Malcolm “Mal” Schmidt’s enthusiasm for Iowa State athletics and his service to the school he loved spanned five decades. The Ames, Iowa, native always had Cyclone genes. Schmidt was the son of Harry Schmidt, the captain of the 1924 ISC football squad who later became a Cyclone assistant coach and administrator. Schmidt made his own mark as a Cyclone, however, lettering a total of six times in football and swimming, earning All-America honors in swimming as a senior.
Schmidt lettered in football from 1948-51, playing defensive end his first two seasons. As a senior, he moved to receiver and led the league in receiving, pulling down 33 catches for 548 yards. Schmidt racked up 102 yards receiving, including a 63-yard touchdown catch, in the Cyclones’ 13-0 win over Drake in 1951. He also had an outstanding game against Nebraska as a senior, compiling 117 yards and one touchdown vs. the Huskers. He went on to be named a first-team all-Big Seven gridder in 1951.
Schmidt was also a standout swimmer for legendary Cyclone coach and ISU Hall of Famer Jack McGuire. He helped lead ISC to a Big Seven swimming crown and a 9-1 mark in dual meets in 1951. At the Big Seven Conference Championship in Ames, Schmidt swam a leg on the 400-freestyle relay team that won in a league-record time of 3:32.5. The 400-yard freestyle was only beaten twice during his senior season, achieving All-America status at the national meet. He was also the Big Seven’s 100-yard freestyle champion twice. For his two-sport achievements, Schmidt was honored as ISU’s Athlete of the Year in 1952.
Schmidt was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, but forge a successful business career instead. His love for Iowa State never waned, and when the opportunity arose to work for his alma mater, Schmidt jumped at the chance to return in 1965. Schmidt became a key player in developing the National Cyclone Club. In 1973, he became director of the Cyclone Club in 1985 and served as an assistant to the athletics director until his retirement in 1989. He was honored as Cy’s Favorite Alum in 1992.