By Kristan Krogman
Steve Schmidt, a 1995 graduate of White River High School, is set to be inducted into the University of South Dakota Track and Field Hall of Honor February 8, 2014, at a banquet in Vermillion.
Schmidt competed for the Coyotes for two years in the weight events, both discus and shot put. He was also a member of the Coyote football team.
“It is a very big honor for me,” said Schmidt of his induction. “I was only there for two years, I transferred in from Dakota Wesleyan, and so I didn’t have very long to leave my mark. I was lucky when I transferred in, the track team was very good and we won the outdoor conference for the first time in twelve years. We also placed third nationally.”
Schmidt was not only on a successful team, but achieved great success individually, as well. He earned All-American status for the shot put and also broke the South Dakota state collegiate record in 2000 for that event. One of the oldest records standing, Schmidt’s mark of 58 feet, nine inches fell in 2012 to a fellow Coyote, Kyle McKelvey, who bested the old mark by just one inch.
Schmidt says the level of competition surrounding him was a big motivator. “I had the opportunity to compete against some very good throwers and go to some big track meets like Drake Relays,” he said.
He also remembers that the spring of his senior year, the year he broke the state record, was the first time he didn’t have football to contend with in addition to track. “I think it helped me out by not having my body all beat up from football practice.” Schmidt is proud of the throw he made that set the state record but says there were other throws that could have measured in the same category. “I was a spinner in the shot put ring. It’s a style you can get big throws by doing it, but you can scratch a lot. I had a lot of big throws that didn’t count.”
Schmidt grew up on a cattle ranch outside of White River. He played football, basketball and track for the Tigers and after a stint at DWU, transferred to the University of South Dakota in 1998 where he played football and track.
After college, Schmidt spent several years caring for his younger brother, Jacob, at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis. During that time he met his wife Kim. Steve and Kim currently live in Sioux City, Iowa, where Steve is the owner of Titan Gutters, LLC.
Schmidt also has had a career in professional football with the indoor team, the Sioux City Bandits. He played for the Bandits from 2000-2009, mostly as a lineman, both offensive and defensive, and following his retirement, was inducted into the Bandits’ Ring of Honor. In 2013, after three years out of the league, he returned to the Bandits and is now starting his 11th season. At the time of his rejoining the team, he ranked third all-time in total games played for the Bandit organization.
Steve’s family includes wife Kim and three children: Jaylen and Brecken (twins) and Treyton; his parents Ted and Barb Schmidt and the late Candy Schmidt; siblings Dan Schmidt, Candy Bracco and the late Jacob Schmidt; and grandparents Jean and the late Ted Schmidt and the late Ervin and Viola Hanson.
“I am very grateful for the support from my family, friends, USD, the people of White River, and all the coaches that helped me develop into the person and athlete that I am,” Schmidt expressed.
“It all starts at a young age, and coaches like Mr. Calhoon gave me the opportunity to play basketball and do track. That in turn motivated me to go to the University of South Dakota and work with other good coaches like Dave Gottsleben, head track coach for USD.
“This award is very nice, but it would not be possible if it was not for the good people that I have been blessed to work with.”