Bill Stein: A Power Forward for Saint Peter's
Bill Stein was inducted into the Saint Peter's University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 with a Special Service Award, and for good reason. As the former director of athletics from 1982 to 2008, he recorded a number of impressive stats on his professional scorecard, such as helping to raise the graduation rate of Division I student-athletes to more than 90 percent within his 26-year tenure, spearheading a successful push to gain scholarships for all of the University's sports teams and masterminding the University's 50-year lease of Joseph J. Jaroschak Field in 1990.
As director, he made it a priority to know each student-athlete at the University. He monitored their grades and kept an open line of communication with faculty. While retired from Saint Peter's, Bill still utilizes this strategy from his personal playbook. "I stay in touch with former students and administrators," he says. "It's nice to see their families, how they are and what they've accomplished."
He is also recruiting alumni into his team of support for Saint Peter's. Jorge Gomez '85 says of Bill, "The reason I have reconnected with Saint Peter's is because of Bill having reached out to me. I respect him enormously. He is a selfless guy who truly wants to help and give back." Bill was also instrumental in getting Jorge's niece, Jackie Gomez '13, to attend Saint Peter's.
Bill's illustrious career in college and international sports began years prior to joining The Jesuit University of New Jersey. Bill grew up in Waterbury, Conn., and is a 1964 graduate of Providence College in Rhode Island, where he played basketball and baseball. He spent several years teaching and coaching at the junior high and high school levels and was assistant athletic director for Bryant College in Rhode Island. He also served as assistant basketball coach at Georgetown University to John Thompson, Jr., and was responsible for signing future NBA greats Patrick Ewing, Eric "Sleepy" Floyd and David Wingate.
But traveling as a recruiter took a toll on Bill, a happily married father of two. Searching for a place to settle down, Bill arrived at Saint Peter's in 1981, and was named director of athletics in 1982.
In order to thrive in this role, Bill "needed interaction with all departments on campus in order to have a successful department of athletics." He adds, "I enjoyed the students and my door was always open."
Yet Bill would soon travel again, this time overseas. In 1988, he represented Saint Peter's at the Seoul Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, as the assistant men's basketball coach for the U.S. bronze-winning team.
Bill also represented Saint Peter's Jesuit values as a true "man for others" in the community. With a $75,000 grant from the NCAA, he brought the National Youth Sports Program to Saint Peter's.
"We worked with students, of whom 90 percent were under the poverty level," he says. "As part of this program, they had to have physicals and eye exams, and we provided them lunch."
After establishing a legacy as "someone who did the best job he could for the University and student-athletes," Bill retired in July 2008. However, he has remained active with Saint Peter's throughout the years. He served as a fundraiser for the Office of Advancement and External Affairs and was instrumental in forming the annual All Sports Golf Outing with co-chairs John Murray '57 and Frank Reilly '67. This year marks the 19th outing for what is now known as the William J. Murray All Sports Golf Outing, renamed after William, a 1952 graduate of Saint Peter's, who passed away in 2002.
"Bill had this idea for a golf outing to raise money for the sports programs," recalls John. "A few of us met for lunch at Rock Spring Club, and that was the start of our very successful All Sports Golf program."
In addition to his fundraising efforts, Bill has also assisted Saint Peter's by providing for the athletics program in his estate plans. It is his love for Saint Peter's that compels him to the act of Magis - the principle of doing more. "Saint Peter's is a great place to further your education and has an excellent faculty," Bill says. "I envision Saint Peter's continuing its mission, focusing on cura personalis, and remaining strong academically and with a competitive athletics program."
Bill has also made a request to former student-athletes to consider giving back to the University. "To former athletes who went to Saint Peter's on a scholarship, I would like to see a higher number giving back. The University assisted you financially to get an education. Now it's time to pay it forward for the next generation."