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Mike Sullivan’s father, George, passes away at 81

The head coach of the Penguins will step away from the team for a few days following the passing of his father.

A sad day for the Penguins, coach Mike Sullivan’s father George has passed away at the age of 81. Here’s a statement from the team:

The Pittsburgh Penguins offer our deepest sympathy to Mike Sullivan and his family on the passing of Mike’s father, George, today.

He was 81. The Sullivans appreciate the excellent care he was given at Cardigan Nursing Home in Scituate, Massachusetts.

Mike will be taking a few days away from the team to be with his family. Assistant coach Jacques Martin will oversee the day-to-day duties of the coaching staff during this time.

The elder Sullivan was very much a part of his son’s life, including living in Pittsburgh these past few springs with his son and watching and enjoying the marvelous runs the team has been on. As the PG’s Jason Mackey reported in the summer of 2017 following the Sullivan’s second straight Stanley Cup win:

During the past two Cup runs, George Sullivan, 80, has lived with Mike and his wife, Kate, refusing to leave until the day after the Cup parade. He has his own room in Mike’s house and a routine to go with it. Kate even cooks specific meals for George.

On off days, Mike and George have cigars, play cribbage and drink beer, chatting about hockey and the Boston Red Sox.

George hardly is shy with coaching tips, and Mike loves messing with his dad, trying to screw with his daily routine on purpose “just to keep him on his toes.”

It’s clear Mike, the fourth of five kids, held both his parents in high regard, including his late mother who passed away in 2015 at the age of 78. As Mike told of the work ethic he learned from his parents:

“They got up every day and went to work, rain or shine, feeling good, not feeling good,” Sullivan says. “There were no excuses.”

We here at Pensburgh extend our condolences to the Sullivan family.