Since arriving in Harrogate, Tennessee as the 17th head coach of the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball program in 2008, Josh Schertz has engineered one of the more remarkable turnarounds in all of college basketball.
In his ten seasons on the sideline, Schertz has led the Railsplitters to a 266-55 record (82.9 percent), seven South Atlantic Conference regular-season titles and four South Atlantic Conference tournament championships. He has guided LMU to nine straight 20 win seasons, eight-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and 35 postseason victories. Under his leadership, the Railsplitters own the top three single-season marks in school and league history in both wins and winning percentage, and he's the only coach in league history to lead a team to the NCAA Division II Final Four multiple times including the 2016 National Championship Game.
Schertz, a three-time National Coach of the Year and six-time South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), has led LMU to a remarkable 232-32 record (87.9 percent) over the last eight seasons. His teams have been a model of consistency while rewriting the school and conference record books. Lincoln Memorial will enter the 2018-19 season having won six straight South Atlantic Conference regular season titles along with a current 34 game in-conference winning streak. They’ve also posted four-consecutive 30-win seasons while finishing ranked #1 nationally in three of the last four years. They are the only team in SAC basketball history to complete an undefeated regular season accomplishing this twice (2016, 2018), while owning conference records for single season wins (34), consecutive wins (24), consecutive conference wins (34), successive conference road wins (25) and most wins over a four-year period (126).
Under Schertz’s direction LMU basketball has made their mark nationally as their streak of 95 consecutive weeks ranked is the second longest in the history of DII men’s basketball, and they have been ranked No. 1 nationally on six different occasions since 2012. The Railsplitters have also performed on the biggest stage, posting a 15-8 mark in the NCAA Tournament including 11-3 over the last three years during which they’ve appeared in one National Championship, two Final Fours and three Regional Championship games.
The 20-win seasons, SAC regular season and tournament championships, as well as the postseason wins, national ranking and NCAA Tournament appearances are all first-time occurrences for the Lincoln Memorial men’s basketball program. In the five seasons prior to his arrival, Lincoln Memorial had won 39 games total and posted just seven winning seasons all-time at the NCAA level.
Schertz's dedication to excellence in every area of the program has resulted not just in unparalleled success for his teams, but for individual players as well. His commitment to player development has helped lead to a remarkable eight All-American selections since 2011, which are the most of any Division II program over this time. LMU has also produced a national best 15 pro players since 2011 to go along with four Conference Players of the Year and 36 All-League selections.
In the classroom, the numbers are just as astounding, as the focus on academics by Schertz and his staff has led to the seven highest semester GPAs in program history. Since taking over, Schertz has seen 31 of the 33 seniors who have completed their eligibility at LMU graduate. Along with the 15 who have signed to play professional basketball, 12 of his players have received or are currently pursuing their masters degrees.
This past season Schertz directed one of the most dynamic teams in NCAA history as the Railsplitters won their 6th consecutive SAC Regular season title in dominant fashion going undefeated (20-0) in league play. In doing so they became what is believed to be the first team in NCAA history to lead the nation in field goal offense, field goal defense and scoring margin. LMU posted a 32-2 mark which included a 21 game win streak and won the SAC Conference Tournament for the 4th time in school history. Along the way the Railsplitters posted their fourth consecutive 30 win season, made their eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and won at least 25 games for the eighth successive season while appearing in the Regional Championship game for the third year in a row.
In 2016-17 he led LMU to a league record fifth consecutive South Atlantic Conference regular season championship, a second straight Southeast Region title, a seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and a second straight Final Four appearance. This was accomplished despite battling massive injury problems during the season as LMU lost nearly 40 games to injury amongst their rotation players. After a slow start the Railsplitters ripped off a 16 game winning streak to capture a share of the regular season title and advanced to the conference tournament championship game for the sixth time in the last seven years. They finished the season 30-6, reaching the 30 win plateau for the third consecutive season.
The 2015-16 season was one for the annals, as the Railsplitters broke almost every record imaginable on their way to the National Championship game. Not only did they become the first team in SAC history men's or women's to run the table in league play (22-0), but LMU also set single-season benchmarks for wins (34), consecutive wins (24), points (96.2ppg) and three-pointers made (412). Schertz, a six-time finalist for the Clarence Gaines Award that is presented to the Division II National Coach of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), was named Division II National Coach of the Year by the Hoop Group as well as being the recipient of the Clarence Gaines Award. The Railsplitters rolled to the SAC regular-season and tournament titles while finishing No. 1 nationally in the final poll and securing the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second-consecutive year. LMU accomplished this against one of the most difficult schedules in the country, posting an 8-2 mark against nationally-ranked opponents in 2015-16.
