Desert Vista equipment manager Jim Snow

Desert Vista equipment manager Jim Snow, who had been hired in 1997 as a security guard and had become the voice of Desert Vista athletics, passed away unexpectedly Monday while on campus at 67 years old. 

Jim Snow’s voice could be heard at every Desert Vista High School home football and basketball game. It had become a staple for the athletics community at the school. 

Mr. Snow, an employee at the school since it opened in 1997, died suddenly Nov. 1 while on campus in the equipment room. David Klecka, the school’s athletic director, said a cause of death was still not known. 

He was 67. 

“We all carry radios, and they were all trying to get a hold of him, and he wasn’t responding,” Klecka said. “Within five minutes of that I heard, ‘911 to the equipment room.’ It was tough.”

Klecka said Mr. Snow had been ill, but he was cleared to return to work. 

They met to go over things that happened while he was away from the school. Klecka said the two shared jokes and small talk before he headed to Tucson for the girls’ golf championships, where the Thunder were competing. 

It was just a short time after Klecka’s return to campus that Mr. Snow was found. 

Mr. Snow worked as a security guard for the school and took on the role of equipment manager for the athletics programs. He was the one who interacted with players nearly as much as their respective coaches. 

Klecka said he was beloved by the athletes and their peers. He was the one who gave tours to students transferring to Desert Vista. His presence made them feel welcome at the school. 

Mr. Snow’s son, Chris, played football, baseball and participated in track for the Thunder. He was part of Desert Vista’s 1998 state championship team coached by Jim Rattay with players like school legend Bobby Wade on the roster. 

Chris was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Desert Vista in 1999. Snow’s daughter, Jennifer, was at Mountain Pointe when Klecka was an assistant coach. Her husband, Martin, was coached by Klecka. Their daughter is a senior at Desert Vista. Their son is a freshman. 

“It’s numbing,” Klecka said. “When something like that happens, we all have our jobs to do. We have a job to do because we have a campus of 3,100 kids and we are trying to maneuver fire trucks and ambulances. But in the back of my mind, I kept saying, ‘oh my gosh, that’s Snow.’ 

“It was tough. I still walk around, and it hits me.”

Klecka said Mr. Snow’s death caused a stir among the athletic programs and school. Athletes and students were saddened by the news, which was officially announced Wednesday. 

His loud, boisterous yet soothing voice was one all involved with the school looked forward to daily. Klecka feels he will undoubtedly be missed dearly. 

“The kids were shocked when we announced it. There were a lot of kids who were upset,” Klecka said. “Snowman had that huge personality. Everybody knew him. Every athlete knew him, and he knew them. 

“It’s going to be weird not having him around.” 

Sponsored Content

(1) comment


The process of achieving personal wellness is dynamic. Your needs, your goals, your environment, and your relationships may all change. You then want to decide how you want to change along with them.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.