Mike Schmidt is currently a coach for the Cumberland Panthers. Schmidt played many sports growing up including football. He played for the East Gloucester Bengals, Gloucester Dukes and Junior Riders from ages 10 to 20.
After his playing days were over, Schmidt didn’t want to be removed from a sport that taught him so many life lessons, created lifelong friendships and providing lasting memories. “As I continue coaching for all these years, football is still teaching me, providing me with great friendships and fantastic memories.” says Schmidt.
Schmidt says his favourite thing about coaching is the moment when a player gets it. “For our young players, football is a very hard sport to understand at first. There is always a moment early in the season when you can see them come together as a team. At that point it becomes all about the making them better football players and perfecting their position.” explains Schmidt.
Schmidt recently had a very rewarding moment as a coach, winning the 2017 OPFL Championship with the Junior Varsity Panthers team. “The majority of these player were on the 2015 OVFL Bantam Varsity team that fell short of winning the Championship in 2015.” explains Schmidt.
Check out this video of the winning touchdown from the 2017 JV Championships:
Though, the most rewarding moment for Schmidt is being able to share the game with his two sons. “Having both of my sons enjoying the game at such a young age and knowing they will be able to benefit from all football has to offer is something that I am very happy I can share with them for the rest of their lives.” says Schmidt.
Schmidt says that the biggest challenge as a coach is staying current. “Whether it is adapting to how the game is evolving or how we interact with our players and families involved. We want to get the best out of our players and have them achieve the most success within our systems. This is a daily challenge and I try to stay current by doing a lot of reading, and constantly speaking with other coaches about our game and what works and doesn’t work for them. I have some great coaching mentors that have been very influential to me and I always try to surround myself with the best coaches for our team.”