July 22, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- University of Michigan Athletics lost one of its longtime former employees when retired public and media relations director Jim Schneider passed away yesterday (Monday, July 21). Schneider worked with the football, baseball and ice hockey programs during his 30 years with the athletic department.
"Schneids" spent 30 years as a member of the communications team at Michigan Athletics before retiring prior to the 2007-08 academic year. He worked 18 years with the football team after spending the previous 12 years handling all aspects of media relations for the hockey program.
A passionate baseball fan, Schneider worked with the Wolverine baseball program for 29 seasons. Schneider came to the ballpark even in retirement, offering his services and wealth of historical knowledge about the baseball program to the department.
He was honored for his dedication to the department in 2001, becoming an Honorary 'M' Man. Schneider served as color analyst on Michigan baseball and hockey radio broadcasts for many years. In addition, he served as the information director for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association from 1972-84. He was a long-standing member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
A native of East Hampton, N.Y., Schneider was a 1974 graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he majored in journalism. While at BGSU, he worked with the Falcons' sports information staff. After spending three years as a reporter at the Daily Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green, Ohio, Schneider was named assistant sports information director at U-M in 1978.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Following are comments from members of Michigan Athletics that worked closely with Schneider:
"We lost one of the great people in Michigan Athletics history. No one loved Michigan more than Jim. He was an incredible asset to our program and players and helped contribute to our success in a number of different ways. Jim had an amazing sense of humor. No matter what time our team returned to Ann Arbor from a road trip, Jim was always there with me to provide whatever assistance that was needed in those early hours. He was a dear friend and a great Michigan Man." -- Lloyd Carr, U-M Head Football Coach (1995-2007)
"Today, I mourn the loss of Jim Schneider. Not only was Jim a great man and a fantastic SID, he was funny, incredibly witty and kind. Always a source of information, Jim was the best non-staff hitting coach that I had during my time at Michigan. I will miss his humor, his stories and his hitting tips. Rest peacefully my friend!" -- Barry Larkin, ESPN Baseball Analyst, Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer, Former U-M Baseball Player
"Jim was one of my best friends, and he was a great friend of Michigan. He did so much for all the student-athletes he came in contact with and was a major part of the family. He never asked what we could do for him, he always asked what he could do for us. He had a great influence on almost everyone he came in contact with and he especially had a great influence on me." -- Bud Middaugh, U-M Baseball Coach (1980-89)
"Schneids was truly one of the good people in the business. He loved Michigan and he loved his job. He had a personality one could only describe as genuine. He was funny, smart, had a great memory and always let you knew what he was thinking. How he could juggle being the official scorer, the PA announcer, run the scoreboard and be the PR guy at every home Michigan baseball game never ceased to amaze me. He was my friend and he was quite a guy." -- Bruce Madej, Retired U-M Associate Athletic Director/Special Projects
"Schneids was my big brother and a great friend. He had more passion for Michigan football and baseball than any individual that I've met. Schneids gave his entire life to those programs. I learned a great deal from him about developing relationships and always looking for the bright side of challenging situations. He had an amazing sense of humor and could always lighten the moment with a quip or comment that would make you laugh or put a smile on your face. I enjoyed every minute working with Schneids and will cherish those memories. We are all better people because of our time with Schneids." -- Dave Ablauf, U-M Associate Athletic Director/Communications
"Michigan lost one of its all-time greats yesterday in one Jim Schneider. Jim was a baseball and football statistician who dedicated his life in serving Michigan, its coaches and student-athletes. Jim was a walking encyclopedia of past events that he witnessed like no other person I have ever met. He always had a positive slant to how a loss would help the team become better in the future. Michigan lost a true Michigan Man and I lost a dear friend. We will miss you, Jim." -- Rich Maloney, Ball State Baseball Coach, Former U-M Baseball Coach (2003-12)
"Hopefully all those at University of Michigan Athletic Department will forgive us in the U-M Baseball family for claiming Jim 'Schneids' Schneider as our own. Although he wore many hats at Michigan, Schneids was our constant companion. From those cold, early-season games at Ray Fisher Stadium all the way through the Big Ten Tournament, he was there to chronicle, promote and represent the U-M baseball team. His vast knowledge of the program, its players and coaches is irreplaceable. He was a sweet man, with a terrific sense of humor and quick wit. Schneids quietly served as a mentor and friend to so many of us in the program. He showed us respect for the school, the game of baseball, and tradition. So long, and thank you Schneids, your voice will long be remembered echoing through the rafters of that great stadium." -- Jim Abbott, Former Major League Baseball Pitcher (1989-99), Michigan Baseball Alumnus
"I know I speak for the entire Michigan Football radio broadcast team in expressing our deep sorrow to learn of the passing of Michigan's Jim Schneider. Schneids was a unique and special human being that brightened your day whenever you spoke to him. His special brand of humor, and his unquestioned love of Michigan Athletics, especially baseball and hockey, gave Jim a singular spot in your heart. It was fun to spend time with him. He carried out his job with professionalism, and a humanness that will be hard to replace. We talk a great deal about the Michigan tradition, and Jim Schneider was certainly a man who added his character to that tradition. He was unforgettable. From a personal standpoint, I will miss him greatly. But, because of the imprint he made on me and countless others during his time on this planet, we are all the better for having known him. Rest in peace, Schneids." -- Jim Brandstatter, U-M Football Network Announcer, Michigan Football Alumnus
"As I think about my days in Ann Arbor, and my time in the baseball program, Jim Schneider was a constant representative of the rich history and tradition that sets U-M apart from other schools. Schneids kept in touch with me, long after my days at Michigan, and was always quick to remind me of my lack of offensive production, in a way that only he could. Quick wit and sarcasm were as natural as breathing for Jim, but always delivered with best intentions and encouragement. A treasure to the young lives who walked through the locker rooms, and he will be truly missed and difficult to replace." -- Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals Manager, Former MLB Catcher (1994-2006), Michigan Baseball Alumnus