Joe Schmidt

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Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt (Pitt) .jpg
Schmidt in the Pittsburgh yearbook in 1953
Position (s):
Jersey number (s):
born on January 19, 1932 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Career information
Active : 1953 - 1965
NFL Draft : 1953 / Round: 7 / Pick: 85
College : University of Pittsburgh


Head coach

Career statistics
Interceptions     24
the resulting gain in space     294 yards
Touchdowns     2
Stats at
Stats at
Career highlights and awards
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Joseph Paul Schmidt (born January 19, 1932 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , USA ) is a former American football player and coach. He played as a linebacker for the Detroit Lions in the National Football League (NFL).


Joe Schmidt grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh and attended high school there . At school he first played as a fullback and then switched to the position of a guard before he was finally able to assert himself as a linebacker.

Player career

College career

Schmidt studied from 1950 to 1952 at the University of Pittsburgh , where he played for the "Pittsburgh Panthers" as a linebacker. Schmidt was the captain of his team in the final year of his studies and was voted All-American due to his athletic achievements . In 1953 he played in the college all-star game against the Detroit Lions. His team lost with 24:10. Schmidt's college career was not without problems. Numerous injuries made him to create what made the clubs of the NFL suspicious. Accordingly, he was drafted late .

Professional career

Joe Schmidt was drafted 85th by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round in 1953 . The Lions were the reigning NFL champions and were trained by Buddy Parker . Numerous later members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame such as Yale Lary or Jack Christiansen were in the ranks of the Lions. In a very short time, Schmidt became a leading player in the Lions defense .

Joseph Schmidt and his team won the NFL championship twice . In his first year as a professional, the Cleveland Browns could be defeated 17:16. In 1954, the Lions failed in the final with 56:10 to the Browns. 1957 followed in the NFL final again a victory against the Browns - this time with 59:14. Schmidt caught a pass of the enemy in this game quarterbacks to an interception off.

Joe Schmidt ended his playing career in 1966. He was voted the team's Most Valuable Player four times and was the team's captain for nine years.

Coaching career

One year after finishing his playing career, he replaced Harry Gilmer as head coach of the Lions. In 1970 he was able to move into the play-offs with his team , where they just failed at the eventual NFC champions Dallas Cowboys 5-0 in the first round. After the 1972 season he ended his NFL career and Don McCafferty took over the coaching office for the team from Detroit .


Schmidt played ten times in the Pro Bowl , the final game of the best players of the season. He was voted All-Pro nine times . He is a member of the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team , the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame . His shirt number is no longer given by the Lions. The Sporting News magazine named him one of the top 100 football players of all time.

Off the field

Joe Schmidt's career also had its downsides. In 1962 he bet $ 50 on the outcome of the NFL final between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants . Since this is forbidden under the NFL statutes, the league fined him $ 2,000.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 1953 Lions Annual Statistics
  2. 1953 NFL final - statistics
  3. ^ 1954 annual Lions statistics
  4. NFL final 1954 statistics
  5. 1957 Lions Annual Statistics
  6. 1957 NFL final - statistics
  7. Joe Schmidt at number 65 on the list of the 100 best football players of all time ( Memento from September 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  8. ^ Report on the punishment