OFF TOPIC With Kelly Schmidt

Mark Heise

Coming to you a little later than usual this week, but I am still promising two this week, so after you finish reading this one, check back soon for the next one!

This week we’re speaking with Kelly Schmidt, the senior middle blocker for the Minnesota volleyball team, and also the captain. You may recognize Kelly if you ever see the Minnesota commercial on the Big Ten Network. Schmidt broke into the starting lineup for the first time this season, after seeing some time last year in both the MB and right side positions. Kelly stepped in this spring and became a real stabilizing force for the Gophers, coach Mike Hebert said earlier this year, and continues to show calm leadership both on and off the court. To the Bio:


Name: Kelly Schmidt
Year: Senior
Position: Middle Blocker
Number: 7
Full Bio: Gophersports Bio


Mark Heise: Just to get things rolling, you have had your fair share of media coverage this year. Why don’t you start off by telling us about that Big Ten Network commercial?


Kelly Schmidt: Well actually I didn’t even really know. I just thought it was a TV interview for a local channel, because (Assistant Athletic Communications Director) Steve Geller told me "Be ready for an interview this day." So this was in the middle of preseason, and you’re kind of half asleep all the time just because you’re so tired, but I came out and was looking for this local channel. Some lady came and got me and they were like "Can we do your makeup? and Can you change? you need to be wearing this and this…" and I thought Woah, this is really intense! So I didn’t really even know what was going on. But they asked me some questions and told me it was for the Big Ten Network, they were doing a series of commercials on random stories of athletes, I thought it was cool. So it was about a 20 minute interview and they picked out about 30 seconds of it.


MH: Did you see the commercial?


KS: Yeah.

MH: Are you happy with it?

KS: Yeah, I think its an honor to have a commercial in the Big Ten, especially with having so much family in the Big Ten, it’s nice that they get recognized too, they deserve that. It’s funny, I’ll be sitting in class and I’ll get 5-6 random texts saying, "I just saw you…" It’s funny.

MH: As long as we’re talking TV, you did the team’s introduction for ESPN, which I got a chance to see that Sunday morning following the match…

KS: I haven’t even seen that yet! That’s really funny.

MH: Well it sounded pretty good, and you also came up with some nicknames for the players. How did that whole thing happen?

KS: So Steve Geller came over to me and was like "Hey, you’re doing the intros for the ESPN2 thing…" I had actually never seen this done, because I guess some of the pro teams do it?

MH: Yup.

KS: Well he was trying to explain it to me and I was thinking, no I don’t know what you’re talking about… (laughs) But I decided I could do it, and I was just talking to people in the locker room and we came up with the nicknames together… it was a fun little experience, nicknaming everyone. And I think they were pretty accurate.

MH: You’re giving Steve a lot of publicity, so as long as you brought him up, what are your thoughts on Mr. Geller?

KS: He’s good. We like having him on the road, he’s funny.

MH: This question comes from Rachel Hartmann, your teammate and last week’s Off Topic guest… So tell us how long it takes to kill a millipede, and give us the procedure.

KS: Well, ok. We moved into this house, and we have a millipede problem. And I’ve never seen a millipede in my life before this house, right? So I live in the basement, in the front corner, so I have the most in my room, and we…this is a specific example. So there’s one above my bed… they’re always on the ceiling so you have to hit up on them… So I grab a shoe and I grab a roommate. Because I have to be holding one of my roommates’ hands because I have issues with spiders, but I would rather kill a spider 10 times more than a millipede. Because those things are FAST! They’re so fast. And why I think they’re so creepy is because if you miss them, then they fall into your bed, and then you have to look through your bed and find them. So anyways…I think I literally stood on my bed for about 15 minutes, holding Rachel’s hand, trying to swing and kill it, and finally I hit it, and I got four legs off… but it scurried over to the curtains, and I had to hit up on it through my curtains, and then it ran to the corner, fell into this wheat thing that I have, and fell down my desk. All this time is 45 minutes long because we had to find it again… I’m the WORST millipede killer. It’s funny because we had me, Lauren (Gibbemeyer) Hailey (Cowles) and Rachel in my room, and no one would kill it. We are four very large people, and this little millipede is freaking us out.

MH: They are kind of creepy…

KS: I’m emailing my landlord like every week, asking if he can put some more bug-killer-bombs off… but I was literally having nightmares about millipedes for about a week.

MH: Rachel can’t sleep because of them, you’re having nightmares…

KS: I seriously do!

MH: Wow. Ok we have to talk about clothes, since everyone brings up the fact that they borrow your clothes.

KS: Yes… It’s just fun living with a bunch of girls, you get to wear each other’s clothes. I guess people just tend to gravitate towards my closet the most, but I don’t really have a problem with it because I know they’re going to return the clothes… It’s fun, because if they borrow a shirt you can borrow one of theirs, you’re never going to live in a house with five girls about your size again, so it’s cool.

