Feb. 27, 2014
CHICAGO – The University of Illinois at Chicago mourns the recent loss of former Athletic Director William (Bill) Roetzheim, who passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Roetzheim will be honored prior to the final home men’s basketball game on Saturday, March 1 at the UIC Pavilion.
“Bill Roetzheim was a pioneer for UIC Athletics,” said current UIC Athletic Director Jim Schmidt. “He established the vision for Division I athletics and guided the process. He was a great leader who moved the program forward with hard work and few resources. The foundation he helped establish has provided excellent benefits for our students still to this day.”
Roetzheim served as UIC’s Athletic Director from 1974-85 and was instrumental in ascending UIC to its current NCAA Division I status and provided leadership in the planning and approval for the UIC Pavilion. Prior to his administrative role, Roetzheim was the head men’s gymnastics coach for five seasons, compiling a record of 82-25. He also piloted the program to three fourth-place finishes and one third-place trophy in the NCAA Division II Championships. During his time at UIC, Roetzheim started the Windy City Invitational, which is the oldest regular season men’s gymnastics event in the country and recently celebrated its 44th year.
For his efforts as a coach and an administrator, Roetzheim was inducted into the UIC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
Roetzheim was a collegiate gymnast at Florida State University and guided the Seminoles to National Championship. Roetzheim participated in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Games and became the first North American elected to the Federation of International Gymnastics. He went on to serve as the President of the United States Gymnastics Federation.
He is survived by his wife, B.J., and three children, Marlene, William and Richard.