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Welcome back, Heath: Former BYU assistant returning to Provo as basketball coach

By Sean Walker  |  Posted May 11th, 2017 @ 5:04pm


PROVO — BYU basketball has a new assistant coach.

And it’s a familiar face.

BYU coach Dave Rose announced Heath Schroyer as the program’s next assistant coach Thursday afternoon, replacing Terry Nashif, who left last month to join the private business sector.

“We’re very excited to have a coach of Heath’s caliber join our staff,” Rose said in a statement. “He will be a great fit with our coaches and players. Heath has had success everywhere he’s been and brings knowledge, experience and a work ethic second to none.”

The job closed April 27 and the university began interviewing candidates by May, Rose told reporters at his end-of-season briefing last month.

“I like team guys,” Rose said at the time. “I want a guy who has been in the trenches and been challenged, but always seems to rise with a real positive attitude and positive results.

“I’m looking for an all-around guy who is a team guy and can fit into the places we feel we need to. Our staff will take a look at how we want to assign things out, and hopefully we have a balanced guy who we feel comfortable doing any responsibility. The lifeblood of any program is recruiting, so anyone with extended recruiting ties will be really valuable to us.”

Schroyer will join assistant coaches Tim LaComb and Quincy Lewis on the BYU bench this fall.

“I’m very excited to be back at BYU,” Schroyer said. “Coach Rose and I have remained great friends since working together 20 years ago and I have a great fondness for this program.

"It was my first Division I job. When this opportunity presented itself, it just felt right. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the players in the program and I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with those guys.”

Schroyer was an assistant coach at BYU from 1997-2001, when he left to take an assistant coaching job at Wyoming. Rose was also on the staff as an assistant.

At the time of his departure, then-head coach Steve Cleveland voice public support of one of his top defensive assistants moving to a then-Mountain West rival in the Cowboys — but Schroyer left, in part, to begin recruiting a broad spectrum of college basketball players instead of focusing on LDS athletes.

In his final season in Provo, Schroyer led BYU to a top-20 mark in scoring defense just four years after the infamous 1-25 season of BYU basketball lore.

When he left, Schroyer was just 29 years old and an up-and-coming star on the collegiate coaching circuit. In his second stint at BYU, he’s a 45 year old with coaching experience at Wyoming, Tennessee-Martin and North Carolina State, in addition to his pre-BYU stops at UNLV and Fresno City College.

Schroyer’s first head coaching job came at Portland State, where he was 35-47 in three seasons, and peaked with a Big Sky regular-season title in 2005.

He took the head coaching job at Wyoming in 2007, but was fired after going 49-68 in just under four seasons that included a top mark of 19-14 and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational in 2009.

He worked at UNLV with fellow former BYU assistant coach Dave Rice through 2014, when he took the UT Martin job and led the Skyhawks to a 41-28 record in two seasons with an annual salary of $210,000.

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Schroyer resigned as head coach of UT Martin to take an assistant job at North Carolina State in April 2016, when the Wolfpack gave him a two-year contract valued at $310,000 per year.

“Heath has done an outstanding job at UT-Martin, and has had success as both a head coach and as an assistant,” then-Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried said at the time. “Heath’s programs have traditionally show great improvement, he is a strong on-floor and in-game coach, and is a proven recruiter at the highest level.”

Gottfried was fired at NC State after a suboptimal 48-58 mark in ACC play, and the school turned over the staff when it brought in new coach Kevin Keatts.

Sean Walker
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