Longhorn Hall of Honor: Kelly (Wilson) Schmedes
Nov. 13, 2011
Natalie England, TexasSports.com
As a Texas Soccer student-athlete, Kelly (Wilson) Schmedes thrived off the grind. Her trademark gritty, hard-nosed style makes her a perfect representation of the program and the pillars on which it stands.
It's only fitting that this fall, Schmedes becomes the first soccer player inducted into The University of Texas Women's Athletics Hall of Honor.
Schmedes was dependable in the clutch, scoring 13 game-winning goals, and devoted to her teammates. Every practice, every film session, every study hall was embraced by Schmedes as an opportunity to become better.
"She absolutely should be the first," Texas Soccer coach Chris Petrucelli said. "When she was here, she worked like crazy."
Legend has it that Schmedes sometimes had to be kicked out of the weight room. Not for horseplay, but because she was too much of a workhorse.
"She gave everything she had, every time she played," Petrucelli said.
UT's all-time leader in career points and assists, Schmedes was a two-time All-American. She earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America second-team All-America and Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman in 2001 while leading the Longhorns to their first-ever league championship.
Schmedes set school single-season marks for points, goals and assists as a senior in 2004, while leading Texas to a 15-7-2 mark, a trip to the NCAA Tournament Third Round and a No. 16 ranking in the final NSCAA poll.
She's now a mother of two and married to her college sweetheart, former track athlete Greg Schmedes. Today, when thinking about to her four years of competition with the Longhorns, Schmedes fondly recalls the "Friday nights under the lights" at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
"Really, when you get some time away from it, you just think back to practicing every day with your friends," Schmedes says. "All the road trips and matches, and goofing off in the team room. I tried to make it all count, because I knew it wasn't going to last forever. I was blessed."
In the classroom, Schmedes earned three Academic All-Big 12 first-team accolades. She also claimed ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-America honors, an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, and was a recipient of the NCAA Today's Top VIII Award in 2004, an honor presented to the top eight senior student-athletes in the country. She is one of only six UT student-athletes to earn the award.
A Texas native, Schmedes was a heralded player coming out of high school, and her college choice came down to Texas A&M and the Longhorns. Ultimately, her relationship with Petrucelli pushed her toward the Forty Acres.
"He's the type of coach who can get the best out of each player. He knows how to motivate," Schmedes said. "I knew he was a smart coach, and I wanted to be in an environment where I could be pushed and develop."
Schmedes thrived because of her determination and commitment to team. In one home contest, Schmedes attacked the goal and was punched in the head by the goalkeeper. Schmedes was knocked out cold and left the field for the hospital.
She was back on the bench by game's end.
"Kelly did everything you asked of her and more," Petrucelli says. "Just tough as nails, and really talented."
Schmedes earned her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with high honors from The University of Texas in December 2004. She made two appearances on the U.S. National Team at the 2002 and 2005 Algarve Cup and also played professionally both in the United States and Sweden.
Schmedes resides in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, their son, Isaiah, and daughter, Emory.