Skip to main content

William C. Schmeisser

Hall of Fame


Inducted 1957


Johns Hopkins University

Schmeisser, know as "Father Bill" to Hopkins lacrossemen, was born in Baltimore in 1880. He graduated from Baltimore City College in 1899 and received his BA degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1902. While a student at Johns Hopkins from 1900-1902, Schmeisser played on the lacrosse team, and in 1902 captained the national collegiate championship team. He played one more year of lacrosse in 1905, when he returned to the university to do graduate work. Following his graduation from law school, Schmeisser became actively interested in the coaching of lacrosse and began by serving as the coach of the Hopkins varsity team. He was also instrumental in the early organization of the Mt. Washington Club team.

In 1904 he wrote a book on the coaching of lacrosse, which was the standard textbook for coaches for some 50 years. Schmeisser's interest in coaching lasted until his death in 1941, and throughout the entire time he never received any financial compensation for his work. He worked with the Hopkins varsity during his entire adult life, and helped to introduce lacrosse to many schools, including the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Maryland. He was with the Johns Hopkins team of 1928 that represented the United States in the Amsterdam Olympics, and he accompanied an all-star team to England in 1937.

He was a long-time participant in the affairs of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, serving at various times on the rules committee, as chief referee and as president.

Outside of lacrosse, Schmeisser was very active in civic affairs, and served as a member of the board of directors on the Baltimore Branch of the YMCA for 16 years and was president from 1938-41. Schmeisser also prospered in his own law firm and became a member of the American, Maryland and Baltimore Bar Associations.