AKRON, Ohio — A chiropractor in Manhattan who jumped to his death with his wife Friday was once a standout soccer player at the University of Akron, officials say.
Glenn Scarpelli, 53, played soccer at the University of Akron from 1982 to 1985, spokesman Wayne Hill said. He was a four-year letterman at the university.
Scarpelli and his wife, Patricia, 50, left suicide notes talking about their financial woes, according to various media reports.
They jumped shortly before 6 a.m. from the Madison Avenue building where they worked, the New York Post reported. They were found in the middle of East 33rd Street, the newspaper said. The couple leaves behind a son and a daughter, ages 19 and 20, according to the New York Daily News.
The New York Daily News, citing public records, also reported that Scarpelli owed about $213,000 to the federal government and almost $42,000 in unpaid state taxes.
University of Akron soccer Coach Jared Embick, who did not coach Scarpelli, is saddened by the deaths.
“On behalf of the Akron soccer family, my sincere condolences go out to the family and friends and especially their two children,” he said in a statement. “I never had the pleasure to meet Patricia, but Glenn had a terrific personality. He was a very friendly person and had a way to make you feel special. He was just a great person and will be missed.”
Denzil Antonio, who played soccer with Scarpelli at Akron, learned of his former teammate’s death from news reports. The word quickly spread to other friends and teammates via social media.
“Everyone is saying this is absolutely terrible,” Antonio said. “It’s completely and utterly shocking.”
Antonio knew Scarpelli, who grew up in New Jersey, as a strong and determined person.
The two kept in touch over the years by phone and through Facebook and annual team reunions.
“We’re all going to grieve,” he said. “The email for this year’s reunion just went out and Glenn was typically someone who came. It’s is going to be difficult because everyone’s going to be asking questions and we’re all going to be speculating about what happened.”
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Antonio described Scarpelli an “all American-type soccer player” when he played at Akron, and could have played professionally. Scarpelli’s brother was a professional goal keeper, Antonio said.
“Glenn could have taken that direction but went to chiropractic school in Missouri,” he said. “He was really good on the field. There are very few soccer players who are truly ambidextrous. Imagine a basketball player shooting free throws with his rigtht hand and his left hand and his shooting percentage was identical. That is Glenn.”
Scarpelli was a bubbly Italian who always cooked for Antonio and had an infectious personality.
“As soon as you met him you loved him,” he said.