In Memoriam: Bill Steinman, Longtime Sports Information Director


William C. “Bill” Steinman, Columbia’s former sports information director (SID) who was affectionately nicknamed “Stats” for his prodigious recordkeeping, and encyclopedic knowledge of sports history and statistics, especially when it came to the Lions, died on September 21, 2021. He was 76 and lived in New York City.

Steinman was Columbia’s SID from 1984 to 2010, following 14 years as assistant SID, and was well known and highly regarded in the industry nationwide. He was inducted into the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, and was historian emeritus for Athletics until his death.

“Bill’s passion for Columbia was second to none,” said the Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Peter Pilling. “He touched the lives of so many Columbians, from student-athletes and staff members to the countless members of his student staff that he mentored.”

“Perhaps Bill’s most significant legacy was in helping shape the professional careers of undergrads,” echoed former SID Kevin DeMarrais ’64, who brought Steinman to Columbia from the then-New York Nets, where Steinman had been head statistician.

“He was especially good at working with reporters from Spectator and WKCR, and led several of them to great jobs in newspapers, radio, television and public relations.”

Steinman worked closely with four athletics directors, directing media coverage and helping to publicize Columbia’s 1983 run to the NCAA men’s soccer championship game and numerous NCAA fencing championships, among other events.

“Bill was a consummate professional whom you could always depend on,” former athletics director M. Dianne Murphy said. “He was a gentle and kind soul, and a wonderful person to engage in conversation. I admired him for doing everything behind the scenes in such an unassuming and quiet way. He was not looking for glory — he loved his job, he loved sports and loved our Columbia Blue.”

Steinman received the Distinguished Service Award in 1999 from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, and the following year he was given both the Irving T. Marsh Award from the ECAC Sports Information Directors Association and the Elmore “Scoop” Hudgens Sports Information Director Award from the All-American Football Foundation. In 2010, the College Sports Information Directors of America presented Steinman with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A graduate of Hofstra, Steinman was predeceased in April 2021 by his brother, Jim, a Grammy Award-winning composer.

Alex Sachare ’71