HARROGATE, Tenn. -- Lincoln Memorial University head men's basketball coach Josh Schertz (pictured) has been tabbed as the 2015-16 HoopDirt.com Division II National Coach of the Year, it was announced by the Hoop Group on Friday, April 1.
Schertz -- a four-time South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year recipient -- led the Railsplitters to a 34-3 record and the first NCAA Division II National Championship game appearance in program history this past season. With Schertz at the helm, Lincoln Memorial authored unquestionably the greatest single season in SAC and program history, breaking the league and school record for wins and becoming the first program in SAC history to go undefeated in conference play with a 22-0 mark. That feat was all the more impressive based on the strength of the SAC this season, as four teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament and all four advanced to the second round. The Railsplitters also broke their own SAC record for longest winning streak, ripping off 24-straight victories from January 6 to March 24, when LMU took down West Liberty to book its first trip to the national title game. During that winning streak, the Railsplitters clinched an unprecedented fourth straight SAC regular-season championship while winning their third SAC tournament title in the past six seasons. This past season, the Railsplitters ranked second in the nation in scoring offense and scoring margin, putting up 96.2 points per game and winning by an average of 18.8 points per game. Lincoln Memorial finished second in the nation in three-pointers made with 412 and did so while leading the nation in three-point field-goal percentage with a 44.6 percent clip. The Railsplitters ranked second nationally in overall field-goal percentage (51.8) and 28th in field-goal percentage defense by holding opponents to 41.1 percent shooting. In his eight seasons guiding the Railsplitters, Schertz has accumulated a 204-47 overall record with a string of six straight 25-win seasons. Under Schertz's tutelage, Lincoln Memorial has accounted for back-to-back 30-win seasons. To put that in perspective, the LMU men's basketball program had just one 30-win season in the 86 seasons on file before Schertz's arrival. The Railsplitters are a combined 43-1 in South Atlantic Conference play over the past two seasons and have won five of the last six SAC regular-season championships. In LMU's win over Lander in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Schertz became the second coach in program history with 200 career wins. Following the 2015-16 campaign, Lincoln Memorial now claims the four winningest seasons in South Atlantic Conference history. The Railsplitters also became the first SAC men's basketball team to make it to the National Championship game. Click here for HoopDirt.com story
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught