Joe Schmidt


Head Coach

  • Detroit Lions (1967-1972)

Joseph Paul Schmidt ( born January 19, 1932 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States) 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, where he attended high school. At school he first played fullback and then moved to the position of guards before he could ultimately prevail as a linebacker.

Playing 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 captain of his team in the final year and was chosen because of his athletic achievements to the All- American. In 1953 he played in the College All- Star Game against the Detroit Lions. His team lost with 24:10. The collegiate career of Schmidt did not go smoothly. Numerous injuries caused him to create what made ​​the clubs of the NFL suspicious. According to late he was drafted.

Professional career

Joe Schmidt was drafted in 1953 by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of 85 place. The Lions were the reigning NFL champions and were trained by Buddy Parker. Many later members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as Yale Lary and Jack Christiansen stood in the ranks of the Lions. Within a short time Schmidt has become a leading player in the defense of the Lions.

Joseph Schmidt won with his team the NFL Championship twice. In his first year as a pro, the Cleveland Browns were defeated by 17:16. 1954 failed the Lions in the final game with 56:10 on the Browns. In 1957 in NFL playoff again a win against the Browns - this time with 59:14. Schmidt started in this game a pass of the opposing quarterbacks to an interception from.

Joe Schmidt ended his playing career in 1966. He was elected four times to the most valuable player of the team and was for nine years the team captain of his team.

Coaching career

A year after finishing his playing career he released Harry Gilmer from as head coach of the Lions. In 1970 he was able to move his team into the play -offs, where you narrowly failed in the late NFC champion Dallas Cowboys 5-0 in the first round. After the 1972 season, he finished his NFL career and Don McCafferty took over as coach in the team from Detroit.


Schmidt played ten times in the Pro Bowl, the final game of the best players of the season. He was elected to the All-Pro nine times. He is a member of the NFL 1950s All- Decade Team in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His shirt number is not assigned when the Lions. The magazine " The Sporting News" chose him as one of the 100 best football players of all time.

Off the pitch

The career of Joe Schmidt also had its dark side. In 1962, he bet $ 50 on the outcome of the NFL playoff between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. Since this is prohibited by the NFL Statutes, it was occupied by the league with a fine of $ 2,000.