John Zisa, Legendary North Jersey Football Coach, Dies At 61

John Zisa, a football coach throughout North Jersey, died on Sunday May 19, at the age of 61, according to his obituary.

John Zisa

John Zisa

Photo Credit: John Zisa Facebook

Zisa was born and raised in Paterson and moved to Fair Lawn in 1974, his obituary reads. He coached for more than 26 years at Paterson Catholic, Paramus Catholic, Rutherford and Westwood, according to his coaching biography.

In 1980, before his senior year of high school, Zisa dove into a pool, but his head on the pool liner, shattering his C4 and C5 vertebrae, rendering him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life.

Though doctors only gave Zisa a few years to live, he persevered and spent seven years developing breathing, vocal and muscle dexterity in his arms, according to his bio.

He is survived by his siblings, William and Jo-Anne and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws according to his obituary. A funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anthony R.C. Church in Hawthorne where Zisa was a parishioner. 

To view his obituary, click here.

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