Scholarship honors UNO parent, soccer fan fighting cancer

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The John Marinkovich Maverick Soccer Scholarship will support UNO Men’s Soccer student-athletes forever

To say John Marinkovich and his family love soccer is somewhat of an understatement.

John, who’s 62 and lives in Omaha, enjoyed coaching his three sons in the sport as they were growing up. He loved attending their games and supporting their schools.

Joe, his youngest son, is now a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and member of the Maverick men’s soccer squad. His oldest son, Andrew, played at Nebraska Wesleyan.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, John’s family, including his wife, Connie, took him to the UNO Maverick’s first match on its brand new pitch at Caniglia Field to watch Joe play.

John, who has cancer and is not expected to live very much longer, had been looking forward to seeing the new facility and watching the Mavs play for a long time.

“That’s one of the things he’s been looking forward to all season, is my brother and the team playing in the new stadium,” Andrew Marinkovich told the Omaha World-Herald.

As a lasting tribute to John, his family created the John Marinkovich Maverick Soccer Scholarship. A permanently endowed fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation, the scholarship will provide tuition assistance to UNO Men’s Soccer student-athletes forever.

The scholarship was officially announced at the Oct. 26, 2013, game, and the Maverick team wore the T-shirts they had made on their own to support John and their teammate, Joe. Before the game, the team took time to show their support for John and to help the family celebrate the new scholarship.

“It’s the least we can do to let him know that we’re thinking about him and that we’re praying for him,” said Jason Mims, the Maverick men’s head soccer coach, to the Omaha World-Herald.

Since the scholarship was announced, others have learned about it and have also made contributions to increase the fund so as many scholarship awards may be made each year as possible.

John Marinkovich is a trained occupational therapist and worked for more than 20 years in the helmet clinic at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha where he helped make custom-fit plastic helmets for children.

Wish to help?

The Marinkovich family invites anyone who would like to honor John while helping future generations of UNO students to make a gift.

To support the John Marinkovich Maverick Soccer Scholarship, please make a gift now online.

You may also send a check made payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation to:

Marinkovich Soccer Scholarship, University of Nebraska Foundation, 2285 S 67th St Suite 200, Omaha, NE 68106.

Please write Marinkovich Scholarship on the memo line of your check.

For more information, please contact Terry Hanna at the University of Nebraska Foundation at 402-660-0607 or

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