Long-time defensive coach, Ken Schmidt, announced on Monday he will retire after nearly 40 years of coaching. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU head football coach Gary Crowton announced today that defensive coordinator, Ken Schmidt, has decided to retire from coaching. Schmidt has coached at BYU since 1982, and has been the defensive coordinator since 1991, including the past two seasons under Crowton.
"I've been coaching for nearly 40 years and it's time to move on to the next phase of life," said Schmidt. "I met with Gary, and we mutually agreed that now was a good time to retire. I turn 61 this coming year and I want to have the opportunity to do some other things. I want to play golf, go fishing and travel to see my kids who are living in different areas of the country."
Schmidt joined the BYU coaching staff in 1982, following a successful stint as head football coach at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho. In two seasons at Ricks, Schmidt led the Vikings to a 17-3 record and two conference championships. In 1981, he guided Ricks to a 28-21 victory over Arizona Western in the Valley of the Sun Bowl.
"Ken and I met, and we felt like this was a good time for him to move into retirement," said Crowton. "Ken has had some tremendous success as a coach here at BYU. I respect the many good things he has done at this University as a linebacker coach and as defensive coordinator. We wish Ken and his family the very best."
Prior to coaching at the collegiate level, Schmidt was the head football coach at Skyline High (Salt Lake City) from 1968-79, where he posted a 105-24-1 record and won five state championships. He was an assistant coach at Granger High (Salt Lake City) from 1964-68.
Before being named defensive coordinator under LaVell Edwards in 1991, Schmidt was the BYU linebacker coach for nine seasons. He also served as assistant head coach during the 2000 campaign. During his 22 years at BYU, Schmidt was the position coach for eight NFL players and helped the Cougars to 16 bowl games.
"Ken Schmidt has been an integral part of BYU's football success over the past two decades," said BYU men's athletics director Val Hale. "We will miss his tremendous wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball, and we wish him well in the future."
Schmidt was raised in Murray, Utah, and played center and linebacker at the University of Utah from 1961-63. He holds two physical education degrees from Utah, earning a bachelors degree in 1964 and a masters degree in 1969. He is married to Yvonne Youngberg Schmidt. They have four sons, one daughter and 12 grandchildren.
Coach Crowton indicated he and his staff are in the middle of recruiting student-athletes. He will begin evaluating candidates for the position immediately, but will not make any decisions until the end of the year.