September 14, 1954 |
Grand Rapids, MN, USA
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||181 lb (82 kg; 12 st 13 lb)|
Oklahoma City Blazers
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||98th overall, 1974
|WHA Draft||44th overall, 1974
Minnesota Fighting Saints
|Men's ice hockey|
|Representing the United States|
|1980 Lake Placid||Team|
William Conrad "Buzz" Schneider (born September 14, 1954 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and raised in Babbitt, Minnesota) is a retired American ice hockey player best remembered for his role on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal at Lake Placid. He was also a member of the US Olympic hockey team at the 1976 Winter Olympics.
Schneider has Croatian ancestry, and his nickname "Buzz" comes from its similarity to the Croatian word for "brother". He grew up in Babbitt, Minnesota where he played hockey, baseball and football at Babbitt High School.
After attending the University of Minnesota, where he played for Herb Brooks and won the 1974 NCAA hockey championship, Schneider was drafted 98th overall in the 1974 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and no. 73 overall in the 1974 WHA draft by the Minnesota Fighting Saints.
International and professional career
Schneider played for the United States National Team in 1974-76 (he was a member of the US team at the 1974, 1975 and 1976 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments as well as the 1976 Olympic team) before turning professional. He played in a variety of minor leagues before playing four games for the Birmingham Bulls of the WHA during the 1976-77 season. After the end of the WHA season, he returned to play for the US national team at the 1977 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Vienna. Schneider returned to the minor leagues in 1977-78. He played two seasons in the International Hockey League before regaining his amateur status to play in the 1980 Olympics.
During the 1979-80 season, the left wing played 62 games for the National team scoring 27 goals. During the Miracle on Ice run in the Olympics, he scored five goals and notched three assists in seven games en route to the gold medal. Schneider played on the Olympic team's top-scoring Iron Rangers or Conehead line with John Harrington and Mark Pavelich.
Post playing career
After retiring from the game in 1983, Schneider returned to Minneapolis and worked as a sales executive for a semi-trailer company. He quit his job in 2001 to gain a commercial real estate license.
Buzz was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 as member of the 1980 Olympic team. He has two sons Billy and Neal. He is now the coordinator of the Turkey men's national ice hockey team
In popular culture
In the 1981 TV movie about the 1980 U.S. hockey team called Miracle on Ice, Schneider is played by Jonathan Sagall.
Buzz's son Billy portrayed him in the 2004 Disney movie Miracle. When Director Gavin O'Connor was made aware of the family connection, he stated that he immediately wanted to offer Billy a role in the film.
On the animated TV show "American Dad", Buzz is also eluded to as Roger's persona "Chex Lemineux" in the episode "Return of the Bling". This is unconfirmed, but he is one of the only players not referenced in the episode. Roger is also present in place of Buzz in several photos shown in the slide show at the 1980 Olympic team reunion in the episode.
- Miracle Special Features - "From Hockey to Hollywood: The Actors' Journey"