities for returning students who have completed their baseball eligibility.
Jack Kubiszyn, Jr., along with sisters Mary Kathryn Kubiszyn Gerkin, Dana Kubiszyn Wolter, Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis, and Krissie Kubiszyn Allen, see their gift as a lasting tribute to their father.
"Playing sports at the University were some of the best years of Dad's life," Jack Jr. says. "They helped develop him into the person he is today, and my sisters and I couldn't think of a better tribute than to establish scholarships at the University that assist those now associated with the basketball and baseball programs."
The elder Kubiszyn, a long-time insurance agent in Tuscaloosa, had a stellar two-sport career at the Capstone in the 1950s. A three-year basketball guard from 1956-58, the Buffalo, N.Y. native was a member of Johnny Dee's famed "Rocket 8" teams. During his junior season in 1957, Jack averaged 24.6 points per game, a school record that still stands today. In 1958, he was named All-American.
Jack's three-year Tide baseball career at shortstop spanned the 1956-58 seasons. Playing for coach Tilden "Happy" Campbell, Jack finished with a .300 batting average. His baseball career continued into the professional ranks with the Cleveland Indians organization. After playing two seasons (1961-62) with the Indians' major league squad, Jack was forced out of the game after an injury.
Following his professional baseball career, Jack and his wife Lucy settled down in Tuscaloosa, where during the 1960 off-season Jack had started the Jack Kubiszyn Insurance Agency. Now, after almost 50 years, Jack's insurance agency remains a fixture in downtown Tuscaloosa. As well, Jack and Lucy have been active community citizens around Tuscaloosa for decades.
The elder Jack was deeply touched by his children's thoughtfulness.
"Needless to say, I was surprised," says Jack, a proud grandfather of 11, soon to be 12. "But that's the kids.I'm extremely proud of them and very appreciative of what they've done. They know how much I love the University, especially the basketball and baseball programs.
"Those scholarships will give those former players an opportunity to come back and finish their degree, and that'll mean so much to them. Education is what it's all about."
Jack Kubiszyn, Jr. says that among all things, character is his father's finest attribute.
"As impressive as Dad is on paper, what really makes him compelling is his moral fiber. Here is a man who goes to Mass every morning, centers his life around God and family, throws his energy into helping others and giving back beyond measure. In the end, this is the legacy that counts."