Gene Schill, 77, passed away on Oct.9. The former Dayton University sports information director and associate athletics director, had been an FWAA member for more than 30 years, joining in 1982. The following is a column by Tom Archdeacon of the Dayton Daily News.
When the funeral Mass ended Monday, Chris Schill left his pew in the front of St. Albert’s Catholic Church, walked to the lectern, turned around and looked past his dad’s casket.
He had his eulogy written out in front of him — and it would be a beautiful — but an even better one may have come when he got his first glimpse of the crowd.
University of Dayton coaching legend Don Donoher was there, as was former Flyers’ standout Leighton Moulton. UD Hall of Famers Pat Jayson and Dr. Art Bok were there, as was equipment manager Tony Caruso, UD’s Director of Media Relations Doug Hauschild, veteran broadcasters Tom Michaels and Tom Hamlin, former Wright State SID Dave Stahl and many others.
They had come to help bury Gene Schill, the long-time UD sports information director and associate athletics director, who died Wednesday at 77.
“I realized every one of them has a story of what he did for them or how he helped them get to where they are,” Chris said. “Dad didn’t just take care of his family, but his friends, too.”
Donoher tells of the photo he has of his wife Sonia being handed a bouquet of roses by then 5-year-old Chris — a special pep rally touch orchestrated by Gene — as the UD basketball team got ready to head to the Final Four in 1967.
Caruso said Schill “helped teach a guy who didn’t know what the hell he was doing become a professional.”
Hauschild said Schill saw something in him that he didn’t see himself, hiring him as student and turning him into his SID replacement. And he said Schill’s manual on how to host a postseason tournament was adopted by the NCAA and turned into a bible for other schools to follow.
At Sunday’s wake, Wright State SID Bob Noss recalled Schill’s mentoring. Stall, WSU’s first SID from 1973-1984, talked of Schill’s lifelong friendship and Michaels spoke of his loyalty.
Moulton summed it up: “I’ve been knowing Gene since I was a player in 1972.There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for you. It was the same all these years later. He was just a lovely man. I told his wife: ‘The only thing I can say about Gene is just love…love…love.’ ”
Quite a eulogy.