Bethany College is excited to announce John Somsky ’71 as the next spotlight of our Alumni Spotlight Series.

To get to know John better, read his Q&A below:

Q: What city and state are you currently living in?

A: Canonsburg, Pa.

Q: Degree(s) from Bethany College

A: Physical Education

Q: What roles did you have during your time at the College?

A: Four-year football letterman, Signa Nu Fraternity, Varsity B club, intermurals, distinction on Comprehensive Exams

Q: Name of spouse/partner

A: Evonne

Q: What are you doing now?

A: Retired, trying to live a healthful lifestyle, and traveling.

Q: Are there any accomplishments or hobbies you would like to share?

A: I have a broad range of professional experience in athletics, sports management/marketing, and in traditional business management.

I concluded my career by being a member of the senior management team with the PGA Senior Tour, hosting the Senior Players Championship held at Fox Chapel CC in Pittsburgh.

Prior to the Senior Players Championship, I held several positions at Level 3, formerly Adelphia Business Solutions. During this tenure, I was a member of the Adelphia team that developed the Adelphia Coliseum naming rights contract with the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League and was responsible for the strategic business plan for the use of the Coliseum in the corporation’s integrated marketing plans.

Before moving to Adelphia, I was Vice President of Sales and Development with Host Communications (NCAA Marketing Agency specializing in multi-million-dollar corporate sponsorships), VP of Marketing and Administration for Premier Distributing (Exclusive Anheuser Busch Distributor, New Mexico), Director of Strategic Marketing McDonald’s Corporation, & Senior Sports Marketing Manager at Gatorade.

During these stops, I was responsible for numerous athletic and entertainment sponsorships including the management of programs such as NFL Gatorade Punt, Pass, and Kick, NATA, NASCAR, the inclusion of Michael Jordan in both Gatorade’s and McDonald’s numerous marketing-related activities.

As an independent Consultant, I have advised the Pennsylvania “Big 33” Foundation, Upper Deck Authenticated, Robert Morris University, and the PGA Tour.

I am the former Chairman of the Board of the Sports Management Department at Robert Morris University where I was a member of the adjunct faculty.

Prior to my transition into the business community, I was a teacher, a high school coach, and an athletic coordinator in both Texas and Pa. I spent several years coaching collegiate football with stops at Purdue, WVU, TCU, and LSU. I am a graduate of Bethany College where I also played football and hold a Master of Science from WVU.

In 1993, I received the National Man of the Year-Youth Development Award, from the National Organization of State Coach’s Association Directors (NOCAD) for my work in advancing high school athletics. I am a member of the Robert Morris University Sports Management Department’s Hall of Fame, a member of the Bethany College 1933 Society, and in 2019 I was awarded the Bison Distinguished Service Award for my decades of support for Bethany College.

My wife Evonne and I currently reside in Canonsburg, PA.

Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at the College?

A: Playing for Bob Goin and Don Ault

Q: If you had only one word to represent Bethany College and what the College means to you, what would that one word be?

A: Opportunities