Despite the loss of their two leading scorers from the previous season, including consensus first team All-American Vincent Bailey, the Railsplitters reloaded accordingly in 2014-15, becoming the first team in the history of the South Atlantic Conference to win three-consecutive regular-season titles after posting a 30-3 mark. Included was a 21-1 conference record and the third-longest winning streak in school and league history after ripping off 20-straight wins to open the season. The Railsplitters were ranked No. 1 nationally and were awarded the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. For his efforts Schertz was named the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year for a third time.
After a historic 2013-14 campaign, Schertz was named the 2014 Red Auerbach College Coach of the Year. Despite losing four starters from the previous year’s championship team, the Railsplitters set then school and conference records for wins in a season (28) and winning percentage (90.3). The Railsplitters won both the South Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament titles while making its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and its third-consecutive trip to the Southeast Regional semifinals. The Railsplitters finished the year ranked No. 6 nationally in the final rankings.
Lincoln Memorial's run to the South Atlantic Conference regular-season championship in 2012-13 was quite an accomplishment after losing two first team All-Conference selections and three starters from LMU's 26-6 team of 2011-12. In 2012-13, LMU won its third South Atlantic Conference title in the last three seasons and appeared in the conference tournament championship game for the second time in three years. In 2012-13, LMU advanced to its third-consecutive NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Southeast Regional semifinals for the second-consecutive year. Additionally, LMU was nationally ranked all 15 weeks of the regular season for the second-straight year.
In 2011-12, Lincoln Memorial graduated its top two players but didn't miss a beat as they became the first team in South Atlantic Conference history to be ranked No. 1 nationally. Lincoln Memorial went 14-4 in conference play, earned its second-straight NCAA Tournament bid and won its first NCAA Tournament game, advancing to the regional semifinals with a win over King University.
In 2010-11, LMU had a record setting season, going 27-3 and ripping off a then school and conference record 22-game winning streak. LMU also won its first-ever South Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament championships and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. For his efforts, Schertz was named South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year and was a finalist for Division II National Coach of the Year. On December 7, 2010, Lincoln Memorial broke into the NABC/Division II national polls for the first time in school history.
In 2009-10, Lincoln Memorial posted its first 20-win season at the Division II level and recorded its first ever postseason win. Lincoln Memorial was also regionally ranked for the first time during the 2009-10 season.
In his inaugural season at Lincoln Memorial (2008-09), Schertz guided the Railsplitters to a 14-14 record, including an 8-8 mark in conference play. It was the most overall wins for an LMU squad since 2002-03, while the eight South Atlantic Conference wins was a school record at the time.
Prior to his arrival in Harrogate, Schertz spent 10 seasons as an assistant/associate head coach at four different institutions. He was the Associate Head Coach at High Point University for five seasons, during which time the Panthers went 87-66 and set school records for wins, conference wins, road wins, and highest RPI ranking. During his tenure as recruiting coordinator, two players, Danny Gathings (2004) and Arizona Reid (2007, 2008) earned Big South Player of the Year honors a total of three times. While at High Point, Schertz signed some of the best players in school history, including 2,000 point scorers Arizona Reid and Nick Barbour along with all-time assist leader Mike Jefferson and all-time shot block leader Cruz Daniels.
Schertz came to High Point from Queens University (N.C.), where he spent two seasons as the associate head coach. The Royals went 49-14 during that time, including a then school record 29 wins in 2002-03, when they advanced to the Final Four for the only time in school history. While in Charlotte, Schertz landed Spencer Ross, who was named 2004 National Division II Player of the Year along with All-American big man Moustapha Diouf.
Before joining Queens, Schertz spent two years at Lynn University (Fla.), serving as the Knights recruiting coordinator. While at Lynn, the Fighting Knights went 37-18, but the five-man recruiting class he signed in 2001 became his lasting legacy, as they went on to lead Lynn to a school record 29 wins and a Final Four appearance in 2005. While at Lynn, Schertz signed two players named Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year as well as four players who earned All-Conference honors.
Schertz began his career as an assistant coach at his alma mater Florida Atlantic University, where he spent one season working under Kevin Billerman.
Schertz, a 2000 graduate of Florida Atlantic University, also has a master’s degree in education from Lynn University. He is married to the former Natalia Ceballos and is blessed with two children, Jordan and Jaden. They reside in Harrogate.