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The National Scholastic Sports Foundation Board | National Scholastic Athletics Foundation
Bill Schmidt photo
An Olympic athlete, Olympic organizer, corporate executive, sports marketing pioneer and educator, Bill 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.
graduated with All American honors, a full scholarship and a degree in Business Administration.
After being drafted into the US Army
javelin career winning a World Championship, setting a world record and winning the bronze medal at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
remains the last American to medal in the javelin in the Olympics in the last 59 years.
His career in sports marketing began at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, TN., where he was Director of Sports.
developed, packaged, managed and sold 23 sporting events over the 6 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, IN., as Director of Sports Development.
Having been recruited to join the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee
took a leave of absence to become Vice President of Sports
at the LAOOC
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.
He 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 MS in Business Education.
He's also a volunteer coach for the Tennessee track team and is an avid golfer, world traveler and a Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiast.
The parades grand marshals Friday will be Canonsburg High School alumnus Pat McCormick, Class of 1958, and Canon-McMillan High School alumni Bill Schmidt
, Class of 1965; James Sulkowski, Class of 1969; and Dean Tornabene, Class of 1976.
Schmidt, now president of a sports marketing firm that works with Fortune 500 companies, is most famous for winning a bronze medal in the javelin event at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Its a feat no American man achieved since.
previously worked as vice president of worldwide sports marketing for Gatorade
, where he
ultimately signed Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm and Peyton Manning as brand spokespeople.
In addition to serving as president of Pegasus Sports Marketing, Schmidt also teaches at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Javelin Legend, Bill Schmidt - ...
Javelin Legend, Bill Schmidt - Spearhead of ChicagoLand Throwers Challenge
The Games of Montreal, Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London have flown on by and Bill Schmidt
remains a solitary figure on the American track and field stage.
took the bronze medal in the javelin back at Munich in 1972 and no Team USA spear-man has been invited to the Olympic podium in all those Games since.
So the natural question: "How great an honor is it to hold this distinction for
going-onto 41 years?"
And Bill Schmidt
, a team man all the way, one of the most dedicated supporters of the Olympic cause you will ever meet, will tell you that (a) he's
not really thrilled with his
status, and (b) he
really feels awful that Team USA has endured a zero-for-nine Games medal blanking in the men's javelin department.
"It is more than about time," he
But "spear-head" - a most appropriate designation - of the Throwers Challenge is Bill Schmidt
At 65, the Knoxville, Tenn. resident is recognized as one of the nation's leading sports marketing executives, the career he
began not long after his
world-class throwing days ended.
In both 1996 and 1998, he
was named "one of the 100 most powerful people in sports" by The Sporting News
He's done it all in the world of sports marketing - Director of Sports at the 1982 Knoxville World's Fair; Director of Development for the Stokely Van Camp Co.; Vice President of Sports at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games; Vice President of World Wide Sports Marketing for Quaker Oats' Gatorade Division; CEO of Oakley, Inc., all the way to his present role as President of the Knoxville-based Pegasus Sports Marketing.
the man who signed Michael Jordan to a Gatorade endorsement contract, and he's
worked an array of other major high-profile deals over the years.
never strayed too far from his
track and field roots, either.
Arranging the wherewithal to make the Chicagoland Throwers Challenge a reality is obviously right up Bill Schmidt's
For the young thowers it will be their "baptismal of fire.
"Every athletes needs something like this," he
"You'll never know how good you can be until you're forced to raise your sights, to compete against the best, and learn from the whole experience."
had many such "baptismal" moments in his
own brilliant career.
He'd been an excellent thrower - as well as standout football linebacker and baseball player - in his days (Class of 1965) at Canon McMillan High School in Canonsburg, Pa., south of Pittsburgh.
chose throwing the javelin as his
sport of choice for college and headed to North Texas State University
without benefit of a scholarship.
took the silver medal as a senior in the 1970 NCAA Championships - back of
"To win it was very special," said Schmidt
The real adventures came in Munich - the Games forever stained by the blood of the slain Israel team members, and marked by the mishaps endured by such American teammates as Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson (100), Jim Ryun (1500), Bob Seagren (pole vault) and George Woods (shot put.) Schmidt
narrowly missed a disaster of his own.
The other throwers had already had their formal warmups as Schmidt
first two throws of the qualifying round were sub-par stutter-stepping efforts.
Needing an 80-meter throw for an automatic qualifier to the next day's final, the best he
could manage was a 78-meter effort, which put him in seventh place.
hopes of making the 12-man final sagging - an array of top throwers were set to compete in the second flight - he
headed back to the Village, unsure of his
next day's status, fearing the worst but still hoping for the best.
Hours later, a teammate finally told him, "Bill
, you made it into the final.
"That night, the three of us got together," said Schmidt
"Luke, Sonsky and me.
" At the same time, all those stars of the future need to know that a man named Bill Schmidt
is helping them build futures that may, just may, match his
All they have to do is work at it, and show the heart, the soul, the passion, that Bill Schmidt
displayed every time he
stepped onto a javelin runway.
Javelin Legend, Bill Schmidt
- Spearhead of ChicagoLand Throwers Challenge
Bill Schmidt, president of ...
Bill Schmidt, president of Pegasus Sports Marketing who signed Michael Jordan to be the face of Gatorade, said it was important to be prepared in a rapidly changing environment.
A Gettysvue member, Olympic javelin ...
A Gettysvue member, Olympic javelin thrower and Pegasus Sports Marketing owner Bill Schmidt, encouraged Ewart, a former walk-on Vols football player, to seek more leadership responsibilities.
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