Unless you're a die-hard Miami or MAC fan, you probably haven't heard of Dick Shrider, who passed away at the age of 90 earlier this week, per an official release from Miami athletics. Well, that's about to change.
Shrider was born in Glass Rock, Ohio, a speck on the map in northern Perry County east of Thornville, south of Brownsville, and north of Somerset. As a teenager, he led Glenford High School (which no longer exists, and was subsumed into what's now Sheridan High School in Thornville) to a state basketball title in 1941, where he set state tournament scoring records and attracted the attention of the legendary Harold Olsen, who recruited him to play for Ohio State. But World War II intervened, and when Shrider entered the Navy's officer candidate program, the Navy sent him to Michigan instead, then to a naval training school associated with Columbia. Following Shrider's naval service, which saw him serve in eight island landing battles in the Pacific, he returned to southeastern Ohio, finishing his bachelor's degree and earning a master's at Ohio University while also playing a grand total of four games for the New York Knicks. He then took the coaching job at Gallia Academy High School in Gallipolis, turning the team into a Class A power. He moved from Gallipolis to Fairborn in 1955, coaching high school in the Dayton area for two seasons before getting a phone call from Oxford.
The Redskins, coming off their third NCAA appearance in six years, had just lost their head coach to Northwestern. Shrider's high school success pointed to a bright future, and Miami offered him the job. Among his first assistants was Darrell Hedric, who would eventually become the Miami head coach himself in 1970. In nine seasons as head coach of the Redskins, Shrider's teams won four MAC titles -- two outright, two tied -- including what's probably Miami's best season to result in nothing. The 1964-65 team finished 20-5 with an 11-1 record in the MAC, tied for tops in the conference with Ohio. In a one-game playoff, back in the day when there were no at-large bids, the Bobcats won by five points at a neutral court in Dayton, taking the conference's lone NCAA tournament spot. The Redskins' leading scorer and standout player that year was a senior by the name of Charlie Coles.
Shrider also took over as the athletic director in 1964 following the death of his predecessor, John Brickels. After two years of double duty, he retired as basketball coach to focus full-time on athletic administration. It's here that his influence was the greatest. Shrider served as athletic director for 24 years, 22 exclusively in that role. During his time in charge, he:
- Oversaw the creation of a full complement of women's sports to implement Title IX.
- Led the planning and fundraising process for both Millett Hall and Yager Stadium.
- Ran a men's athletic program that won 17 Reese Trophies in 24 years (to go along with one Jacoby Trophy for the women).
- Proved instrumental, as a member of the NCAA Division I Council, in ensuring that both Miami and the Mid-American Conference were kept as members of Division I-A when the NCAA voted to drop the conference to Division I-AA in 1982. The MAC was restored to I-A membership in 1983.
His career awards reflect his influence and importance. Shrider is a member of the Ohio University, Miami University, Mid-American Conference, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and Ohio Basketball Halls of Fame, among others. He is also an official member of the Cradle of Coaches.
Shrider is survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren. Miami, and the MAC as a whole, owe him a debt of gratitude.