Kurt Schmidt Named Director of Competition Development

Kurt Schmidt / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With 19 years of combined collegiate and NFL experience in strength and conditioning, Kurt Schmidt has been named Tennessee football’s director of competition development, head coach Josh Heupel officially announced on Tuesday.

Schmidt, who has worked alongside Heupel for the past four seasons, is overseeing the Volunteers’ strength and conditioning and sports performance efforts. Schmidt served as the director of sports performance at UCF from 2018-20, an era that saw the Knights establish themselves as one of the fastest and fittest teams in college football.

UCF produced a 28-8 record during his tenure, won the 2018 The American Athletic Conference title and reached three straight bowl games, including the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. Schmidt developed strategy to integrate technology with performance on a daily basis, while also overseeing the weight room renovation of the Gault-Kohn Sports Performance Center.

Prior to his time in Orlando, Schmidt served as director of applied performance for football at Missouri in 2017 when Heupel was the Tigers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He helped lead Mizzou to a 7-5 mark, including a six-game winning streak to end the regular season en route to a Texas Bowl berth.

Schmidt spent four years prior to his stop at Mizzou as a strength, conditioning and nutrition assistant with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. With the 49ers, he was responsible for the training programs for quarterbacks and specialists, along with supervising the reconditioning program for athletes returning from injury. He initiated and coordinated a nutrition education program. During his first season of 2013, San Francisco compiled a 12-4 regular-season record, won back-to-back playoff games and earned a berth to the NFC Championship.

Before joining the 49ers, Schmidt was an assistant strength coach at Memphis from 2012-13. Prior to that he served on Arkansas’ staff from February 2008-January 2012 as strength and conditioning coordinator and spent two seasons as strength and conditioning assistant at Utah State from 2006-08. With the Aggies, he was promoted to interim head strength and conditioning coach in January 2008. During his time at Arkansas, the Razorbacks earned berths to the 2011 Sugar Bowl and 2012 Cotton Bowl with back-to-back 10-win seasons and a No. 5 final national ranking in 2011.

Schmidt got his coaching start as the assistant director of sports conditioning at Yale from 2002-03 before serving as a graduate assistant at Utah from 2003-04. He held the title of interim co-director of sports conditioning at Yale from November 2002-April 2003.

Schmidt is CSCS certified through the NSCA and holds a master’s degree from Louisville where he was a graduate assistant and assistant strength and conditioning coach for two seasons. During his tenure, the Cardinals claimed the 2004 Conference USA title with an 11-1 record and earned a berth to the 2006 Gator Bowl following a 9-2 regular season in 2005. Those squads finished No. 6 and No. 19, respectively, in the final Associated Press polls.

Schmidt earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science from Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2002 and played linebacker for the Eagles for four seasons from 1998-2001. As a senior, he was an honorable mention All-WIAC selection and a Verizon Academic All-District First Team member.

THE SCHMIDT FILE

PERSONAL INFORMATION
Hometown: Elma, Iowa
Education: Wisconsin-La Crosse, 2002 (B.S. in exercise and sport science); Louisville, 2005 (master’s in physical education)
Wife: Trish

COACHING HISTORY
2002: Yale, Assistant Director of Sports Conditioning
2002-03: Yale, Interim Co-Director of Sports Conditioning
2003-04: Utah, Graduate Assistant of Strength and Conditioning
2004-05: Louisville, Graduate Assistant of Strength and Conditioning
2005-06: Louisville, Assistant of Strength and Conditioning
2006-08: Utah State, Assistant of Strength and Conditioning
2008: Utah State, Interim Head of Strength and Conditioning
2008-12: Arkansas, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator/Coordinator of Nutrition Education
2012-13: Memphis, Assistant Strength Coach
2013-17: San Francisco 49ers, Strength/Conditioning/Nutrition Assistant
2017: Missouri, Director of Applied Performance
2018-21: UCF, Director of Sports Performance
2021-present: Tennessee, Director of Competition Development

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS (2)
2018 AAC – UCF
2004 Conference USA – Louisville

POSTSEASON APPEARANCES
2020 Boca Raton Bowl – UCF
2019 Gasparilla Bowl – UCF
2019 Fiesta Bowl – UCF
2017 Texas Bowl – Missouri
2014 NFC Playoffs/NFC Championship Berth – 49ers
2012 Cotton Bowl – Arkansas
2011 Sugar Bowl – Arkansas
2010 Liberty Bowl – Arkansas
2006 Gator Bowl – Louisville
2004 Liberty Bowl – Louisville

-UT Athletics

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