Bill Schmidt joined the University of Tennessee track & field staff for his third tour of duty in 2010-11 and offers the Vol and Lady Vol javelin throwers a great resource in that event again in 2011-12. He previously served as an assistant coach at UT from 1973-76 and as a volunteer aide from 1982-83, both times on the staff of head coach Stan Huntsman.
An Olympic athlete, Olympic organizer, corporate executive, sports marketing pioneer and educator, Schmidt grew up in western Pennsylvania, the son of a coal miner. Competing in high school sports at Canon-McMillan High School in Canonsburg, his path to college athletics was as a walk-on, non-scholarship athlete at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
He would eventually earn a scholarship at UNT, collect All-America honors via a runner-up javelin finish at the 1970 NCAA Championships and graduate with a degree in business administration.
After being drafted into the U.S. Army, he continued his javelin career, winning a World Championship, setting a world record and winning the bronze medal at the Munich Olympics in 1972. He remains the only American to medal in the javelin at the Olympic Games since 1952 (a span of 58 years).
His career in sports marketing began at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., where he was director of sports. He developed, packaged, managed and sold 23 sporting events over the six-month run of the Fair. The Gatorade Sports Hall of Fame at the Fair, was managed and developed by Schmidt. Later, he joined Gatorade at Stokely Van Camp in Indianapolis, Ind., as director of sports development.
Having been recruited to join the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Bill took a leave of absence to become vice president of sports at the LAOOC. There he managed track & field, boxing, wrestling, baseball, judo, modern pentathlon, weightlifting and soccer. In addition he was responsible for all 63 training sites, equipment and writing the final report. After assisting in making the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics the most successful Olympics in history, he returned to Gatorade, now owned by the Quaker Oats Company located in Chicago. There he helped grow the brand from $83 million to nearly $2 billion before his departure to become the CEO at Oakley.
Schmidt currently is president of Pegasus Sports Marketing, where he works as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies who want to sell their products and services by leveraging sports. He's an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned his master's degree in business education. He's also an avid golfer, world traveler and a Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiast.