'He knew everything about every sport': Beloved Oakland SID Andy Glantzman dies at 62

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Before the internet and long before social media, Andy Glantzman proved to be a pretty good search engine, especially when it came to sports, and particularly when it came to Oakland University.

"He knew everything," said Oakland men's basketball coach Greg Kampe, "about every sport."

Glantzman, Oakland University's sports information director from 1985 until 1997, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 62, and lived in Comstock Park, near Grand Rapids.

Andrew Glantzman, Oakland's SID in the 1980s and 1990s, takes in a West Michigan Whitecaps game earlier this year.

Glantzman's tenure at Oakland coincided with the beginning of Kampe's. The school was Division II at the time, and it was a close-knit athletics department.

The men's and women's basketball teams traveled all over the Midwest, together, by bus, and Glantzman would call both of the games. On the road, Glantzman often would room with retired Oakland trainer Tom Ford. Much of the staffs became close friends, Kampe and Glantzman included.

Away from work, Kampe and Glantzman would play softball together.

"Back in that day, the department was really small and we all did things together," Kampe said. "He was just a great guy. He was just that sports nerd.

"And it was just a small-town atmosphere back in the '80s and '90s.

"He was beloved by the athletes and coaches."

Glantzman left Oakland in 1997, just as the school was moving to the Division I level. But he was starting a family, and wanted a job that paid more and provided more stability. Since 2009, he worked at National Heritage Academies, an education-management group in Grand Rapids.

But he always kept his toes in the sports scene, often visiting with Kampe when the Golden Grizzlies would play on the west side of the state. When Oakland would visit Western Michigan, Kampe knew Glantzman would be there, waiting outside the locker room. 

He also was an avid Tigers fan, and enjoyed seeing the up-and-coming prospects play for the West Michigan Whitecaps, like Spencer Torkelson this year. He took in a Whitecaps game in May, using a new wheelchair, which he called, "Another tool to allow me to live my best life as long as I can."

Glantzman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and earned a bachelor's degree in sports administration from St. John's. He started his career as an assistant SID at the University Detroit in 1979 and remained there until 1985, when he made the move to rival Oakland to be the head SID.

The SID job description can be quite wide, particularly at the short-staffed lower levels like Oakland back in the day. They work game days, coordinate with the media, and serve as the caretaker for an athletic department's archives, among many other tasks.

Glantzman is survived by wife Marie, sons Joshua and Maxwell, and grandson Asher.

Glantzman and Marie had celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary Tuesday. "We ate a slice of chocolate cream pie together," his wife wrote on social media. He died the following evening.

Services are scheduled for Sunday, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, in Grand Rapids, with interment at Rosedale Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Gilda's Club, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital or Give Kids The World Village.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984