Brother Schneider is part of the first Florida Gamma charter years 49’-74’. Jim was born in Pennsylvania, Jim pledged in the Fall of 66’ while a freshman member of the football team. Jim cited football as a big reason why he joined the Florida Gamma chapter. Jim along with a couple of other players was recruited to “Pledge” Sig Ep by a graduate assistant football coach. Jim said he felt Sig Ep created great friendships and comradery.
Jim was quite a busy man, with countless scholastic and football obligations keeping him occupied. Jim was a Center during his playing days and the chapter voted for him to serve as Sargent at Arms, a position that helps with the initiation process, and keeps order during chapter meetings. On the field, Jim lettered 3 yr’s and at the time the team was in the top 10 in the nation. Another Cane’s legend Ted Hendrick also lettered 3 yr’s, that is a testament to the ability Jim proved to be on the field.
Jim’s accolades are extensive, one of which was being named to the North – South Bowl game (think of today’s Senior Bowl), where he was the center for QB Terry Bradshaw. Frequently responsible for “Hosting” prospective football player recruits during their visits, Jim said he had the honor of hosting Ray Bellamy on his trip, Ray went on to be the First African American football player at The U.
During his time at the U, along with playing football, studying, and Sig Ep, Jim also was in the ROTC Program. After college, Jim married his Lorraine and joined the army, achieving the rank of Captain. After serving in the military, Jim’s career took many avenues. He worked for Pfizer as a hospital supply manager, but where he found a career was with Champs Sporting Goods. Jim was one of the original owners (first 10 people involved) of Champs as a Managing/Owner in which he ended up overseeing 50 plus locations. Because of this association with Champs, he then partnered up to open Legend Sporting Goods up until 1991. Jim then switched careers when he bought a company called Money Mailer, a company that he owned until 2015 when he finally retired.
Now living in The Villages, north of Orlando, Jim and Lorraine celebrated their 50th Anniversary last June and has one son (Jimmy who will be getting married this August).
Jim’s life embodies many of the values we hold most significant within Sig Ep. Not only a true gentlemen, scholar, and athlete, but a leader in every endeavor he chose. He believes his time at Sigma Phi Epsilon coupled with his Football playing days helped him develop a stronger attitude and ability to meet new people. When we asked Jim for any advice for undergraduates in the chapter Jim said, “work hard and look for the best people, treat people how you would like to be treated and “keep your nose clean (stay out of trouble)”. At the end of the interview Brother Schneider said that he looks forward to meeting the other Sig Eps and being involved in some capacity helping the chapter (mentorship program perhaps) any way as needed. Jim said his best days in school were playing Football and being a Sigma Phi Epsilon brother.