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Francis Schmidt: Wikis


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Francis Schmidt
Sport Football
Born December 3, 1885(1885-12-03)
Place of birth Downs, Kansas
 United States
Died September 19, 1944 (aged 58)
Career highlights
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1905 Nebraska
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Texas Christian
Ohio State
College Football Hall of Fame, 1971

Francis Albert Schmidt (December 3, 1885 - September 19, 1944) was a college football head coach and an inductee in the College Football Hall of Fame. Schmidt served as head coach at Tulsa, Arkansas, Texas Christian, Ohio State, and Idaho. His career record was 158-57-11. Because Schmidt's teams were known for trick plays involving multiple laterals and non-standard tackle-eligible (and even guard-eligible) formations, the press labeled Schmidt's approach as the "razzle-dazzle offense." Because Schmidt's teams were known for high scoring, the press gave him the nickname Francis "Close the Gates of Mercy" Schmidt.

Schmidt was born in Downs, Kansas, and played college football at Nebraska. He earned a Varsity letter with the Huskers in 1905 and earned a law degree from Nebraska a few years later. From 1915 through 1916 Schmidt joined the football coaching staff at Tulsa. World War I, however, interrupted Schmidt's coaching career. He served in the Army and rose to the rank of captain.

Schmidt was hired as the Tulsa head coach in 1919. In his first season that team finished with a record of 8-0-1 and outscored opponents 592-27. His record at Tulsa was 24-3-2 in three seasons. Schmidt had defeated Arkansas by a score of 63-7 in 1919, and the Razorbacks hired Schmidt away from Tulsa in 1922. In seven years at Arkansas (1922-28) his record was 41-21-3. While at Arkansas, he was also the coach of the basketball and baseball teams, as it was not uncommon during that time for coaches at major universities to coach more than one sport, similar to many high schools today.

Schmidt's most memorable years, however, were at Texas Christian and Ohio State. In five years at TCU (1929-33), Schmidt won two Southwest Conference championships and had a record of 47-5-5. In seven years at Ohio State (1934-40), Schmidt won two Big Ten Conference championships and had a record of 39-16-1.

Schmidt's most notable contribution to popular culture came in his first year at Ohio State. The Columbus press asked Schmidt about the team's chances of beating rival Michigan. Schmidt replied, "Those fellows put their pants on one leg at a time, the same as everyone else." This phrase had previously been a Texas regionalism, but because of the press attention given Schmidt it soon became an internationally known cliché. Ohio State beat Michigan the first four years Schmidt coached there; since that time, any Ohio State player that defeats Michigan is awarded a "Gold Pants Charm", a gold lapel pin shaped like football pants.

Schmidt finished his career with two years at Idaho (1941-42), when that school was in the Pacific Coast Conference. His record there was 7-12.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference) (1919–21)
1919 Tulsa 8-0-1 1st
1920 Tulsa 10-0-1 1st
1921 Tulsa 6-3
Tulsa: 24-3-2
Arkansas Razorbacks (Southwest Conference) (1922–28)
1922 Arkansas 4-5 1-3 6th
1923 Arkansas 6-2-1 2-2 T-4th
1924 Arkansas 7-2-1 1-2-1 7th
1925 Arkansas 4-4-1 0-2-1 6th
1926 Arkansas 5-5 0-1 6th
1927 Arkansas 8-1 2-1 3rd
1928 Arkansas 7-2 2-1 2nd
Arkansas: 41-21-3 8-12-2
Texas Christian Horned Frogs (Southwest Conference) (1929–33)
1929 TCU 9-0-1 4-0-1 1st
1930 TCU 9-2-1 4-2 3rd
1931 TCU 8-2-1 4-1-1 2nd
1932 TCU 10-0-1 6-0 1st
1933 TCU 9-2-1 4-2 T-2nd
TCU: 45-6-5 22-5-2
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1934–40)
1934 Ohio State 7-1 5-1 2nd
1935 Ohio State 7-1 5-0 T-1st
1936 Ohio State 5-3 4-1 T-2nd
1937 Ohio State 6-2 5-1 2nd 13
1938 Ohio State 4-3-1 2-3-1 6th
1939 Ohio State 6-2 5-1 1st 15
1940 Ohio State 4-4 3-3 T-4th
Ohio State: 39-16-1 30-9-1
Idaho Vandals (Pacific Coast Conference) (1941–42)
1941 Idaho 4-5 0-4 10th
1942 Idaho 3-7 1-5 9th
Idaho: 7-12 1-9
Total: 156-58-11 (.718)
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Art Smith
Tulsa Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Howard Acher
Preceded by
George McLaren
Arkansas Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Fred Thomsen
Preceded by
Matty Bell
Texas Christian Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Dutch Meyer
Preceded by
Samuel S. Willaman
Ohio State Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Paul E. Brown
Preceded by
Ted Bank
Idaho Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Babe Brown


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