While it doesn’t always seem like it, the US still boasts the largest and strongest track and field team on the planet. As such I’m sure that many are waiting with anticipation to see who becomes the next CEO of USATF. I’m sure that given what’s taken place over the last two years, that athletes, coaches, agents, other federations, and potential endorsers are all waiting to see who becomes the next head of USA Track and Field.
Which is why the Board of Directors needs to get this right!
After doing my homework on the matter this week, I’d like to give my support to former javelin thrower Bill Schmidt. Schmidt has the kind of diverse background that I think would be well suited to running USA Track and Field.
For starters, as a former elite athlete he has an understanding of the sport from the perspective of the athlete. And from my perspective the athletes are our #1 commodity. Whoever gets the job needs to have an understanding of the sport and the athletes if they have any hope of being able to build the sport in this country. And this sport desperately needs a make over here in the US.
Not only has Schmidt performed as an athlete, but he was Vice President of Sports for the 1984 Olympics and served as the Vice President of World Wide Sports for Gatorade from 1984 to 1999. Currently he’s President of Pegasus Sports Marketing. So he has experience at the top levels of both athletics and Corporate America. A unique skill set for a position that is in desperate need of someone that will need to both understand the inner workings of the sport while he works at selling the sport to the business community.
Outside of the corporate community, Schmidt earned his Master’s Degree in Business Education from the University of Tennessee; once taught at Central High School in Knoxville TN; and coached high school track and cross country. Throw in his own career as a javelin thrower – which included a Bronze medal at the Munich games and being named the US “Thrower of the Decade” for the ‘70’s by Track and Field News – and Schmidt has experienced this sport at every level.
The Board of Directors will be hard pressed to find many individuals that fit the bill throughout the spectrum of needs that this position requires! Schmidt does.
Which is why after careful consideration, I am suggesting that the Board should hire Bill Schmidt to try to right this ship!