With a 0-0 all-time record…UT Martin has seen enough to name Anthony Stewart their next head basketball coach.
Stewart took over as the school’s interim head coach on April 21st, after Heath Schroyer stepped down to become an Assistant Coach at NC State. The decision was made amidst a change at Athletic Director as well, one reason interim athletics director Kevin McMillan initially decided to tag Stewart as the interim head coach for the entire 2016-17 season.
“I am proud to announce that Coach Stewart as the long-term leader of our Skyhawk men’s basketball program,” McMillan said in a school release. “Not only has he done an unbelievable job as interim head coach but he has been a vital key to our program’s success since he arrived in 2014. I am confident in Coach Stewart’s abilities and look forward to watching him develop into a successful head coach and leader of men.”
Stewart’s first season could be a challenge: he loses his top three scorers from a year ago, and returns just one regular starter from a season ago.
For the most part — this decision is a no-brainer: it should help Stewart in recruiting, giving him a better chance at success, and it’s likely a short-term deal that won’t hold the school hostage for some reason it doesn’t work out. (The exact details, including length of the deal, were not released)
Stewart’s first season could be a challenge
Stewart served as an associate head coach for two years under Schroyer, which saw the program put together back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since joining Division I basketball. Last season, the Skyhawks became the first team other than Murray State to win the West Division since the conference made the split in 2012.
Prior to his two seasons at UT Martin, Stewart served as an assistant coach at Ohio (2012-14), Southern Illinois (2011-12), Wyoming (2007-11), Long Beach State (2004-06) and Columbus State Community College (2001-04).