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Coaches And Staff

John York
Co-Chairman

BIOGRAPHY

Denise and John York bring long and distinguished careers in sports and business to their roles as Co-Chairmen of the San Francisco 49ers, where they combine their passion for building a championship team with their commitment to being the best possible business partners and community citizens.

A FORTY-YEAR LEGACY IN BUSINESS AND PRO SPORTS

Since Denise’s father, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., purchased the 49ers in 1977, she has been an integral part of four decades of 49ers football, including 44 playoff contests and five Super Bowl victories. Earlier in her career, Denise served as President of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. Under her leadership, the Penguins were revitalized and transformed into a championship team, winning the Stanley Cup. She is one of only 12 women to have her name engraved on hockey’s famed championship trophy.
Denise and John York bring long and distinguished careers in sports and business to their roles as Co-Chairmen of the San Francisco 49ers, where they combine their passion for building a championship team with their commitment to being the best possible business partners and community citizens.

A FORTY-YEAR LEGACY IN BUSINESS AND PRO SPORTS

Since Denise’s father, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., purchased the 49ers in 1977, she has been an integral part of four decades of 49ers football, including 44 playoff contests and five Super Bowl victories. Earlier in her career, Denise served as President of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. Under her leadership, the Penguins were revitalized and transformed into a championship team, winning the Stanley Cup. She is one of only 12 women to have her name engraved on hockey’s famed championship trophy.

A successful entrepreneur, John spent years as Senior Vice President/Director of Racing Operations for the DeBartolo Corporation, instituting programs designed to enhance the fan experience and raise the profile of thoroughbred horse racing. John, a noted pathologist, began his business career in 1982 as founder of DeYor Laboratories in Youngstown, Ohio. From three employees, he molded the company into a 500-person operation with facilities in three states before selling the company to Corning, Inc., in 1993.

As co-chairs of the 49ers, Denise and John provide the resources and guidance to uphold the 49ers celebrated history and oversee the team’s relationship with the Commissioner of the National Football League and other team owners.

TAKING A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN THE NFL

Denise and John’s dedication to the sport of football extends to the top levels of the NFL.

Denise is an active member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee, where she helps to oversee the League’s ongoing support of the museum that pays tribute to the triumphs of professional football’s greatest stars, including 26 legendary members of the San Francisco 49ers.

John is Chairman of the NFL’s Health & Safety Advisory Committee, which was established in 2011. He is also a member of both the League’s Audit and International committees, the latter of which he previously served as Chairman. Under his leadership, the 49ers became the first team to play a regular season game outside the borders of the United States, taking on the Arizona Cardinals in front of 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Under his direction, the League expanded its presence abroad with regular season games at Wembley Stadium in London, England. San Francisco has played in London’s Wembley Stadium twice, defeating the Denver Broncos in 2010 and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.

CELEBRATING THE TEAM’S LEGENDARY HISTORY

Denise and John have played a pivotal role in fostering tremendous relationships with former players and coaches to help celebrate seven monumental decades of 49ers football. Over the past decade, Denise and John have brought back every Hall of Fame enshrinee from the 49ers to be honored for their tremendous contributions to Bay Area sports.

Levi’s Stadium opened in 2014 with one of the premiere features of the venue being the 49ers Museum presented by Sony, which houses the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame. The two-level, 20,000 square foot space is dedicated to showcasing the past, present and future of the 49ers organization and its commitment to education and innovation.

Under the guidance of Denise and John, the team hosts its annual alumni weekend event to give all players who have donned the red and gold throughout the team’s history a chance to catch up with old friends. They have also worked with players like Joe Montana, Steve Young and Dwight Clark, and the members of the 1981 49ers defense to re-enact and commemorate some of the team’s most famous plays such as “The Catch” and the goal line stand that propelled the team to its first Super Bowl victory. As the team said goodbye to Candlestick Park in 2013, the 49ers commemorated many great memories by honoring the Top 10 moments in the storied history of the venue by welcoming back the alumni who helped make them all possible.

ENHANCING THE FAN EXPERIENCE

Denise and John are dedicated to embracing the passion of 49ers fans everywhere. They are committed to giving fans an opportunity to experience the excitement of 49ers football year-round, and they have made it their mission to embrace the Faithful as family.

Levi’s Stadium is the culmination of their vision to create an unparalleled game day experience for 49ers fans. The venue not only provides fans the ultimate place to enjoy 49ers football, but it also plays host to a number of world-class sports and entertainment events throughout the year. Through the integration of innovative technology, sustainable practices and groundbreaking design elements, Levi’s Stadium accurately reflects the best of the Bay Area while bringing fans closer to the game.

Visitors to Levi’s Stadium immediately notice wider, open concourses that look back into the lower bowl so fans don’t miss a minute of the action while waiting for food. A significant increase in the number of points of sale for concessions and merchandise and in the number of restrooms was done to limit congestion. From their seats, visitors can marvel at more than 19,000 square-feet of video board space, while using the Levi’s Stadium App to order food, beverages and merchandise or to watch replays of the action on the field in real-time. Those who visit the NRG Solar Terrace on the roof of the stadium’s suite tower are treated to unbelievable views, while being shaded by 49 solar panel arrays that helped make the venue the first stadium home to an NFL team to open with LEED Gold certification. Levi’s Stadium is also the first home of an NFL team to earn dual LEED Gold certifications, achieving its second distinction for operations and maintenance of an existing building in 2016.

