Jack Tosh played baseball, basketball and football at Decatur High School and credits legendary Coach Gay Kintner with influencing him to make teaching and coaching his career choice. Gay made Jack realize the influence an educator can have on the life of a student.
Jack received his B.S. from Northwestern University in 1955 where he lettered 4 years in baseball and was team captain his senior year. He held a Big Ten record of 8 RBI’s versus Michigan State in 1955. Jack later earned his M.A. degree from Northwestern in 1963.
From 1955-1957, Jack served in the Marine Corps. He was a member of the All-Marine Championship Baseball Team at Quantico, VA in 1956 and was selected to the All-Marine Baseball Squad. He was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in 1957. From 1957-1960, Jack was a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve while teaching in Evanston, IL.
History of the Jack Tosh Classic
In the fall of 1960, Tosh became a physical education teacher and coached football, basketball and baseball at Evanston High School, where
he was an assistant basketball coach to another legend - Jack Burmaster. Jack Tosh was twice inducted into the Evanston High School Athletic
Hall of Fame, once with the 1968 State Championship basketball team as their sophomore coach, and once as an assistant football coach for
the undefeated and #1 ranked 1961 Evanston football team.
DeKalb High School was Jack’s next stop in 1967 where he was a physical education teacher, assistant football and baseball coach, and head
varsity coach in both basketball and golf. His 1968 DeKalb High School basketball team finished 4th in the IHSA Basketball Finals. He also
served as Athletic Director for 4 years and as Director of the DeKalb Holiday Tournament for 7 years.
Jack came to York as an Assistant Director of Administration in 1974 and became Athletic Director in 1975. He was York’s Athletic Director
for 18 years. During that time, Jack was also an assistant basketball coach (8 yrs), an assistant football coach (18 yrs), an assistant baseball
coach (8 yrs), and a varsity golf coach (1 yr). Jack started the York Turkey Tournament, the York Holiday Tournament, and the York Holiday
Festival. The York Holiday Festival was renamed the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic in 1990.
While Jack was Athletic Director, York teams won 61 West Suburban Conference Championships, 68 Regionals, 38 Sectionals, and 10 State Titles,
including the 1984 IHSA Girls AA State Basketball Championship. He was the President of the Inter-Suburban Basketball Association in 1978-1979,
and was elected into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1989. Jack retired in 1990 and was awarded the 2001 Buzzy O’Connor
Award, the IHSA’s highest award.
One of the most successful coaches in the state of Illinois, York’s Joe Newton stated that, “Jack’s list of accomplishments, including state championships
here at York, is too long to mention, but I can honestly say he was the hardest working Athletic Director I have ever known. He was a giver in every
sense of the word. Jack was well liked and highly respected by all of our coaches and fellow athletic directors. He possessed the highest qualities of
leadership and efficiency. He had an intangible charisma about him that inspired all who work for him to perform at the highest level.”
In 2012, the Jack Tosh was run as a 12 team tournament with pool play and then crossovers
between the 12 teams in determining a champion. In 2013, head coach Vince Doran had a
vision in making the Jack Tosh a special tournament. Doran was instrumental in making
the Jack Tosh a 32 team tournament that involved 67 games over 5 days. The fifth and
final day includes a consolation championship game, a 3rd place game, and the tournament
championship game.The Jack Tosh is the largest Holiday Tournament in the state of Illinois. It continues to carry out the traditions that were laid out for the tourney many years ago.