Former Tulsa Tribune Sports Writer Killed in Hit-and-Run

Wednesday, October 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Steve Schoenfeld, a longtime national football writer, was killed Tuesday night by a hit-and-run driver.

Schoenfeld, 45, was leaving Arizona State University when he was struck by a car while crossing four-lane Mill Avenue on the southwest corner of the campus. Witnesses described the vehicle as a light-colored, four-door sedan, but police said no one got the license number.

Schoenfeld sustained head and other injuries and died instantly.

The university said the Tempe resident was on the campus to attend a panel discussion and tribute to former UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas in Gammage Memorial Auditorium.

Schoenfeld often made guest appearances on TV talk shows, but was in the audience this time.

``We've lost a true professional, a colleague and a friend,'' assistant athletic director Mark Brand said. ``I spoke with (football coach) Bruce Snyder and (basketball coach) Rob Evans this morning, and they both echoed that Steve was simply a nice person who performed his job well. He was a good guy, and we will miss him.''

Funeral arrangements were pending, but Brand said the university was setting up a memorial service in its basketball arena and planning a moment of silence before its football game with Oregon on Saturday.

Schoenfeld is survived by his wife, Robin, who was in El Paso, Texas, on a business trip when the accident occurred.

A former president of the Pro Football Writers Association of America, Schoenfeld was nationally known for his coverage of the NFL.

``Steve has touched the lives of more people in this business than anyone I know,'' current PFWA president John A. Clayton said.

Schoenfeld left The Arizona Republic in July to work for CBS

Schoenfeld, a native of St. Louis, was a 1977 graduate of the University of Kansas and went to work for the Tulsa (Okla.) Tribune as a sports writer with an emphasis on football. He covered the 1984 Summer Olympics for the Tribune.

He worked for the Dallas Times-Herald from 1985 to 1988, when the Cardinals left St. Louis and moved to Arizona and the Republic hired him to expand its NFL coverage.

In 1992, a story he wrote on trying to find the best playground-basketball player in Phoenix was included in ``Best American Sports Writing,'' and three years later the Republic honored him with the Silver Ingot Award for his Super Bowl coverage.