Levi’s Stadium features three signature locations - The 49ers Museum presented by Sony, Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak and Bourbon Pub restaurants, and the 49ers Team Store. Packaged with the venue’s public tours and its special events program, these elements make Levi’s Stadium a year-round destination.

Levi’s Stadium garnered international recognition by receiving the prestigious honor of Sports Business Journal’s 2015 Sports Facility of the Year and the 2015 Sports Venue of the Year at TheStadiumBusiness Awards in Barcelona, Spain. The venue has also received several recognitions from the sustainability industry - including the 2017 TheStadiumBusiness Environmental Award of the Year - for its environmentally friendly design and operations plan, both of which were mandated by the York family.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS

Under the leadership of Denise and John, the team’s community outreach programs and 49ers Foundation have grown tremendously and are recognized among the most impactful in all of professional sports. In recognition of their tremendous commitment to philanthropy and community, the 49ers were named the 2017 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year after being two-time finalists for the award in 2015 & 2016. The 49ers were also named Pop Warner Little Scholars Team of the Year in 2017 after previously being named Beyond Sport’s 2015 Sport Team of the Year for Outstanding Philanthropic Sports Organization and the 2013 winner of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Steve Patterson Award for Sports Philanthropy.

The 49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the San Francisco 49ers. Now in its 26th year, the 49ers Foundation supports development programs for underserved youth that keep them “Safe, On Track, and In School.” Since 1992, the Foundation has donated $40 million to support non-profits. Through the stewardship and active involvement of 49ers team owners Denise and John York, in 2016 alone, the 49ers committed $4 million to Bay Area non-profits, including a $1 million gift to support the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute in cooperation with Chevron, the Santa Clara Unified School District and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the ribbon cutting on the $1 million Fab Lab Santa Clara in September 2016.  It also included a $250,000 donation to Khan Academy to support the expansion of their online STEM-aligned education platforms. Each of the last six years, 100 percent of players participated in one-or-more community programs and were joined by ownership, coaching staff, executives or their families at most of these events.

The 49ers ongoing efforts to promote education took significant steps forward in 2014 as Denise and John launched two new educational initiatives designed to make a long-lasting impact for youth throughout the Bay Area and especially in Santa Clara.   The 49ers STEAM Education Program – housed at the Denise DeBartolo York Education Center at Levi’s Stadium – provides learning platforms that connect, inspire and engage 60,000 K-8 Santa Clara and greater Bay Area students annually. With more than 150,000 participants engaged in STEAM conversations to date, more than 50% come from Title I designated schools. The 49ers innovative program taps into a passion point for youth by using football as a platform for teaching content-rich lessons in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics), ingraining valuable life skills and encouraging physical activity.

The first professional sports organization to embrace the STEAM learning concepts for youth and provide on-site free programming, the 49ers STEAM Education Program continuously evolves to enhance the student experience.  By integrating innovative concepts that support classroom learning in the community and beyond, the 49ers are committed to remaining an industry leader in STEAM education.

Deploying a multi-faceted approach, in 2014 the San Francisco 49ers launched the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI), a collaborative education venture with 60 high-achieving 7th graders at the Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, Calif. The six-year program exposes students to a rigorous curriculum of science, technology, engineering and math, strengthening their skills to prepare them for eventual entry to top-tier colleges in STEM fields and STEM careers. In fall 2016, the program – now serving 240 students – expanded to Santa Clara High School (SCHS) and, at full capacity in 2019, will serve 360 students from 7th through 12th grade.

In recognition of their community involvement, the couple has been honored with a number of accolades including the Children Discovery Museum’s Legacy for Children Award, City Year’s Service Leadership Award, Silicon Valley Exemplary Community Leadership Award by Silicon Valley FACES, Outstanding Corporate Philanthropy Award at the Catholic Charities/Catholic Youth Organization’s Loaves and Fishes Dinner, and annual inclusion on the Top Corporate Philanthropists list for the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The couple’s passion for community involvement extends beyond the Bay Area as well. John has been honored with Loyola University’s Stritch Medal – the highest honor awarded by the school – for his ongoing contributions to his alma mater. Denise and John were honored with the Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center’s Great Communicators Award in recognition of their philanthropic leadership. The couple continues to support the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown, Making Kids Count and the Mahoning Valley United Way, while also being intimately involved with the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which awards college scholarships to deserving Youngstown area high school seniors.

Denise continues to provide mentoring and tuition assistance for at-risk youth throughout all levels of education. She also works with the local food bank and supports Rescue Mission, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, Beatitude House, Youngstown Neighborhood Development, YWCA Scholarship Program, Women in Entrepreneurship Program at Youngstown Business Incubator and made a substantial contribution to the new Youngstown State University Veteran’s Resource Center. Denise is also passionate about cancer-related causes, including The Serenity Garden at the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center and the A Way With Words Foundation.

PUTTING FAMILY FIRST

Though Denise and John have accomplished much in their professional careers, they first define themselves as husband, wife, and parents.

Their eldest son, Jed, now carries on the family’s legacy -- begun by his grandfather Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., his Uncle Eddie DeBartolo Jr., and his parents -- by serving as CEO of the 49ers. Their son, Tony, is currently an entrepreneur in the high-tech industry in the Bay Area, and is involved with support programs for incarcerated juveniles alongside team pastor Earl Smith. Their twin daughters, Jenna and Mara, have worked in the Napa Valley wine industry for several years and are active participants with the 49ers Foundation and Community Relations efforts. All of the York children share their parents’ passion for community service and are very active in the 49ers Foundation. Denise and John, have two grandchildren, Jaxon and Brixton, the sons of Jed and his wife, Danielle.

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