GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees met Wednesday afternoon and approved a contract that secures Michael Schwartz as the next men’s basketball coach.

Schwartz comes to ECU after serving as associate head coach at the University of Tennessee. He will remain on the Volunteers’ staff through the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which begins first-round play Thursday.

“I am pleased to welcome Michael, along with his wife Stephanie and children Sydney and Samantha, to ECU,” ECU Athletics Director Jon Gilbert said. “This is an exciting day for our men’s basketball program and Pirate Nation. Mike has all the intangibles and acumen we were looking for as a head coach during the process and it became immediately clear he was the right fit to lead our program.
“Mike is a proven leader who has all the tools needed to lay the groundwork as we work together to bring sustained success for our program. He brings enthusiasm and positive energy daily and will emphasize accountability, academics, player development and engagement within the community and surrounding region. He has been a great evaluator on the recruiting trail for more than 20 years. He will show a genuine commitment to our student-athletes from day one on and off the court and be a mentor for all of them moving forward. We are excited to have such a talented coach on board to lead the Pirates forward.”

New ECU men’s basketball coach Mike Schwartz (ECU Sports Information photo)

The Volunteers (26-7), who won the SEC Tournament title on Sunday for the first time since 1979, are the No. 3 seed in the South Regional and will play Longwood (26-6) on Thursday.

Schwartz replaces Joe Dooley, who was fired last Friday after four seasons with the Pirates, his second stint with the program.

Schwartz brings an impressive resume to ECU. He is in his sixth season at Tennessee and third as associate head coach. He was listed by The Athletic as one of the nation’s top 25 up-and-coming college basketball coaches, according to his University of Tennessee bio.

This is Schwartz’s first head coaching job. He has held previous jobs at Texas, Long Beach State, Texas-San Antonio, Miami, Fresno State and Tulsa.

Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes has entrusted Schwartz with the role of defensive coordinator for each of the last five seasons, a move that has yielded extraordinary results, as the Vols own a 118-45 record dating to the start of the 2017-18 campaign. During the 2020-21 season, Tennessee posted the nation’s fourth-best defensive efficiency rating, per—its second top-10 finish in four years. Additionally, Schwartz’s schemes resulted in the Vols leading the Southeastern Conference in scoring defense in 2018 (65.7), 2021 (63.5) and 2022 (62.8)
“Mike is the total package and one of the sharpest basketball minds I’ve known,” Barnes said. “He’s been prepared to lead his own program for several years now. He’s had multiple opportunities, but he’s been very deliberate in waiting for the ‘right’ opportunity.

“Jon Gilbert’s vision and leadership align perfectly with Mike’s, and I have no doubt that they will build a championship culture in short order at East Carolina. Mike is going to put together an incredible staff, and they’ll be relentless in recruiting and developing outstanding players who are high-character young men.”

The Schwartz File
Full Name: Michael Leon Schwartz
Born: Sept. 25, 1976, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Alma Mater: Texas, ’99
High School: Beverly Hills High School
Wife: Stephanie
Children: Sydney and Samantha
Coaching Experience
2019-present: Tennessee, associate head coach
2016-19: Tennessee, assistant coach
2015-16: Tulsa, assistant coach
2014-15: Fresno State, associate head coach
2011-14: Fresno State, assistant coach
2007-11: Miami (Fla.), assistant coach
2005-07: Miami (Fla.), coordinator of basketball operations
2004-05: Texas-San Antonio, assistant coach
2002-04: Texas, video coordinator
2001-02: Long Beach State, operations/video assistant
1999-2001: Texas, graduate assistant