Shawn Lienhardt loved anything to do with hockey. He played both ice and roller hockey during his time at Miami and even had a group of friends that he would rollerblade with around campus.
Lienhardt died in a car accident in West Chester, Ohio a little after midnight on Thursday, Aug. 22. According to the crash report, his friend, Daniel Silvashy, was driving and ran off the road, crashing into a sign. The report said Silvashy didn’t sustain any injuries from the crash, and police suspect he was intoxicated.
Lienhardt graduated from Miami in May 2019 with degrees in finance and analytics. He was working at U.S. Bank in Cincinnati post-graduation.
Lienhardt’s teammates said he had been playing hockey for forever. His junior year he joined the roller hockey team and also played intramural ice hockey during the off-season. Last year, he served as fundraising chair for the roller hockey team.
Lienhardt was friends with everyone on the team. One of his teammates, senior Andrew Becker, said sometimes there was drama between the players, but Lienhardt never took a side.
Lienhardt had an energetic, radiant personality. Sophomore Graham McPherson, another member of the team, said that there was a noticeable difference when Lienhardt rode on the bus with them to games because it was a much louder and more vibrant atmosphere.
“He always had a smile on his face,” said Ethan Clearfield, former president and captain.
His friends describe him as hilarious. Lienhardt was always cracking jokes and would light up the locker room.
Whenever Lienhardt would lace up his skates before practice, he would post on his Snapchat story saying, “I’m up to something.” No one ever knew what it meant.
He nicknamed himself Shonny Manziel after Johnny Manziel, and soon people began calling him Shonny.
As soon as he stepped onto the ice though, he became serious and gave the game his all. He was up for anything; although he had always played forward, he volunteered to play defense for the season when the team was short defensive players. He ended up playing defense until he graduated, and Clearfield said he was a rock on the back line and people couldn’t tell he wasn’t a defenseman.
“He put his heart into it all the time,” McPherson said. “He was one of the best teammates I’ve ever had, and I’m not just saying that.”
He was so dedicated to the team that he wanted to come back to Miami and take graduate courses so he could keep playing roller hockey because he still had eligibility left. Becker said Lienhardt was completely serious when he suggested this.
Lienhardt had a great work ethic and was a good student, Becker said.
Lienhardt loved to travel and would often go on trips with his family. He studied abroad in China.
He was also a resident assistant (RA) his sophomore year in Symmes Hall. Current senior Molly McCrory didn’t live in the dorm but visited friends there a lot and grew close with Lienhardt.
He was always positive and made his residents believe in themselves.
“I think he made everything seem possible, and as a freshman, I and many others needed that. He gave people hope,” McCrory said.
Lienhardt is survived by his parents and twin brother, Mark.
His funeral will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28 at the Faith Bible Church in Cincinnati with a visitation beforehand beginning at 3 p.m. His family is asking for memorial donations to be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.