Webster Groves native Greg Marecek, a pioneer in the fields of sports entertainment and broadcasting, died Sunday, Sept. 13. He was 71.
Mr. Marecek founded the Webster Groves High School Statesmen Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.
He also founded Sports Network Incorporated, where he produced programs for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Big Eight Conference, the PGA TOUR, St. Louis University and others, according to a statement from the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1993, he founded Spirit Sports and continued the tradition of broadcast excellence by producing shows for CBS and the NCAA.
Marecek began his career as a sportswriter with the Suburban Journals. He went on to join Missouri Sports Radio, which purchased KFNS 590 AM in 1998. He ran the station, based in Webster Groves, until it was sold in 2004.
Under his guidance KFNS tripled its ratings in the first five years and quickly became the number one sports stations in St. Louis, according to the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. The station was ranked as high as 28th nationally.
Mr. Marecek also had a passion for the old St. Louis Hawks, and was author of two books on the subject of the team. He also wrote books on St. Louis Cardinal baseball legends and the old St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL.
“I had the opportunity to work with Greg on several television specials over the years including Cardinals Spring Training previews as well as Football Cardinals shows,” said sportswriter Rob Rains. “He was always enthusiastic about his work and his productions. It was a pleasure to work with him.”
Mr. Marecek was inducted into both the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame for his innovations in sports.
Mr. Marecek died of multiple organ failure, according to The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. Funeral arrangements are pending. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and three children: John Marecek, Leslie Marecek Thomas and Jennifer Marecek, as well as six granddaughters. Funeral arrangements are pending.
John Marecek stated on Twitter that he and other family members were at his father’s side when he died.
“His accomplishments in sports and business are too long to list here, but even more important is the love and compassion he had for his family, especially for his six granddaughters. Words can’t express how much he will be missed.”