July 5, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa — George Wine of Coralville, Iowa, who was the University of Iowa sports information director for more than 20 years, died Thursday of a heart attack at age 81.
Wine died at University Hospitals two days after undergoing hip replacement surgery.
Only the second SID in Hawkeye history, Wine replaced Eric Wilson in 1968 and held the job until 1993. He then began a phased retirement as SID emeritus and continued in that role until 1996.
Wine was with the Hawkeyes during a period of tremendous growth and success for the athletic department. He was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Hall of Fame in 1985, and was CoSIDA’s president in 1991-92.
In retirement, Wine co-wrote football coach Hayden Fry’s autobiography, “High Porch Picnic,” and wrote a book about Hawkeye sports history, “Black & Gold Memories: The Hawkeyes of the 20th Century.” He also wrote a weekly column for hawkeyesports.com.
George Joel Wine Jr. was born in Omaha, Neb., on June 9, 1931. He went to high school in North English, Iowa, served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1954 and graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1956.
From 1956 to 1963 he was sports information director at Iowa State Teachers College, which became the State College of Iowa (and is now the University of Northern Iowa). He was SID at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) from 1963 to 1968.
Wine received the All-America Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. He was inducted into the Hawkeyes’ National Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2000, and was part of the first class to join the Kinnick Stadium Media Wall of Fame in 2006. He received more than 40 award citations from CoSIDA for media guides and programs.
Wine mentored many students, including interns who went on to become college publicists at Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Colorado, Colorado State, Utah, DePaul, Texas-El Paso and the Big Sky Conference; professional publicists with the Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets; and sports writers for The Associated Press, the Des Moines Register and the Chicago Tribune.
Wine was a longtime member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City. His hobbies included writing, bridge, photography, gardening and tennis.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George Wine Sr. and Edyth Harsch Wine, and by his first wife, Anne McGehee Wine. He’s survived by his second wife, Dr. Barrie Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Iowa his son, Steve, a sports writer in Miami for the AP; his sister, Virginia Wine Alderson of Omaha; and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. A memorial service is planned in the near future at Trinity Episcopal Church in Iowa City.