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Original Issue

Jerry Schmidt, Lacrosse All-America April 23, 1962

At Johns Hopkins from 1959 to '62, Jerry Schmidt was lacrosse's
dominating force, the forerunner of the physical attackman. He
was 5'10" and 190 pounds, fast and tough and mean. Schmidt was
willing to put a shoulder down and turn the competition into
roadkill, much to the shock of defensemen used to facing smaller
forwards. Thirty-six years later he remains the only lacrosse
player to have appeared on SI's cover.

Schmidt never played on artificial turf, never wore a
streamlined helmet and never had formal weight training the way
college players do now. In fact, he even missed Johns Hopkins's
heyday. During his three All-America seasons with the Blue Jays,
in which he scored 93 goals, he failed to win an NCAA title,
though his charismatic play did help establish the foundation
for a program that would go on to win 11 national championships
and produce 229 more All-Americas. "The game was different
then," says Schmidt, 58, who grew up in Baltimore. "Today the
sticks are synthetic and totally symmetrical, so players are
much more ambidextrous. In my day the sticks were wood, carved
by Indians and strung with leather. The ball would come off them
different ways from each side. You never really knew how it
would fly."

Following his collegiate career, Schmidt made the leap into
coaching. He guided Division III Hobart for 11 seasons, leading
the Statesmen to three national championships and building what
is now a lacrosse dynasty. In 1978 he quit to help operate a
sporting goods business in Jacksonville, N.C., but was bitten by
the coaching bug again, first serving as an assistant at Navy
and then taking over at Princeton. Schmidt went 27-58 with the
Tigers from 1982 to '87 before resigning, then headed up
programs at Madison (N.J.) High and at Worcester Country School,
which was near his home in Ocean Pines, Md. Troubled by poor
circulation in his legs, he quit coaching for good in 1994.

These days, Schmidt spends much of his time crabbing off
Maryland's Eastern Shore. He is married to Olga, his second
wife, and has six children and nine grandchildren. The SI cover
hangs in his study, alongside a plaque commemorating his 1982
induction into the Johns Hopkins Hall of Fame. "The game has
given me a lot of high moments," he says. "I dedicated my life
to playing, coaching and teaching, and that took a lot of time.
But I look at what I have, what I've done, and it was all worth

--Jeff Pearlman



He was willing to put a shoulder down and turn the competition
into roadkill.