Columbia athletics

Bill Steinman, longtime Columbia athletics official, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — William C. Steinman, Columbia University’s longtime director of sports information, has died. He was 76 years old.

Steinman, a member of the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame, died Wednesday night at Mount Sinai Morningside, the university announced Thursday. He had used a wheelchair in recent years due to a series of illnesses.

“Bill’s passion for Columbia was second to none,” said athletic director Peter Pilling. “Bill touched the lives of so many Colombians – from student-athletes and staff to the countless members of his student staff he has mentored, many of whom remain involved in our athletics program.”

Steinman was born on December 31, 1944 and graduated from Hofstra. Nicknamed “Stats,” he was chief statistician for the American Basketball Association’s New York Nets and was hired by Columbia in 1970 at the start of a four-decade career.

He spent 14 years as assistant to sports information director Kevin DeMarrais, then took over as department head in 1984 when Columbia launched a women’s athletics consortium with Barnard.

Among the athletes he promoted were Major League Baseball player Gene Larkin; NFL player Marcellus Wiley; Olympic gold medalist swimmer Cristina Teuscher; Columbia baseball pitcher Rolando Acosta, currently the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division Chairman for Manhattan’s First Department; and Columbia rower George Yancopoulos, president of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

His tenure spanned four athletic directors, eight head football coaches, and eight men’s basketball coaches.

“He was a consummate professional that you could always rely on,” said former athletic director Mr Dianne Murphy. “He was truly a sweet and kind soul, and a wonderful conversation starter. I admired him so much for doing everything behind the scenes in such a low-key and quiet way.

Steinman received a lifetime achievement award from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2010. He was inducted into the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

His brother Jim, the Grammy-winning composer who wrote Meat Loaf’s debut album “Bat Out of Hell,” died in April.