PHS Athletic Director John Miranda Dies
Over the last two weeks, Princeton High athletes have been gearing up for the upcoming fall season, undergoing grueling practice sessions from the Valley Road complex to the turf field on campus.
But as last Monday morning dawned sunny and clear, a pall was cast over the school and fields as the news that John Miranda, the district’s popular Athletic Director and Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, had passed away.
In a statement issued Monday on the Princeton Public Schools website, it was revealed that Mr. Miranda, 57, died “suddenly” on August 28. He had taken a leave of absence this past spring due to health issues.
The stocky, silver-haired athletic director was a constant presence on the sidelines of PHS games, chatting affably with players, coaches, and officials alike as he oversaw the action.
Mr. Miranda, a native of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, who competed in football, baseball, and track at Riverside High, had been with the Princeton Public Schools since 1993, starting as a business education teacher at PHS before becoming Athletic Director and Supervisor of Health and Physical Education in 2005.
He served as the head coach of the PHS baseball team from 1996-2004, mentoring a number of players who went on to enjoy successful college careers.
As Athletic Director he oversaw the installation of a new turf field and track. He actively supported the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, attending induction dinners and soaking up the experiences related by the alumni. He spearheaded the homecoming initiative that started three years ago, featuring Friday night football under the lights and a number of other alumni activities.
According to School Superintendent Steve Cochrane, Mr. Miranda’s “unexpected passing is a huge loss to our athletic community, to our district, and to all of us who cared about him. While John was out on leave through much of last year when the Athletics 2.0 Committee was meeting, he was always in our thoughts and, indeed, served as inspiration for many of the recommendations. He returned from leave this summer energized and excited to implement the new philosophy and new ideas.”
In the view of Bob James, the
longtime president of Friends of Princeton Athletics and a member of the PHS Hall of Fame, Mr. Miranda made a special impact on the district and its athletes. “John went above and beyond his duty as an administrator,” said James, as quoted on the school website. “He was a huge fan and loved to see our students do well.”
Mr. Miranda earned a MA in education from Temple University and a BS in business administration from Wilkes College. Prior to becoming a teacher, he was a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. As a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, he served several tours of duty in Iraq.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; and his three sons, John, Jr., Nicholas, and Timothy, all three of whom were PHS graduates and outstanding athletes.