“On behalf of the entire Springfield College community, I wish to offer our heartfelt sympathy and support to Jeff’s family,” said Richard B. Flynn, president of Springfield College. “We are deeply saddened to hear of his untimely passing. An Olympic wrestling gold medal winner, motivational speaker, cancer survivor, and devoted son, husband, and father, Jeff was a role model and an inspiration to so many people. Jeff is an important part of the history and legacy of Springfield College.”
Blatnick was an advocate for people of all ages to maximize their potential to be contributing members of society by developing their spirits, minds, and bodies and maintaining balance in their lives, which reflects the Springfield College mission. As the college’s commencement speaker in 2000, he said: “You can educate the mind. You can train the body. But, without spirit you have nothing, because spirit makes possible what is seemingly impossible.”
Flynn added: “The passing of Jeff Blatnick is a great loss to the Springfield College family and to all those whose lives he touched and inspired.”
"There is no question that knowing Jeff made us all better people. He was truly an inspiration to all that knew him and a good friend to Springfield College athletics," said Springfield College Director of Athletics Cathie Schweitzer. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeff's family and friends during this difficult time."