Joe Schmidt Has Heart Surgery

Monday, August 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Hall of Fame linebacker Joe Schmidt, a former Detroit Lions player and coach, had heart bypass surgery.

Schmidt, 68, was in fair condition Monday at Beaumont Hospital, according to a nursing supervisor who declined identification

``He's doing great now,'' friend Tony Versaci said. ``He'd been experiencing some problems. He had some warnings, so he had surgery.''

Schmidt played for the Lions from 1953-65, after being drafted in the seventh round out of Pittsburgh.

He played on the Lions' last two NFL champions, in 1953 and 1957, and made the Pro Bowl 10 straight times, from 1955-64.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973.

Schmidt was an assistant coach in 1966, and Lions head coach from 1967-72. His teams had a 43-35-7 record.