The IAAF is deeply saddened to receive the news that Jean Poczobut, who served as IAAF Honorary Treasurer from 2003 to 2011, died on Wednesday (4) at the age of 80.
Jean Poczobut was a member of the IAAF Council (1995 to 2011) and a recipient of the IAAF Golden Order of Merit (2011) and IAAF Veteran Pin (2003).
On his passing, Poczobut was an IAAF Honorary Life Vice President and an Honorary Member of the International Athletics Foundation.
“Jean Poczobut dedicated his life to athletics,” commented IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “Jean exuded passion and excitement for our sport. His great sporting knowledge reflecting decades of service and his seemingly inexhaustible spirit and good humour will be sadly missed. It was a privilege to serve on the IAAF Council with him.”
Jean Poczobut was born in Romilly-sur-Seine, northern France on 20 June 1936. A secondary school teacher by profession, he was devoted to athletics and spent a lifetime working for the sport he loved as both a coach and administrator. He began coaching in 1956 and developed his deep knowledge of the high jump after participating in a national jumping course in 1964.
A national coach for the high jump from 1976 to 1977, Poczobut served as Technical Director for the French Athletics Federation from 1978 to 1984.
Deputy Director (1986-89) and then Director of Olympic Preparation (1990-1992), Poczobut was in charge of the allocation to all sports federations of state subsidies for the preparation towards the summer and winter Olympic Games.
From 1993 he focused back on his first love athletics, serving as President of the French Athletics Federation. Among other roles in office, he was Chairman of the Organising Committee of the 1997 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Paris.
After his mandate finished, Poczobut returned to a multi-sport role at national level sports administration, from 1997 to 2001 acting as Technical Sport Adviser to the Cabinet of the Minister for Youth and Sport. This saw him in charge of the annual management of the National Funds for the Development of Sports and the allocation of subsidies for facilities to public communities.
During Poczobut’s time on the IAAF Council (1995 to 2011), his stewardship as Honorary Treasurer (2003 to 2011) safely charted the IAAF through the troubled waters of the global financial crisis. He also served on a number of commissions including as a member of IAAF Grand Prix Commission (1995 to 1999) and IAAF Competition Commission (1999 to 2003 and 2003 to 2007), Vice-Chairman of the IAAF Finance/Budget Commission (2003 to 2007 and 2007 to 2011), member of the IAAF Development Commission (2003 to 2007 and 2007 to 2011) and as a member of the IAAF Marketing and Promotion Commission (2003 to 2007 and 2007 to 2011).
In 2000, Poczobut also served as the Chairman of Organising Committee of the IAAF Golden League 'Meeting Paris-St Denis'.
On behalf of the global athletics family, the IAAF offers its sincerest sympathy and condolences to his wife Chantal, daughters, grandchildren, extended family and friends.
The funeral will take place on Tuesday 10 January 2017.