Francis "Close the Gates of Mercy" Schmidt
- Position: Coach
- School: Tulsa, Arkansas, Texas Christian, Ohio State, Idaho
- Years: 1919-1942
- Inducted: 1971
- Place of Birth: Downs, KS
- Date of Birth: Dec 03, 1885
- Place of Death: Spokane, WA
Member BiographyFrancis A. Schmidt was a brilliant strategist. His teams were
high scorers and featured trick plays on the way to his career
record of 158-57-11. His first team, at Tulsa in 1919, was
unbeaten and outscored opponents 592-27. Among the
victories were those over Oklahoma Baptist 152-0, Arkansas
63-7 and Oklahoma 27-0. He moved to Arkansas for seven
years 1922-28. Then came five years at Texas Christian, a
46-6-5 record and two Southwest Conference championships.
Next stop: Ohio State, seven years 1934-40, a 39-16-1
record and two Big Ten titles. Schmidt closed out with two
years at Idaho, 1941-42, when that school was in the Pacific
Coast Conference. His best remembered quote came from a
speech to his team before a 1934 game with arch rival
Michigan: "Those fellows are human; they put their pants on
one leg at a time." Ohio State won the game 34-0 and thus
was founded the Pants Club. Membership goes to any Ohio
State player who takes part in a victory over Michigan.
Members wear a gold lapel pin shaped like football pants.
Thus, Francis A. Schmidt will always be remembered.
Schmidt was born December 3, 1885, in Downs, Kansas. He
won a letter in football at Nebraska in 1905. Schmidt served
in the Army in World War I and rose to the rank of captain.
He died September 19, 1944.