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Francis Schmidt


Francis Albert Schmidt

Inducted 1971

Date of Birth



Downs, KS


Ohio State University (1934-1940)

University of Idaho (1941-1942)

Texas Christian University (1929-1933)

University of Arkansas (1922-1928)

University of Tulsa (1919-1921)


Francis A. Schmidt was a brilliant strategist. His teams were high scoring and featured trick plays on the way to his career record of 158-57-11. His first team, at Tulsa in 1919, was unbeaten and outscored opponents 592-27. Among the victories were those over Oklahoma Baptist 152-0, Arkansas 63-7 and Oklahoma 27-0. Some of the scores he rolled up gave him the nickname "Close the Gates of Mercy." He moved to Arkansas for seven years 1922-28. Then came five years at Texas Christian, a 46-6-5 record and two Southwest Conference championships. Next stop: Ohio State, seven years 1934-40, a 39-16-1 record and two Big Ten titles. Schmidt closed out with two years at Idaho, 1941-42, when that school was in the Pacific Coast Conference. His best remembered quote came from a speech to his team before a 1934 game with arch rival Michigan: "Those fellows are human; they put their pants on one leg at a time." Ohio State won the game 34-0 and thus was founded the Gold Pants Club. Membership goes to any Ohio State player who takes part in a victory over Michigan. Members receive a gold charm shaped like football pants. Schmidt won a letter in football at Nebraska in 1905 and served in the Army in World War I and rose to the rank of captain.


Wins 158

Losses 57

Ties 11

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