MH: Did you find a single political commercial to be more annoying than the rest this year?

KS: I don’t know if there’s one, but I hate the ones where they start talking bad about each other… but the day before the election, I was driving in my car, and I have six buttons for six different channels, and literally 1 of 6 of them weren’t playing a political commercial.

MH: Did you vote?

KS: I actually didn’t… I was going to do an absentee ballot for Illinois, but didn’t have time, and then I found out I could do it here, but then that morning I had to be at Carlson at 7:30 AM, I had a 16-page paper due, a midterm, a 6-page paper due, and a presentation. AND night class. It was kind of frustrating, but it’s ok.

MH: I recently found out that not everyone knows that they tally the votes that same night… So the question is, when did you find out who the President Elect was?

KS: I actually follow politics pretty well, so I’m the one in the room people come to and say "explain this to me…" whenever there’s a debate on, I try to get the team to look at it. A lot of the younger girls maybe haven’t paid much attention to it because they haven’t had to vote yet… But I try to follow it. Yesterday I was watching in class, and then right when I went home at nine, I turned on the TV and watched the acceptance speech… I was crying. (laughs) I couldn’t believe I was crying at the acceptance speech.

MH: (Men’s Gymnast Adam Reichow calls and texts simultaneously during the interview, leading to this question) Thoughts on Adam Reichow?

KS: He’s great. He’s actually my first friend at Minnesota. We were in orientation together, and we’ve been good friends ever since.

MH: When’s the last time you had a juice box?

KS: Juice Box… probably, I had a Capri Sun during camp this summer.

MH: That’s not a juice box.

KS: it’s not? Honestly I can’t even tell you when I’ve had a juice box last… it’s kind of sad.

MH: The Bears won last week, and I think you’re a football fan, so do you have thoughts on that?

KS: I really like football, but I like college football….

MH: College as in the Illini…

KS: Well I’m a Minnesota fan now… but I really like college basketball and college football, but… I mean I’ll watch Pro but I don’t get all that excited about it.

MH: You don’t watch any pro sports?

KS: I watch baseball. I like baseball. The Cubs… and the Twins. (points to my Cubs hat and Twins shirt) Those are my teams… I like it!

MH: Yeah, that’s definitely why I wore it…

KS: (Laughs) good.

MH: I saw a kid on a skateboard, so I thought I’d ask, have you ever skateboarded?

KS: I tried to, but I’m really bad at it.

MH: What was the result?

KS: Umm, I’m not that big of a daredevil so I didn’t go that fast so I wouldn’t get hurt… But I thought it was way tougher than it looks. I really respect people that can do that. However, I did learn how to surf two summers ago!

MH: I don’t think I could do that…

KS: Yeah, I thought it was going to be really hard, but some random local person was like "here, let me help you," and I figured ok, and let them.

MH: You have three nicknames from what I can gather… Beaner, Mother Goose, and Schmidty. Do you have a favorite?

KS: I don’t know if I have a favorite… I guess Beaner, my family has called me that my whole life, and in high school, my dad is a very loud fan, and he’d always be like "HIT THE BALL, BEANER!" so my friends started picking up off of that, so basically every one of my friends from high school call me that still, it’s kind of a nostalgic feel, when people call me that it reminds me of home. Schmidty’s fun, Mother Hen, I got that because I’m one of the older players, and I try to make sure everyone’s doing alright.

MH: Question of the year: One of the players on the Minnesota men’s basketball team, Travis Busch, and Zach Eisendrath from Gophersports have an online TV-blog called The What Else? Show where they sit online and just talk about things that they’ve seen recently or things they’re thinking of, current event-type things. The question is if you had a show like this, what would you call it, and what would it be about?

KS: I have heard of it, Travis’ mom makes meals for us so she’s told us about it… Off the top of my head, the name would be "What is she doing?" because I do a lot of very random things. I’m always doing new things because I like change, so that’s what it would be about… me doing my everyday random stuff.

MH: First guest on your show?

KS: It’d be really cool to have, on different days, different people of your life coming in and commentating on what you’re doing… First one would be…hmm… I’ll say Laura Bush.

MH: Kelly, thanks for taking the time to do this with me, I have just one last question for you… Who would you like to nominate for next week’s Off Topic, and what question would you like to ask?

KS: I’m going to say Ashley Suapaia, she’s funny… and ask her why she has so many embarassing moments, and what are they?


Well everyone, that’s it for this edition, tune in Saturday, as, barring time conflicts, I get an opportunity to sit down with trackster, David Gierut.

DON’T FORGET! if you’d like to suggest a question, or even suggest someone to interview, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below!