Growing up a wrestling fan in the 1980’s, wrestling news was not easy to come by. I remember going to my local convenience store and picking up a couple of wrestling magazines like Pro Wrestling Illustrated and/or The Wrestler and others to get my fix of news outside of the WWF. While I thoroughly enjoyed flipping through the various magazines and reading about wrestlers and wrestling promotions across the country I never heard of, the truth was that the info was weeks and sometimes months in the past. It wasn’t until I discovered the magic of pro wrestling hotlines that I suddenly became a wannabe wrestling “insider.” One hotline in particular became an almost daily routine to call and that the “Coach Kurt” hotline.
Now for many of you reading this, you may not have any idea who Coach Kurt was. In a nutshell, Coach Kurt was, for me and many others, the be all end all of current wrestling news. He had a pay hotline where for a very small fee, you would call his hotline number and receive all kinds of wrestling news. From house show and TV taping results, to who was in and who was out of a wrestling promotion like the WWF or WCW. I really don’t know how Coach Kurt got his news from and to be honest I never cared. All I knew was, Coach Kurt was the ultimate wrestling news source long before the existence of the world wide web.
As a kid, I would call his hotline so much, that my parents punished me and forbid me from calling the number because of all the phone bill charges they received. That did not stop me in the least, as a I would sometimes call from my grandparents home or gather up a bunch of quarters and call his line from a nearby pay phone. Not only did Coach Kurt have all the wrestling news I could use, he sounded like a true professional on the other end of the line. The fact was, Coach Kurt had a background in radio and broadcasting and the came across perfectly on all of his reports.
Kurt Schneider hailed from the Detroit, Michigan area and hosted a bunch of radio shows in that area that not only dealt with wrestling but sports like the NBA and NFL. He was really the first person to capitalize of the phone hotline business and built his audience locally from the Michigan area to other parts of the country like New York, Chicago and other areas. Coach Kurt would also have a weekly wrestling radio segment on the overnights in New York on WFAN with Jody McDonald. Aside from innovating the wrestling hotline business, Kurt Schneider was also a wrestling promoter/broadcaster and manager for a promotion in Michigan called Motor City Wrestling.
Coach Kurt would often talk about MCW on his hotline reports. It was there where I first heard the names of up and coming wrestlers like Man Mountain Lancaster, White Lightning, the Motor City Madmen and ‘Irish’ Mickey Doyle. He also talked about promising young wrestlers named Al Snow and Sabu ‘The Elephant Boy’ aka the future “The Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal, Death–Defying Maniac” we’ve all come to know years later. He always talked about pro wrestling with such passion, that it was hard not to be enamored with the business yourself. Coach Kurt was a great spokesman for the wrestling industry.
While I never talked to or met Coach Kurt, he inspired me to start my own wrestling hotline in the 1990’s. I am positive his skill as a great hotline host inspired may others to start their own hotlines. Of course, the hotline boom ended once the internet became more powerful and common. People no longer had to call a telephone number to get wrestling scoops. Coach Kurt eventually faded away from my conscious. I recently discovered that Coach Kurt passed away in August of 2018 at the age of 67.
Learning of his passing, once again inspired me to write this blog entry. Coach Kurt was an unsung innovator and contributor to the professional wrestling business. Thank you Coach Kurt for all the scoops, results and passion you brought to the fans across the country.