- Position: Linebacker
- School: Pittsburgh
- High School: Pittsburgh, PA (Brentwood HS)
- Years: 1950-1952
- Inducted: 2000
- Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA
- Date of Birth: Jan 19, 1932
- Jersey Number: 65
- Height: 6-1
- Weight: 220
Member BiographyIt was Oct. 11, 1952. Pittsburgh was getting ready to play Notre Dame. Pitt had lost eight straight to Notre Dame in their series. Five minutes to game time, the Pitt captain asked the coaches to leave the room.
Captain Joe Schmidt made a speech. He told his teammates they must win this game. They did 22-19.
That episode illustrates the leadership Joe Schmidt brought to every chapter of his brilliant football career. His level as a star player in 1952 was recognized by International News Service, which named him All-America linebacker.
In a speech in later years, Schmidt said, "I love Pitt. Started there at age 17. Pitt gave me the opportunity to do what I'd always wanted to do. I have a soft spot in my heart for Pitt."
Schmidt came out of Brentwood, PA, 6 feet 1, 220 pounds, with offers from eight schools. He chose Pitt.
He played pro with Detroit 1953-65, was all-pro linebacker eight times, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the Detroit Lions' head coach 1967-72.