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Schmelzer to Retire at End of Calendar Year

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, November 22, 2017 |
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College head athletics trainer Russ Schmelzer has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2017 calendar year.

Schmelzer is in his 37th year with the Green Knights. He was the first full-time certified athletic trainer at St. Norbert, getting hired shortly after his graduation from the college in 1981. He was the only certified athletic trainer at St. Norbert from 1983 to 1996.

"I was blessed to be in the right place at the right time to get this job 37 years ago," Schmelzer said. "I feel very fortunate to be able to retire from that that same place all these years later. St. Norbert College will always be my home."

An avid reader, Schmelzer has primarily worked with the four-time national champion men's hockey team for the last two decades, as well as recently serving as the primary trainer for softball and men's and women's soccer.

"Russ has been the consummate professional throughout his 37 years at St. Norbert College," St. Norbert athletics director Tim Bald said, noting that in his early years Schmelzer also handled the Green Knights' equipment and laundry needs. "The care Russ provided to our student-athletes is immeasurable. But throughout all of the years of practices and contests, the one thing that stayed consistent is Russ' care and concern for our student-athletes.

"It's amazing whenever I see a former student-athlete who inquires about the program, one of the first things they ask, "Is Russ still there?" Russ has earned the right to put up his feet, crack open one of his books and finish it "on his time."

Schmelzer is a former St. Norbert basketball player and a native of Park Ridge, Ill. He attended UW-Milwaukee before transferring to St. Norbert for his final two years.

Schmelzer and his wife, Molly, and daughter, Ella, reside in De Pere.