Published November 3, 2016
CUMMING—Pinecrest Academy recently named Mark Schmidt the director of wrestling at the private Catholic school. The Pinecrest wrestling program debuted in 2015 under the leadership of Coach Martin Podmolik. In its inaugural season the team finished with three dual victories, an eighth-place area finish and a sixth-place finish at sectionals in 1A competition.
Schmidt comes to Pinecrest with more than 30 years of wrestling experience at the collegiate and high school level. Schmidt, an Oklahoma native, was a five-time state champion as a youth and a five-time Texas senior state champion from the mid-1980s to the early ‘90s. From 1979-81, Schmidt wrestled at Oklahoma State University. He also finished third at the final Olympic qualifiers in 1984.
During his coaching career, he has assisted with the Oklahoma State University program, which in its history has won 34 NCAA national wrestling championships, and is co-founder of the Poly America Wrestling Club in Texas, which has produced six state championship teams and over 100 individual state champions.
Schmidt continues to work as a private coach to individual wrestlers and has produced six national champions. He also serves as a clinician at national wrestling camps.
“My motto is ‘Good to Great,’ and my greatest strength is developing young men into becoming confident and responsible people,” said Schmidt. “Furthermore, I teach these athletes to respect their parents and their school leaders, while guiding them on how to become servant leaders.”
“I would like to welcome Coach Schmidt and his family to the Pinecrest family,” said Chris Kane, Pinecrest Academy athletic director. “We are excited to have someone with his experience at the collegiate and national level to lead our new program. His focus on fundamentals and technique on the wrestling side, and his ideas about using those lessons to develop our boys into great men, go hand in hand with what we are trying to achieve at Pinecrest.”