Bellefontaine High School graduate and former BHS head football coach Chris Schmidt has been tabbed with the Paul Brown Excellence in Coaching Award by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Schmidt, who led the Chiefs from 2010-12 before later taking the head coaching position at New Bremen, led the Cardinals to the Division VII state championship last fall.
The Paul Brown Excellence in Coaching Award has been given annually by the Bengals since 2002. By Schmidt winning the award, a $10,000 donation will be given to the New Bremen athletic department.
Schmidt was presented the award at the Bengals’ annual pre-training camp luncheon by team president Mike Brown.
“Chris exemplifies the values my father cherished in a high school coach,” said Mike Brown in a Bengals press release. “He has been a long-term teacher and coach, and he brought his program at New Bremen up from the bottom to the top. It’s a study in perseverance and hard work — lessons that any high schooler would do well to emulate.”
Schmidt accomplished a stunning turnaround at New Bremen, which was coming off two consecutive winless seasons when he took over.
Last fall, the Cardinals started 2-2 and then won nine straight to capture the state title. The Cardinals shut out Warren John F. Kennedy 31-0 in the championship game.
Schmidt was a standout football player at Bellefontaine and went on to play for Wittenberg University.