Schmidt Suffers Cardiac Arrest, Bypass Likely

Mississippi State track and field director Al Schmidt suffered a cardiac arrest Thursday night and was admitted to a hospital in Athens, Ga., school officials confirmed this morning.

Schmidt, who was with the team at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, received two shocks from an AED (automated external defibrillator), but the school said he was “alert and communicating as he was transported to the hospital,” where he received a cardiac catheterization. He will “likely” undergo bypass surgery Monday. Doctors will insert an AICD (automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) today; that device monitors cardiac activity and delivers shocks when necessary.

Schmidt, 60, was MSU’s head track coach for 22 seasons before handing the reins to longtime assistant Steve Dudley in August.

“We feel surrounded with love with the outpouring of support from the Mississippi State family of coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni,” said Schmidt’s wife, Jessie, in a statement. “We are also very grateful to the University of Georgia Sports Medicine staff and the staff at the Athens Regional Medical Center for the care they provided.”