Tennessee-Martin hires UNLV assistant Heath Schroyer as new head coach
MARTIN, Tenn. -- Tennessee-Martin introduced Heath Schroyer as its ninth coach in program history at a press conference held at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center on Thursday afternoon.
“I have known Heath for several years,” UT Martin athletics director Julio Freire said. “I know he represents the qualities in a coach that our student-athletes, Chancellor, search committee and community are looking for. Today is a great day to be a Skyhawk.”
“We are excited and fortunate to secure coach Schroyer to lead our men’s basketball team,” UT Martin Chancellor Dr. Tom Rakes said. “Coach Schroyer has demonstrated his expertise as a successful college coach for nearly two decades and we believe he will be a positive driving force for men’s basketball.”
Schroyer, 42, brings 18 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Skyhawk program, including seven years as a head coach at the DI level. All six of Schroyer’s stops at a DI institution has culminated in either a conference championship or postseason play.
“I am obviously very humbled and excited to be here,” Schroyer said. “I’ve been really impressed throughout the entire process with the upper administration and with Julio. I think we are on the cusp of accomplishing some great things. I’ve been doing this quite a long time but I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to bring all of those experiences to UT Martin. I am anxious to get started and start trying to accomplish our goals.”
A native of Walkersville, Md., Schroyer has spent the past three seasons at UNLV working as the associate head coach under Dave Rice. The Runnin’ Rebels sported three 20-plus win seasons, a 71-32 overall record (29-19 against Mountain West Conference opposition) and appearances in the 2012 and '13 NCAA tournaments in Schroyer’s tenure.
UNLV knocked off seven nationally ranked teams in Schroyer’s first two seasons, including a win against No. 1 North Carolina in 2011. That marked UNLV’s first win against the nation’s top team in 22 years and the first time a MWC team had defeated the top-ranked team. The Runnin’ Rebels spent 25 combined weeks in the national top-25 polls during Schroyer’s first two seasons, topping out at No. 11 during the 2011-12 campaign.
The Runnin’ Rebels boasted a pair of Associated Press All-Americans (Mike Moser in 2012, Anthony Bennett in '13), 10 All-MWC selections, the two-time MWC Defensive Player of the Year (Khem Birch in 2013 and '14) and 2012 MWC Newcomer of the Year (Moser) in Schroyer’s time at UNLV.
Schroyer began his collegiate head coaching career at Portland State, where he took over the reins in 2002 as the nation’s second youngest DI head coach at age 30.
Schroyer propelled the Portland State program to new heights from 2002-05. His teams improved in the win column each season (jumping up 14 wins from his first to last year), culminating with a Big Sky Conference regular-season title in 2004-05, which was the school’s first DI championship in any sport. That season, the Vikings went 19-9 overall with an 11-3 conference slate. The 19 victories were the most for the program since the 1958-59 campaign and occurred a year after he guided Portland State to a top-three turnaround in the nation during his second year.
Schroyer then joined Fresno State as an associate head coach under Steve Cleveland for two seasons, serving as the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator and overseeing the team’s academic turnaround. Overall, he coached four All-Western Athletic Conference performers, including NBA Draft pick Dominic McGuire.
In Schroyer’s last season on the bench at Fresno State (2006-07), the Bulldogs went 22-10 with a 10-6 WAC record, earning a trip to the National Invitation Tournament. That marked the most wins for the program since the legendary Jerry Tarkanian guided the Bulldogs to 22 wins in 1995-96.
Schroyer parlayed that success into a head coaching gig at Wyoming from 2007-11. During his four-year head coaching stint at Wyoming, Schroyer coached seven All-MWC players, including Brandon Ewing (second all-time leading scorer in Cowboy history with 2,168 points) and Afam Moujeke (2008-09 MWC Freshman of the Year after becoming the league’s all-time leading freshman scorer).
Schroyer’s best season at Wyoming was in 2008-09, when he led the Cowboys to 19 victories and an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament. He also helped the program make huge strides academically, as he inherited the worst Academic Progress Rate (APR) of any sport in the entire MWC. Schroyer constructed a comprehensive plan that improved the Cowboys’ men’s basketball APR by 164 points to a program-high 935, which was the third-best turnaround in the nation. He was also a member of Wyoming’s Academic Integrity Subcommittee in 2010-11.