NASHVILLE - Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball leader Josh Schertz has been named 2019-20 Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Coach of the Year, the organization announced Tuesday morning. In his 12th year at the helm of the Railsplitters, Schertz led LMU to its fifth 30-win season in six years, a pair of South Atlantic Conference titles, a nation-leading 32-game win streak and a No. 2 national ranking.
Finalists for the top college basketball coach in the state award included Belmont head coach Casey Alexander and Chattanooga's Lamont Paris. "As a coach, you certainly don't win any awards without great players," commented coach Schertz. "It is the players who win games and carry the coaches." "I have always prioritized hiring humble, hard-working, intelligent assistants," Schertz continued. "They are the unsung heroes of our success and devote incredible amounts of time and effort behind the scenes to selflessly benefit our program. This honor is completely a byproduct of great players and a tremendous staff, alongside an administration that is aligned and committed to our program's vision. It is an honor to accept this award on their behalf." Claiming SAC Coach of the Year laurels for the seventh time in 10 seasons, Schertz picked up his fourth National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Southeast District Coach of the Year award. Guiding the Railsplitters to a remarkable 32-1 (.970) record in 2019-20, the highest winning percentage for a season in both school and conference history, Schertz earned Division II Bulletin/SNA Sports February Coach of the Month honors and was selected as HoopDirt.com NCAA Division II Coach of the Week for the week of Feb. 24-March 1. LMU capped its phenomenal campaign ranked second in the country in both the NABC Top 25 and the D2SIDA Media Poll, marking the third time in five seasons the Railsplitters ended the basketball year ranked among the nation's top two. Appearing in both national polls for the entirety of the 2019-20 season, it was the seventh time since 2010-11 LMU had been among the top 25 for the whole year.
With an eye-popping 318-65 (.830) record in 12 seasons as LMU's lead man, only Jim Crutchfield at Nova Southeastern (.841) owns a higher career winning percentage among active head coaches at any NCAA level. During 2019-20, Schertz passed Gonzaga head coach Mark Few (.828).
Schertz was also named TSWA Coach of the Year in 2016 after the Railsplitters went 34-3 during the 2015-16 season and reached the Division II national championship game.