Karl Schmitt isn’t a professional athlete, he wasn’t a high school stand-out or Mr. Kentucky in any sport, none the less he is a sports legend of the ‘Ville.
Through his work in business settings and behind the scenes Schmitt has secured his legacy in the local sports community.
And, when it comes to Louisville athletics it rarely gets bigger than Churchill Downs, where Schmitt first came to national notoriety in 1987 as a part of the management team for the legendary Derby organization; he was impressive enough that he became a senior vice president within the organization.
Beginning in winter of 2010, Schmitt took his talents for public relations and general business sense to the non-profit organization; the Louisville Sports Commission. The Commission has been steadily making a name for itself organizing major athletic events in the city as well as sports related celebrations and awards; notably the Paul Hornung Award to name just one.
Prior to his work in his hometown, Schmitt got his feet wet in public relations for the University of Miami, from 1980 until accepting the position at Churchill, Schmitt got the opportunity to really hone his craft gaining the experience which would prove so vital in his legendary career.
A former English teacher, Schmitt earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Morehead State.
All that aside his work behind the scenes in Louisville sports extends to working with the Muhammad Ali Center, the Urban League Board, and the Kentucky Derby Festival Board, and just recently Schmitt was inducted to the first class of the Louisville Catholic Sports Hall of Fame.
For shaping so much of area sports for over twenty Karl Schmitt is a sports legend of the ‘Ville.
Image courtesy of The Louisville Sports Commission