Craig Stanke, the Deputy Managing Editor of CBSSports.com for the past 14 years, was pronounced dead Tuesday morning. Neither the cause nor exact time of death are known at this time. Stanke was 56.
Funeral and/or Memorial Service arrangements are pending.
Stanke started at the Beloit Daily News in Beloit, Wis., in 1977, hired by current L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers. The pair remained friends for 35 years. Stanke leaves a legacy in Journalism that is paralleled by few. Craig worked at 10 newspapers -- including eight years at the L.A. Times, San Diego/Orange County editions -- before joining CBSSports.com, nee SportsLine USA, in 1997.
On a personal note, I can't remember what the day was like on Aug. 20, 1997, the day Craig started at SportsLine USA. We hired him from the Palm Beach Post to manage the long lost city pages, so that's what he went to work on, I'm sure. He has been a dedicated editor, confidante and loyal friend to all who worked with him at this shop ever since. The humor, tales and laughs were always in abundant supply.
He brought journalistic expertise and sound judgment to a fledgling website that gravely needed it, and then helped shape the vision and voice of the site into what it is today. Craig would often say he wanted to retire here. He loved the job, he loved the people.
So on behalf of friends, family and co-workers, past and present, I offer this:
We loved you, too, Craig. And we miss you.