Harv Schmidt

Harv Schmidt (1935-2020)

Teams coached: Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois record: 89-77 (.536)
Overall record: 89-77 (.536)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  0

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1967-1974 Illinois
1964-1967 New Mexico (asst)

Harv Schmidt Facts

  • Harvard Franklin Schmidt
  • Born September 25, 1935
  • Died April 7, 2020
  • Hometown: Kankakee, Illinois
  • Alma Mater: University of Illinois (BA, 1957)
  • The Illinois-native played basketball for head coach Harry Combes and the Fighting Illini
    • Drafted 11th overall in the 1957 NBA Draft by the Minneapolis Lakers, but instead played with the Denver-Chicago Truckers (NIBL)
  • Early coaching roles at Davenport West HS in Iowa (1960-61 and 1962-63) and Moline HS in Illinois (1963-64)
    • Served in the Army from 1961-62 in between stints at Davenport West
  • Joined the coaching staff at New Mexico in 1964, working as an assistant under Bob King for three years
  • Hired by his alma mater in 1967, taking over after a slush-fund scandal involving his former coach (Combes) and the head football coach created a fallout across both programs
    • After going just 11-13 in his first year, finished above .500 in four of the next six seasons
    • His 1968-69 team went 19-5 and was ranked as high as #4 in the AP Poll, but was banned from the postseason
    • Finished his seven-season tenure as head coach with an overall record 89-77 (43-55 Big Ten)
  • Returned to Denver in 1975 and worked in the insurance industry
  • Passed away in 2020 at the age of 84; survived by wife Donna, with whom he had two sons and one daughter

Harv Schmidt Coaching Tree