He had an overall record of 245 wins and only 33 losses, a winning percentage of 88 percent.
This isn’t the outstanding record of a coach or a player; this is the Pointer basketball teams’ record in games that Michael Steinwagner has been the PA announcer. Talk about a home field advantage.
After 38 years working as a PA announcer, 14 as the voice of Pointer men’s basketball and three years with the girls, Steinwagner has decided to step away from the microphone at the age of 58.
“All good things must come to an end,” Steinwagner said. “It’s something I am going to miss.”
Steinwagner started his announcing career calling games for Marshfield High School and the University of Wisconsin – Marshfield.
His decision to come to Stevens Point came in a conversation at a UW-Marshfield game with former Point head men’s basketball coach Jack Bennett. Bennett said the program was looking for a change.
He later got in contact with then Athletic Director Frank O’Brian, who said it was Steinwagner’s job. It’s all history from there.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Steinwagner said.
During Steinwagner’s tenure as PA announcer, the men’s team won seven regular season Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, and eight WIAC tournament championships. The team also qualified for 10 NCAA Division III tourneys in his career.
“This is really one of the best programs in the nation,” Steinwagner said. “We have a great atmosphere, and great ballplayers.”
During Steinwagner’s time with the program, the men’s team has ranked first in attendance in the WIAC 12 out of 14 years.
Steinwagner will still be working at his full time job at a funeral home, but is retiring from announcing to spend more time with his four-year-old daughter, Faith.
Steinwagner said that he missed out on a lot of important evens with his first two kids, Natalie, and Jason, because of his 30-year involvement in umpiring baseball games, until 2004. He really wants to take advantage of this chance to be a big part of his young daughter’s life.
During his career, Steinwagner has worked with three of the great coaches in UWSP history: current men’s and women’s coaches Bob Semling and Shirley Egner, and the legendary Jack Bennett.
“It was a great honor to work with three of the best coaches in the nation,” Steinwagner said.
He specifically wants to thank the Backcourt Club for being very supportive during his run as PA announcer. The Pointer fans were also very important to Steinwagner, and he wanted to voice his gratitude.
“Pointer fans are number one, they back the team on the road and at home,” Steinwagner said.
His last game came on February 25, when he belted out the starting lineups for the last time for the women’s WIAC tournament championship game.
The Pointers won the game, a great finish to a great career for Steinwagner.
“It’s something that I will never forget,” he said.
Steinwagner will be recognized during the UWSP athletic banquet for his work with the program. The banquet will be held on April 21.
The connection to UWSP goes beyond athletics for Steinwagner. His wife, DeAnn, and son, Jason, both graduated as Pointers.
Steinwagner did not know who would be his replacement, but said that the decision would be up to Pointer basketball head coaches Egner and Semling.
There is one thing for certain: whoever is chosen as Steinwagner’s replacement will have a tough act to follow in bringing such passion and excitement to every Stevens Point home basketball game.