Farkas also had impact in the sports arena, serving as assistant soccer coach for more than a decade at St. Ignatius High School and, later, John Carroll University. The St. Ignatius relationship evolved in a singular way, said family friend George Muhoray.
“He had his big stainless steel table in front of window when the shop was on West 28th Street,” he said. “It looked onto the [St. Ignatius] soccer field. One day he just showed up at practice, and then he kept coming. Dr. Greg Knittel [the head soccer coach] never told him to stop coming, so it was a little more like a metamorphosis into the job.” Sometimes, Farkas, a former club soccer player, would coach in his baker’s apron. School staff and players gathered regularly at his shop to eat and talk.
“Find any Ignatius soccer player from the 1980s, and you’ll get a big smile on face if you mention Attila Farkas,” added Muhoray. “He was tough, funny, smart, had wit, and the Hungarian accent made it all that much better. He wasn’t our parent, our teacher. He could give it to you straight.
“He made you want to work really hard.”