William C. Steinman, Columbia University’s longtime sports news director, has passed away. He was 76 years old.
Steinman, a member of the Columbia University Track and Field Hall of Fame, died Wednesday evening at Mount Sinai Morningside, the university said Thursday. He had used a wheelchair in recent years following a series of illnesses.
“Bill’s passion for Columbia was second to none,” said athletic director Peter Pilling. “Bill has touched the lives of so many Colombians – from student-athletes and staff to the countless 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 the chief statistician of the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association and was hired by Columbia in 1970 at the start of a four-decade career.
He spent 14 years as an assistant to sports information director Kevin DeMarrais, then took over as head of the department in 1984 when Columbia started a women’s track and field 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 chairman of the New York State Supreme Court’s appeal division for the Manhattan 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 an accomplished professional who could always be counted on,” said former athletic director Dianne Murphy. “He was truly a gentle, kind soul, and a wonderful person to strike up a conversation. I admired him so much for doing everything behind the scenes in such a modest and silent way. “
Steinman received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2010. He was indicted in Columbia’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Her brother Jim, the Grammy-winning songwriter who wrote Meat Loaf’s debut album, “Bat Out of Hell”, died in April.