Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes announced Monday that he has hired Michael Schwartz as an assistant coach. Schwartz’s roots in the coaching profession were initially established under Barnes at Texas.
Schwartz’s close ties to Barnes and UT associate head coach Rob Lanier–along with his 17 years of coast-to-coast coaching experience in the Division I ranks–made the Los Angeles native a perfect fit in Knoxville.
He has 14 games of NCAA Tournament experience under his belt as either a coach or administrative staff member.
“Mike was one of our first G.A.’s at Texas, and he’s always been a guy I knew I wanted to bring back on my staff,” Barnes said. “This was a quick and easy choice. I love everything about him. He’s the whole package. He fits in with our staff and he’s got a great family. We’re all excited.”
Schwartz spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Tulsa, helping the Golden Hurricane advance to the NCAA Tournament. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the lead assistant under Rodney Terry (another former Barnes assistant) at Fresno State, including one year as associate head coach.
Shouldering responsibility for Fresno’s in-game coordination, recruiting, scouting and skill development, Schwartz helped guide the Bulldogs to their first 20-win season and postseason appearance in seven years–the finals of the College Basketball Invitational–in 2013-14. That same year, Paul Watson was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year and selected to the Kyle Macy Freshman All-American Team.
Schwartz also helped spearhead the assembly of some of Fresno State’s highest-rated recruiting classes. The Bulldogs beat out several Pac 12 schools to sign shooting guard Marvelle Harris, who in 2016 became Fresno’s all-time leading scorer, the Mountain West Player of the Year and also earned Associated Press All-American acclaim.
No stranger to the Southeast and East Coast, Schwartz spent six years on staff at Miami (Fla.) in the Atlantic Coast Conference–the first two as Coordinator of Basketball Operations and the final four as a full-time assistant coach.
As an assistant in Coral Gables, Schwartz helped lead the Hurricanes to an 83-52 record, appearances in the top-25 rankings and three postseason appearances in four years. His impact was immense during Miami’s historic 2007-08 campaign, which included the second-most wins in school history (23), a school-record 14 home wins and a program-best fifth-place finish in the ACC.
Miami earned a No. 7 seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament and defeated St. Mary’s before falling to Barnes’ No. 2-seeded Texas squad in the second round.
In Schwartz’s operations role at Miami, he handled video responsibilities, film breakdown, opponent scouting, oversight of recruiting mailings and also served as a liaison with the program’s managerial staff.
Schwartz’s tenure in South Florida was preceded by a one-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio, a position he attained after working as Barnes’ video coordinator at Texas for two seasons.
While working in a full-time capacity alongside Barnes at Texas, Schwartz was a part of a Longhorns program that posted a two-year record of 51-15, produced a pair NBA Draft picks (guards T.J. Ford and Royal Ivey) and advanced to the 2003 Final Four and the 2004 Sweet Sixteen.
Following his prep career at Beverly Hills High School, Schwartz played two seasons of college basketball at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. He then transferred to Texas where he concluded his playing career and was a member of Barnes’ 1999 Big 12 championship team. After Schwartz earned his degree in Speech Communication Studies from Texas in 1999, Barnes appointed Schwartz to a graduate assistant position, which he held from 1999-2001. Lanier was an assistant at Texas throughout Schwartz’s graduate tenure there.
Schwartz also boasts valuable experience with USA Basketball, having served in a support capacity for the 2000 USA Youth Development Festival, the 2000 USA National Select Team–coached by Mike Jarvis and Bob Huggins and featuring future NBA stars Shane Battier and Jason Richardson–and the 2001 Young Men’s World Championship Trials.
Schwartz and his wife, Stephanie, have two daughters: Sydney and Samantha.