Longtime Patriots Cheerleading Director Tracy Sormanti passed away on Friday at the age of 58 following a three-year battle with multiple myeloma, the team announced.
Sormanti, a Rhode Island native, was in her 32nd season working for the Patriots.
"We have had the good fortune of having some of the greatest coaches in NFL history grace our sidelines, but none did so with such dignity and grace like Tracy," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a written statement. "Tracy Sormanti was one of my first hires after I bought the team, and after nearly three decades, I can confidently say that there was no one more dedicated to her job or caring and compassionate about those she coached."
"She truly loved this organization and we loved her," Kraft said. "Her presence will be greatly missed, but she will never be forgotten."
Sormanti started her career with the Patriots as a cheerleader in 1983. Kraft named Sormanti the cheerleading director shortly after he bought the team in 1994.
Under Sormanti's direction, the Patriots’ cheerleading squad performed at 10 Super Bowls, visited 30 countries, and participated in thousands of community events. Through clinics she hosted, Sormanti partnered with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to help raise $400,000 for cancer research.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Despite undergoing her own cancer treatments for the past three years, Sormanti "rarely missed a game or a practice," the Patriots said in a written statement.
"As director, Sormanti shaped the Patriots Cheerleaders program through her own core values: commitment, dedication, accountability, responsibility and a positive attitude," the Patriots said.
In a written statement, the team reflected on the following statement Sormanti shared in 2019, when asked what she hoped her legacy would be: "That I've made a difference in the lives of the ladies and men who were on this team," she reportedly remarked. "And that they've learned some valuable life lesson because of a coach that they had in their life."