Happy 58th, Rick Schmidt!

Happy 58th, Rick Schmidt!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Rick Schmidt

Former Illinois basketball star Rodrick "Rick" Schmidt celebrates his 58th birthday Sunday. Though the Illini teams on which he played had sub-.500 records, the St. Joseph legend was an outstanding individual player. From 1972 through 1975, Schmidt averaged 15.3 points per game, including 21.4 and 20.2 points per game his junior and senior seasons. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds per contest. Schmidt twice was voted Most Valuable Player of the Illini and twice was a first-team Academic All-American. After his graduation with a degree in agriculture business in 1975, he began a long and successful career in the insurance business, also serving as Illinois basketball's color analyst for seven seasons. Schmidt switched careers in the late 1990s, focusing on real estate development. His company, called Royal Properties, has developed thousands of housing spaces for college students across the United States. He has remained an active supporter of Illinois athletics and is a member of the University's President's Council and the Illini Loyalty Circle. In 2009, the Varsity I Association presented its Achievement Award to Schmidt. He comes from a successful athletic family. Schmidt's older brother, Rudy, played college football at Wisconsin, and his daughter, Kelly, played volleyball for coach Mike Hebert at Minnesota.

Illini Birthdays

Sunday: Anthony Williams, football (46)

Monday: Erin Borske, volleyball (35)

Tuesday: Mike Scully, football (46)

Wednesday: Jason Davis, football (28)

Thursday: Ken Holtzman, baseball (66)

Friday: Tom Eddleman, football (57)

Saturday: DeAndre Smith, football coach (43)


By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Sports, Other