Joseph Paul (Joe) Schmidt
2x NFL Champion
College Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Number "56" retired by the Lions.
Joseph Paul Joe” Schmidt
Detroit Lions Player (1953 – 1965)
Detroit Lions Coach (1967 – 1972)
Joe Schmidt was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and played football at Brentwood High School. He starred in football at the University of Pittsburgh earning All-American honors as a senior in 1952. He was selected in the seventh round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the Lions, helping them win two NFL Championships (1953, 1957) and in the process was named an eight-time First-team All-Pro and a ten-time Pro Bowler. He was named the NFL Lineman of the Year in 1957, NFL Defensive MVP in 1960 and 1963 and was named to the NFL 1950’s All-Decade team. After his retirement, Schmidt became the Lions head coach from 1967 through 1972 and during those six seasons compiled a 43 – 34 – 7 record with four second place finishes. Joe Schmidt had his number 73 retired by the University of Pittsburgh and his number 56 retired by the Detroit Lions, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1970.