Sports Entertainment

Howie Schwab, former ESPN star, dead at 63

Howie Schwab, a former ESPN research department guru who rose to host a popular trivia show on the network, has died.

He was 63.

Venerable ESPN college basketball color commentator Dick Vitale posted about the news on X, writing, “So sad to learn of the passing of my loyal dedicated buddy ⁦@howieschwab – he was recently at my home. Had various health issues but was feeling good when he visited. May he please RIP.”

In a separate tweet, Vitale said he was informed of the news by Schwab’s wife, Suzie.

Schwab joined ESPN as a researcher in 1987, eventually rising to the role of coordinating producer of programs including “SportsCenter” and “Outside the Lines”.

Former ESPNer Howie Schwab, who was the star of ‘Stump the Schwab’, died at 63 years old. WireImage
Howie Schwab WireImage

He became the star of “Stump the Schwab”, a trivia show hosted by the late Stuart Scott that aired on ESPN from 2004-06, where he would face off against sports fans in a trivia contest.

Schwab posted a 64-16 record on the program.

“I’m proud of that. Eighty percent is pretty darn good,” Schwab told The Athletic in 2020. “There were a couple of times when people were better. I’ll admit it. I had no problem with it. I remember one time I was disappointed because this guy was a cocky SOB who beat me and it bothered me a little. Bottom line is I’ve lived through so many things in sports and I’ve always been into sports, so (getting stumped) was fine.”

Matalon Media founder Gerry Matalon, who was a longtime coordinating producer and talent coach at ESPN, remembered Schwab as a tireless worker.

“During his time at ESPN and after, NO ONE was more committed to excellence than Howie… whether as a co-worker or a friend,” Matalon told The Post.

“He was selfless and all about helping others be their best, no matter the circumstance. Having Howie in our lives was an absolute blessing and a privilege.”

Schwab was also an on-air talent in the early days of “First Take” when he would play a couch potato and rate upcoming games for the weekend on a scale of one to five bags of chips.

“In my career, I’ve never known anyone who loved sports more than Howie Schwab,” former ‘First Take’ co-host Skip Bayless told The Post.

After he was let go from ESPN in 2013, he later worked as a consultant on “Sports Jeopardy” and a bracketologist for Fox Sports’ college basketball coverage.

Schwab, a Baldwin, Long Island native, was an alum of St. John’s, and the basketball program remembered his fandom with a tribute on from its official account on X.

Howie Schwab was an alum of St. John’s. Instagram / Howie Schwab
Howie Schwab howieschwab/X

“Going to miss those ‘Go SJU’ tweets,” the basketball program wrote. “Rest in Peace, @howieschwab. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”