UC's Longest Tenured Coach Hangs Up His Spikes
The University of Cincinnati will bid farewell to its longest tenured coach May 11th at the Bill Schnier Retirement Celebration on UC's main campus at the TUC Great Hall. Schnier, who is entering his 33rd year as the head coach of the UC men’s track team, will step down at the conclusion of the outdoor track & field season.
Schnier came to UC in 1980, after spending five years as an assistant coach at the University of Indiana.
“Ironically in probably July of 1980, I had three job interviews in three days,” Schnier said. “On a Wednesday I interviewed at Toledo, on Thursday I interviewed at UC and on Friday I interviewed at Ohio University. I ended up taking this job.”
Schnier has been here ever since, and the legacy he leaves behind at UC is unmatched.
Since his arrival, Schnier has helped to produce 136 individual conference champions, 25 NCAA National Championship qualifiers, 10 All-Americans and two Olympic qualifiers.
When asked about his favorite memory at Cincinnati, Schnier recalled UC’s first ever victory at the All-Ohio Cross Country meet.
“That seemed to be the most elusive jog that we could’ve had,” Schnier said. “ I say that because in some ways it doesn’t seem like much but in other ways it was almost impossible. Distance running usually follows rural schools or small town schools and there were many in Ohio with many good coaches. It just seemed hopeless for the longest time , but we won it and I can’t remember being much happier than that day.”
Schnier also listed the men’s track program’s victories in the 2001 and 2004 Conference USA Championship Meets as two of the biggest highlights of his career.
Since announcing his retirement earlier this year, Schnier has been overwhelmed by the kind words and praise of the UC community.
“I’ve really been very surprised by this year, in a very positive way,” Schnier said. “I anticipated announcing my retirement and then the reaction being like it was with other jobs I’ve had, ‘well make sure you turn in your keys’. That’s happened several times at other places. But here – well first of all, no one has asked for my keys yet – it’s been just the opposite. On a daily basis so many people have said kind things and I walk around these hallways and it’s nothing but smiles. I smile at people and they smile back.”
UC’s longest tenured coach will be honored Saturday May 11th (include time and location). All alumni and friends of UC are invited to join the Department of Athletics for a grand celebration to honor Coach Schnier.
“I have greatly enjoyed working with Bill over the past year and a half. He is the epitome of the word coach and while he has had tremendous success in coaching, his legacy extends far beyond cross country and track and field,” said UC Director of Athletics Whit Babcock. “In his honor, the cross country and track and field office will be renamed the Wilfred K. Schnier Cross Country and Track and Field Suite."
To be part of Coach Scnier's Retirement Celebration, CLICK HERE to reserve you spot today.
If you have any questions or to register via telephone, please contact Vicki Rohlfer at 513-556-4884.