Men's Basketball
Rick Schmidt Receives Varsity 'I' Achievement Award

Basketball's Rick Schmidt will be honored this weeked by the Varsity 'I' Association.
Basketball's Rick Schmidt will be honored this weeked by the Varsity 'I' Association.

Oct. 26, 2009

In line with tradition, the Varsity I Association will present its Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a past letterwinner for post-graduate accomplishments to Rodrick L. "Rick" Schmidt.

Schmidt was a three year star for the Fighting Illini basketball team from 1972-75, receiving honors as a two-time first-team Academic All-American and two-time Most Valuable Player. He also filled a leadership role as team captain during his senior year. Schmidt earned a B.S. in Agriculture Business from the University of Illinois in 1975.

Rick Schmidt
Illinois Basketball '75

After graduation, Schmidt served as an Illinois basketball radio commentator for a seven-year stint and started a successful career in the life insurance business. After 23 years in the insurance field, Schmidt changed gears to focus on real estate development. Schmidt is now one of the founding partners of Royal Properties. Royal Properties has developed more than 7,500 spaces for students on college campuses around the United States.

Schmidt has remained close to the Illinois athletic family through his support of the student-athletes following in his footsteps. He made his first gift to the I FUND in 1979 and has since endowed a scholarship for the men¹s basketball team. Rick also has a deferred gift in place to support athletics.

Along with the Achievement Award, the Varsity I Association also inducts Honorary I members for their long-standing loyalty, service and contributions to Illinois athletics. The 2009 recipients are Gail Fischer, Chicago, IL; Mark Goldenberg, Granite City, IL; Joe Gutman, Highland Park, IL; Jim Turner, Urbana, IL; and Denny Smith, Naples, FL.

The Varsity I Weekend events begin on Friday, October 30 at the Stone Creek Golf Club with tee times beginning at 11:00 am. A celebration for the award winners will be held on Friday evening at 6:30 pm in the Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium. The festivities continue Saturday, October 31 with the Varsity I Tailgate Tent Party at Noon, followed by the kick-off of the ILLINOIS vs. Michigan football game at 2:30 p.m. A special presentation for the 2009 Varsity I honorees during the game will wrap up the weekend.