When it comes to the girls’ tennis program at The Wheatley School, only one man stands out. And on Thursday, Sept. 29, the East Williston School District family came together at The Wheatley School to pay tribute to that legend. On that date, the school district saluted Maurice William Schneider, longtime tennis coach at Wheatley High School. Known to his beloved family and friends as “Mo,” he passed away in August at the age of 90. He started coaching tennis at Wheatley in 1966 and continued as the tennis coach until he died in August.
Schneider’s contribution to athletics at Wheatley was legendary. He was the only girls’ varsity tennis team coach in Wheatley history. He was also only the second boys’ varsity tennis team coach in Wheatley history. In 2011, the East Williston School District dedicated the Wheatley tennis courts to Schneider. He was beloved by his players. He also was a winner—Schneider won more county, conference and division championships than any other coach in Nassau County.
The organizing committee collected photographs, videos and memories from those who knew Schneider to help create the celebration. Visit www.forevermissed.com/moschneider/#about.
Here are some of the tributes that have already been posted:
“Mo was a fierce competitor and he loved his tennis,” said Bob Lempert, former tennis pro at Great Neck Estates. “I always loved playing with him. It was an honor knowing him and he will be missed. We also shared our love of theater.”
“Not a day goes by that some “Mo-ism” does not pop into my head,” added Tom Fitzgerald. “You are forever in my thoughts as I navigate the challenges that I face every day. Thank you for always taking the time to sit with me and sharing your positive outlook on life. You have left so many people better for having known you.”
“I have never met such a sweet, caring and giving individual,” said Lea Smith. “Even though I was his insurance agent, I felt like I was part of his family. He always had a joke to tell me to make me smile and enjoy my day. He will be missed.”
Schneider was born on Oct. 29, 1925 in Brooklyn. He graduated from Lynbrook High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II. He flew many missions as a bomber diver in the Pacific. While going to college, he wrote comedy scripts for television, some for early television programs of the 1950s like the Jackie Gleason Show. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Hofstra University and a master’s degree in English from NYU. The celebration was a well-deserved tribute to a man whose legacy will be felt in positive ways for many years to come.