Bill Schmidt enjoyed an All-America collegiate career as javelin thrower.
In his senior year he won both the Texas and Drake Relays and finished
second at the Kansas Relays. Schmidt won the Missouri Valley Conference
title and as team captain, led the University of North Texas to the team
title with a meet record in the javelin. Schmidt had a second place finish
in the 1970 NCAA Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa and
a second place at the USTFF Championships in Wichita, Kansas. His longest
collegiate javelin throw recorded an awesome 280 ft 7 in.
To follow-up his collegiate career Schmidt won the 1971 World Military
Championships in Turku, Finland, setting a new world military record in
the javelin while representing the U.S. Army. Bill Schmidt then topped
that win when he won the bronze medal in the 1972 Olympic javelin throw
in Munich, Germany. Schmidt still remains the only male American to medal
in the javelin event in the last 61 years.
University of Tennessee track coach Stan Huntsman brought Schmidt to
Knoxville as an assistant track coach in 1973, where he became involved
with and represented the Knoxville Track Club. Schmidt earned a Masters
Degree from UT in Business Education in 1976. Schmidt later taught at
Central High School in Knoxville, and coached boys and girls cross-country
Schmidt won the USA National Championship in the javelin at UCLA in 1978
while representing the Knoxville Track Club and was named "Javelin
Thrower of the Decade" (1970s) in the U.S. by Track and Field News.
His career best was 283 ft 2 in.
From his ties to the University of Tennessee and the Knoxville Track
Club, Schmidt went on to become a giant in his sports marketing profession.
Schmidt was the Director of Sports for the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville.
Working with renowned sports writer Tom Siler, Schmidt organized and managed
23 sporting events during the Fair: including an NFL exhibition game,
an NBA exhibition game, USA vs USSR in swimming, the US Track and Field
(USATF) Championships, and a PGA event. With this as a background, he
was hired by Stokely Van Camp as sports marketing director to market their
signature product, Gatorade, and relocated to Indianapolis.
Stokely loaned Schmidt to Peter Ueberroth for the 1984 Olympic Games
in Los Angeles. Schmidt was Vice President of Sports at the games and
helped the Los Angeles Games turn the largest profit in Olympic history:
In his 15 years with Gatorade, the brand went from $84 million to $1.75
billion in sales in 24 countries. While his contracts with the NFL, NBA,
MLB, NASCAR, Peyton Manning and Mia Hamm were notable, his contract with
Michael Jordan, written on a napkin in Charlotte, NC, was the most rewarding
for Gatorade. There Schmidt was instrumental in helping to develop the
iconic "Be Like Mike" advertising campaign.
Schmidt went on to be CEO of Oakley, Inc., and presently has his own
consulting firm, Pegasus Sports Marketing in Knoxville. He has also served
as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisure
Studies at the University of Tennessee.
While it's recorded that a couple KTC athletes have won several USTFF
Senior National Track Championships, Schmidt is believed to be the only
athlete to represent KTC and win an Open U.S. National Championship in
Schmidt was elected into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in