Building a power: LMU men’s basketball continues to grow under Josh Schertz
HARROGATE, Tenn. (WYMT) - For the past 12 years, LMU fans and students have been treated to one of the best men’s basketball programs in the country. The Railsplitters are 318-65 over the past 12 years with two trips to the Final Four and a National Championship date in 2016. Part of that success is owed to the man in charge, Josh Schertz.
The 2019-20 team was no exception for LMU.
“32 wins in a row. Won the regular season title, the tournament title. Got selected to host the regional,” Schertz said about his team who won both the South Atlantic Conference regular season and conference tournament titles.
That sounds impressive, but it’s been the usual for the Railsplitters under Schertz.
”I’ve never looked at success as a singular event,” Schertz explained. “Success to me - and the hardest thing to achieve in life - But success is consistent high-level performance over an extended period of time.”
Schertz took over in 2008 after 10 years as an assistant at four different schools. He got his start at his alma mater, Florida Atlantic as an assistant for a season. From there, Schertz went to Lynn University as a recruiting coordinator for two years, Queens University (N.C.) as the associate head coach for two years, and then High Point University for five years as the associate head coach.
“You know I loved to compete and I loved being a part of a team,” Schertz explained on his decision to get into coaching. “I thought I wanted to teach and to me, coaching is teaching.”
It didn’t take long for the Railsplitters to make a name for themselves, going 27-3 and winning 22 straight games during the 2010-2011 season. LMU made its deepest run in the 2016 tournament, making it all the way to the title game.
“That group was the one that really put Lincoln Memorial University basketball on the national stage.”
The on the court success is a product of the Railsplitters’ culture that they try to work into all aspects of their lives.
“Kaizen is on a lot of our gear and stuff. That’s a Japanese word,” Schertz explained. “It means commitment to continual improvement and that’s kinda our ethos or mantra or whatever you wanna call it.”
Now heading into his 13th season at the helm, Schertz’s focus remains on things bigger than just basketball.
“Our commitment to their development is wholistic, not just as a player, but as a student, as a young man.,” Schertz said. “Try to help them be more successful in life for having come through our program.”
The Railsplitters continue to search for their first title in program history after coming close in 2016 and having a good shot in 2020, riding a 32-game win streak.
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