January 31, 2007

Case Institute of Technology's Steigerwald more than just a "metal" hopeful

Player sports CIT uniform
during last year's
Throwback Weekend.

Throwback Weekend celebrates our athletic history

The Case Western Reserve University Athletic Department will be taking a step back in time the weekend of February 2-4 when they host their second annual Throwback Weekend at Adelbert Gymnasium. As part of that celebration we invite you to step back to the 50's as we peer into the life of basketball player, Ed Steigerwald.

Case Institute of Technology alumnus Ed Steigerwald was always a threat to heat it up both on the basketball court and off. In a distinguished CIT career, Steigerwald set single season and career records while earning his degree in metallurgy. Until high school, however, the odds were greatly against his basketball success.

Before coming to CIT, Steigerwald grew up in Cleveland and attended Benedictine High School. He tried out for the school's basketball team and barely made the cut. Buried deep on the team's depth chart, Steigerwald found an opportunity to advance his basketball skills. The top basketball players often skipped practice, which meant more court time for him. The extra attention paid off during Steigerwald's senior season, as he helped lead Benedictine to the City Championship.

Ed Steigerwald

Following high school, Steigerwald enrolled at CIT. He studied metallurgy and became a top performer for coach Nip Heim's Rough Riders' basketball team from 1950 to 1952. He had a prominent collegiate career, which includes many records such as points scored in a single season and points scored in a career. He earned All-Big Four honors in each of his three seasons and was a co-captain in his senior season.

Off the court, he paid great attention to his academics and served three years as class president. "I was a good student," Steigerwald recalls, "I got straight A's the last three years."

By 1953, Steigerwald had his bachelor's degree and a master's degrees, all in metallurgy. He served two years in the United States Army after it drafted him following the end of the Korean War. During his stint in the Army, he played on the basketball team and when his military service ended, he came back to Cleveland and worked for a year.

Before the beginning of the 1957 school year, Steigerwald made a daring decision. Despite being married with five children, he decided to go back to CIT to obtain his Ph.D. "I told my wife I was going back to school. She said, 'What!?'", Steigerwald recalls. He then used the Army's G.I. Bill to pay for his schooling and earned his Ph.D. in metallurgy from CIT in 1959.

Steigerwald spent much of his career with TRW. He began in research and development and eventually was promoted to vice president/general manager of the company's casting division in Minerva, Ohio, 75 miles southeast of Cleveland.

Now retired, Steigerwald's single season and career points scored records have long been broken. This was inevitable, since back in the 1950s CIT only played about 16 games, compared to the 25-game regular seasons of today.

Steigerwald does have fond memories of his CIT basketball days. "My best memories were about playing with a bunch of great guys," he said. "[My 16 field goals made in one game] broke the field goal record as a junior at Cleveland Arena. That's probably my strongest memory."

Posted by: Heidi Cool, January 31, 2007 02:53 PM | News Topics: Alumni, Events, HeadlinesMain

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