Schmidt Inducted into Bergan Hall of Fame
July 25, 2013 by lmorgan
Editor’s note — The following article was submitted by Diane Kluthe
A man with ties to Elgin was recently inducted into the Archbishop Bergan Athletic Hall of Fame. Recognized for his efforts as a contributor was Gary Schmidt.
When it comes to long-time support and devotion to the activities of Archbishop Bergan Catholic School, the name, Gary Schmidt, tops the list.
A 1963 graduate of Wayne State College, Gary spent the first seven years of his professional career at Elgin Pope John High School working as a teacher and coaching boys basketball and football. While at Pope John, his 1965 football team won a state championship.
In 1970, he was hired as principal of Archbishop Bergan, and his family has been an integral part of the Bergan community ever since. Gary and his wife of 52 years, Carol, had five children, four whom graduated from Bergan (Greg-1980, Michelle-1981, Deb-1982, Theresa-1984).
Their oldest son, Rick, was diagnosed with leukemia and tragically passed away in 1976 at the age of 15. In his honor, an annual award is given to a Bergan freshman who displays leadership, character, involvement, and faith commitment. Earning Masters and Specialist degrees in Educational Administration from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Gary served as a school administrator for Archbishop Bergan for nearly 30 years and held numerous state and national offices in various educational organizations.
Since 1998, he has worked in the Development Office for St. Patrick’s Parish but still keeps a close connection with the school. Among several other things, his work has included fundraising for the school, managing endowments, and communicating with alumni. Long after their youngest child graduated from Bergan, Gary and Carol can still be found at nearly every game, concert, or school event. Gary’s involvement has not been limited strictly to Bergan, though. Throughout his years in Fremont, he has worked in numerous parish and community organizations and committees and served on the boards of many of them, all the while looking out for the best interests of Archbishop Bergan. These include, but are not limited to, the Knights of Columbus, Eucharistic Ministry, Optimist Club, Chamber of Commerce, UNL Alumni Association, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
By his consistently selfless attitude and dedication to family, he epitomizes all Bergan stands for and exemplifies all aspects of its mission—faith, knowledge, and service. When looking at the heart of what it means to be a Bergan Knight, one will see Gary Schmidt.
The ceremony was held July 12 at St. Patrick’s Auditorium in Fremont. Also inducted was athlete Scott Poehling as well as the 1959 and 1960 football teams.