Former Columbia sports information director and resident historian Bill Steinman was one of seven sports information professionals honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) at the National Workshop in San Francisco on July 5.
Prior to retiring in 2008, Steinman worked for 38 years in Columbia's sports information office, helping promote and publicize all 29 of the Lions' intercollegiate varsity sports.
Beginning his career at Columbia in 1970 as an assistant director in a two-person office in John Jay Hall, Steinman worked with several of Columbia's teams, including baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, soccer and wrestling. He was promoted to sports information director in 1984 and has served the department in a variety of roles, most notably as historian and archivist, during the last decade.
Steinman is a living legend in the sports information business. His encyclopedia-like knowledge of more than four decades of Columbia athletics history is unparalleled and his passion for Columbia, even in retirement, is as strong as ever.
An outstanding writer, Steinman's precise recall of events throughout his tenure at Columbia is unmatched. His gift for story telling translates seamlessly to his writing, making a reader feel as if he or she is standing at a Columbia game, cheering the Lions to victory in the final moments.
Steinman also is a fixture at any Columbia Athletics event, from the relative comfort of the Wien Stadium press box to the chilly edge of the Orchard Beach Lagoon for an early-morning crew regatta.
Not only is Steinman terrific at his craft, he is an equally outstanding mentor. Assistant directors, interns and even student workers who have spent time under his guidance have proceeded to become legends in their own fields. The roster of his former proteges reads like a “Who’s Who” in the communications field. It includes a national sports and business writer for the Associated Press, head of communications at IBM, senior editor at Citigroup and an official scorer for the New York Jets and Yankees, just to name a few.
Steinman’s 40 years at Columbia have left an indelible imprint on the athletics program. Former student-athletes flock to Steinman, looking to swap stories about the glory days. For Steinman, it's been 40 years and counting of those glory days.