Two St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, graduates shared a special moment during a May 2 event for St. John’s Bread and Life. One of the evening’s honorees, former MLB manager Joe Torre, ’59, met Joanne Persico, ’84, and the two reminisced about their days at the Prep.
“I introduced myself and told him that his sister taught me Spanish and that we both attended St. Francis Prep,” Persico said. “He got a big kick out of that and said that his sister – Sr. Marguerite Torre (an Ursuline Sister of Tildonk) – will be 90 years old and currently lives in Florida.”
The Baseball Hall of Famer Torre of course led the New York Yankees to four World Series championships in the late 1990s/early 2000s. In his 12 seasons as manager, the Yankees made the playoffs every year. He is currently MLB’s chief baseball officer.
Persico is the head women’s volleyball coach at St. John’s University, Jamaica. She has been the only coach in the program’s 25-year NCAA Division I history and is the longest tenured female coach in St. John’s history.
Like Torre, Persico has thrived in a coaching role. Her teams won three straight Big East regular season championships (2006-2008) and made two NCAA Tournament appearances (2006, 2007). She’s also recorded nine 20-win seasons.
Both Persico and Torre are members of the St. Francis Prep Hall of Fame and were part of the school’s inaugural Red & Blue Terrier Ring of Honor.