WW South's Harvey, Burlington Central's Schmidt tabbed for ITCCCA Hall of Fame
There was a common response from two local track and cross country coaches when asked their feelings about being selected for induction into the Illinois Track & Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
It's a program reward.
That's now Rob Harvey of Wheaton Warrenville South and Mike Schmidt of Burlington Central put it.
"This is all very humbling and surreal," Harvey said. "It's an honor to be included in such a prestigious group of coaches. As a coach, I've always cherished the relationships and the process that coaching provides. These are much more important to me than any times, places, medals or trophies. This might seem a little clique, but I truly believe that this is a program award and would not have been possible without the support of the athletes, parents, mentor and assistant coaches, administration and the wonderful communities or Warrenville and Wheaton."
Harvey began coaching at WWS in 1999. Prior to that he coached at Sycamore and St. Charles. Having anchored an IHSA state championship 3,200-meter relay for Moline and running on two NCAA Division III championship teams at North Central, he learned from two Hall-of-Fame coaches.
Harvey's girls teams have won three IHSA state cross country trophies and set a state meet record of 8:59.03 in the 3,200 relay. In all his athletes have earned 34 state medals. His 2010 cross country team qualified for the Nike National Meet and finished 18th in the nation.
He also developed the original Web page for ITCCCA and organized it for years. He has served on the IHSA Advisory Committee for track & field. He hosts a major track invite, runs a prominent timing company, and was instrumental in founding Distance Night in Palatine.
Schmidt began coaching track & field in 1991. He became head boys track & field coach at Burlington Central, his alma mater, in 1996. He coached his teams to runner-up trophies in the 2001 and 2015 IHSA state meets and a third-place finish in 2014.
Schmidt's athletes have won individual state championships on seven occasions, including three relays. His athletes have earned All-State medals 66 times and his teams have won seven sectional titles and 16 outdoor conference titles.
"I truly believe it's a program award," said Schmidt, who has also served on the IHSA Advisory Committee for Track & Field. "Especially in a sport like track, your assistant coaches mean so much and I've had some great assistants over the years. We've had great kids but the assistant coaches have really helped maintain our success for the past 20-plus years."
John Lemon contributed to this report.