Pete Schmidt grew up in Port Austin, Michigan where he was a three-sport athlete. Schmidt went to Alma College, where he won eight varsity letters in football and baseball and was a member of three MIAA championship teams in football and earned All-MIAA in baseball in 1970. He was head coach at Okemos High School for seven years, winning six conference titles while posting three undefeated regular seasons and finishing as runner up in the Class B playoffs in 1976 and 1980. In 1980, he was named the Detroit News High School Football Coach of the Year and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Class B Coach of the Year. He became head football coach at Albion College in 1983 and won 9 MIAA championships, eight straight between 1989 and 1996. His 1994 team won the NCAA Division III National Championship. Pete Schmidt passed away on September 29, 2000 at 52 years of age.