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Beloved CPS sports announcer “always went above and beyond” calling high school games, friends say

CHICAGO – Mark Farina, a longtime PA announcer best known for calling the Chicago Public Schools a sport, passed away this week. He was 61.

Farina died of complications from COVID-19 on Monday morning after being hospitalized, according to loved ones and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Farina named the Chicago Public League football, basketball, and baseball championships. He also owned a communications company and was a published author.

David Rosengard, Executive Director of Sports Administration at CPS, called Farina “the voice of some of our most historic moments in the Chicago Public League in decades.”

“He’s been a great advocate for our student athletes and programs and always proudly represented the league and Chicago Public Schools when he could,” Rosengard said in a statement. “His encyclopedic knowledge of the sport of the Chicago Public League was truly incredible, and his stories, telling over the microphone or other members of the community at many games, became the soundtrack at many events on Saturdays at his Alma Mater Steinmetz and Lane Stadium . “

Dominic Scianna, a CPS communications specialist, was friends with Farina for about 40 years. They met at Columbia College while Farina was on the radio and Scianna was on the school newspaper.

“He had that big, booming voice,” said Scianna. “When he was in a room, he just commanded the room.

“He was a comedian. I always said he should have been a comedian too because he always made people laugh. And he always kept everyone in a good mood. ”

Lane Tech Principal Nick LoGalbo knew Farina as a colleague and friend. He said Farina loved calling out the Games to provide a complete experience for the athletes and fans.

“He was always so prepared. He emailed every week before the game because he wanted the stats. Whether it was a senior night or a special game, he always did everything, ”said LoGalbo.

Farina spent a lot of time making high school sport a full experience for the student athletes, LoGalbo said.

“He made sure that every student who played the games he called felt special,” he said.

Farina leaves behind his wife and son. They were not immediately available for comment.

Colleagues and friends on social media agreed that, despite his dedication to work, Farina was primarily “a family man”.

“He was a great father to his son and a great husband,” said Scianna. “He traveled all over the country with his son.”

Farina’s wife and son have made sure that donations are made to the Kiwanis / ACTION Club, a service for adults with disabilities, on Farina’s behalf. You can find information about donations here.

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