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Brent Steiner Letter

Brent Steiner Letter

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Published by Paul Schmidt

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Published by: Paul Schmidt on Nov 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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On behalf of all the members of the Track & Field and Cross Country Teams from 1966-1981, I am nominating Coach Verlyn Schmidt posthumously to be an inaugural member the Shawnee Mission South Raiders Athletic Hall of Fame.Coach Schmidt was the first Cross-Country and the second Track & Field coach in theschool’s history. From his initial team in 1966, Coach Schmidt’s focus was two-fold tobuild teams into champions and to prepare men and women to be champions in life.During his tenure, his teams were the most decorated teams in the state of Kansas. In16 years as the Cross-Country coach, his teams placed in the top 3 places at Stateevery season except for 3. His teams won 5 state boys championships and missed 2other by 3 points each. He coached 9 individual state champions (7 boys + 2 girls). In1978, he was the first coach to win both girls and boys state championships. Hisprogram was recognized as one of the top high school programs in the nation. Hisprogram is the most decorated in the history of Shawnee Mission South. He coachedseveral runners who continued to compete on a collegiate level.His teams achieved and sustained unparalleled success during his tenure. His teamswere always the largest and deepest of any school in the Sunflower League and state.His junior varsity and “C” teams were so strong that many of the runners on thoseteams could run varsity on other teams. His teams were so well prepared that his teamswere looked upon as the team to beat at every meet. In the coaching ranks, his peerslooked to him a gold standard for coaching.Coach Schmidt was committed to building championship teams, but equally asimportant was building confidence and character in every member of his team. He wascommitted to seeing every member of his teams to go beyond their personal limitations.Coach Schmidt took great pride in every achievement by every runner. He cherishedthe moment when one of his runners won a state championship. Additionally, he tookexceptional joy and pride when any one of his runners achieved a personal best. CoachSchmidt was committed to seeing his athletes be winners and achieve success. He wascommitted bringing the best out to prepare each member of his team for life.At the time of his death, the family was handed 3 medals from 3 different athletes. Thefirst two medals were from members of one of his state championship teams. The other came from a runner who was short on talent, but not heart. He was a runner who never made a varsity team. The runner wanted to honor coach’s commitment and belief inhim. This is a common theme spoken by all of his runners.Coach Schmidt dedicated his coaching career to the green and gold. However, thelegacy of Coach Schmidt extends beyond the many championships and individualrecords achieved by his team. It is reflected in the lives he touched.
Coach Verlyn SchmidtSM South Career Coaching Record
Head Cross-Country Coach 1966-1981Head Track Coach 1971-1981
Cross CountryTeam -
325 Career Victories
BoysState Champions
(5) 1968,69,72,72,78
(5) 1970,71,75,76,79
(2) 1967, 74
(1) 1981
(1) 1980
Didn’t Qualify
GirlsState Champions -
Place -
TrackSunflower Champions
(8) 1973, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80
Regional Champions
(9) 1971, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80
State Champions – Indoor 
(3) 1975,76,78
 State Champions – Outdoor 
(5) 1975, 76, 78, 79, 80
40 + Individual State Champions in Track & Field, Cross-CountryHighlights:
Every one of Coach Schmidt’s State Champions in Cross-Country would bestate-champions in any year from 1985 to current.
Two Athletes still hold all-time state records in Track & Field
Numerous athletes were awarded collegiate scholarships for Track & Field &Cross-Country
Brent Steiner was a 1979 Kinney High School Cross-Country National Champion
Clint Johnson set State & National Records
Most importantly, many people were impacted because of his dedication,passion, and love of the sport and for his athletes.
Thoughts on Coach
from a coach, a competitor, and his runners
As a coach, I wanted to try and get out a lot of runners for my team like you. I was never assuccessful as you, when we were coaching rivals…I knew that you were successful becauseyou worked as hard at as did your runners. I knew that if I wanted to be successful, then I wasgoing to have to outwork the coaches of teams that are the best in Kansas year in and year out…There is no high school coach that impacted my coaching as much as you have. I willalways be indebted to you for that.
Van Rose, Shawnee Mission Northwest Cross-CountryCoach
Coach Schmidt was the kind of coach that made all of us better coaches. We had to be tocompete with his teams.
Karl Englund Shawnee Mission East Track & Field and Cross-Country Coach
 Coach was a Champion and taught us all how to be Champions…he cried with us in defeat andshed tears of JOY when we won. I will never forget his face when standing on 2 state victorystands…He let us hold the trophy first…he was so PROUD of us and it made all the hard workpay off. He gave his time, his energy, and his love…to make men out of us…The hard work paidoff. He pushed us hard because he knew himself what it took to WIN, and WIN in life.
Class of 1975I think the greatest value had to be learning how to push myself beyond what seemedreasonable, and the satisfaction that came with that effort and achievement…He knew the rightbuttons to push. I found him to be a tough but fair coach…Obviously, my memories of him arepriceless. His influence was significant in my life in so many ways.
Dave Stewart – Class of 1975, Metro Sports Anchor 
Coach Schmidt had shared some kind words to me before the meet but it is what happenedduring the race that leads me to believe that Coach Schmidt had a hand in it… I gained the leadon the final lap from his two runners (Steve Smith & Brent Steiner) and was expecting to hear abarrage of screaming and yelling from the man in the stocking cap. Bobby Knight couldn’tcompare to the verbal onslaught that Verlyn Schmidt would release in this situation. There wasnot a single scream but words of encouragement as I passed by and ended up winning therace. On that day his runners could have easily beat me but it wasn’t necessary, and a far greater victory was won because of the compassion that shown by his team.
Mark Sageser SM. North Track & Field, Cross Country Runner – Class of 1978
 Coach Schmidt instilled that if you set goals, worked hard, and stayed dedicated, that you willsucceed and achieve your dreams. Most important, I trusted Coach Schmidt, believed in hisphilosophy, and was fortunate to have a very successful career… He saw something that noone else could (not even my father). And because of that, I have had a lot of fun and interestingthings happen to me in my life… But I can honestly say that he has been one of the mostinfluential people in my life.
Brent Steiner – Class of 1980
5 time State Champion (3 track,2 X-C), National XC Champion
There have been only a couple of people in my life I can genuinely say always supported me,believed in me, and never doubted me.
Scott Lofquist – Class of 1978 –
Cross Country “ C”Team 1975, Varsity Track 1976-78

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