Community Leader

Class of 2011

JILL JOSEPH She was not a head coach, or league founder, or a standout athlete. However, Jill Joseph wove herself into the fabric of the Antioch sports community, serving as the number one unofficial cheerleader and mom to thousands of athletes and students who wore black and gold for the Antioch High School Panthers. It was Jill who coordinated team transportation, ticket sales and snack bar concessions for nearly every sporting event at Antioch High beginning in the 1970s. Jill provided loving support and encouragement for three decades of students and community causes until her death in 2010. One former student expressed the sentiments of many when she wrote this condolence on Jill’s online memorial page sponsored by the Contra Costa Times: “In a place where it was really easy to get lost in the crowd, Mrs. Joseph knew you and loved you. During high school, that was everything. I remember all the pictures of kids that she had on her walls; mine was one of them. Thank you Mrs. Joseph, your kind heart and spirit are a part of who I am today.” Jill’s office at AHS was the unofficial historical shrine to black and gold; a tassel tacked near the ceiling next to group photos for each graduating class, team photos, pennants and dozens of snap-shots of students who had gone on to personal successes. Antioch’s Chamber of Commerce named Jill the Citizen of the Year in 1994 and AHS selected her as one of the first honorees on its Walk of Fame. The choir room at Antioch High was dedicated to her on January 20, 2011. Jill graduated from AHS in 1963 then spent 34 more years at Antioch High, where her actual job title - “accounting clerk” – never accurately conveyed the dozens of un-credited roles she took on at the school. Jill coordinated student events and was an assistant coach, helping Sports Legends coaching honoree Mike Hurd during his teams’ string of track and field championships in the 1970s. Crucial high school events such as homecoming week activities and end of the year commencement could not have run as smoothly without Jill’s hours of work and attention to details. Many local fund-raising golf tournaments, crab feeds and sporting events had Jill working in the background, doing the volunteer activities that make such events possible. Jill’s tireless efforts also helped bring the Antioch Sports Legends Program to fruition.