BOONE, N.C. – Craig Schwartz has been named the next head coach of Appalachian State University men’s tennis. Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced the hire after it was approved by Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday.
“We are thrilled to welcome Craig back to Boone as the new head coach for our men’s tennis program,” Gillin said. “With his years of experience as a head coach at two other Division I schools, combined with his familiarity with our program and university, he is a great fit to lead our student-athletes to reach their highest potential, on and off the tennis courts.”
As a head coach, Schwartz brings 12 years of expertise and knowledge with a career mark of 157-90 (.636) with four programs – Dowling College (26-18), Queens College (86-28), Bucknell (31-38) and St. John’s (14-6).
Schwartz becomes the eighth head coach in program history and will look to continue the consistent success the Mountaineers have built the last three seasons with a 38-27 mark and a pair of Sun Belt Tournament victories.
“First off I would like to thank director of athletics Doug Gillin, Brittney Whiteside and the entire search committee for believing in me and giving me this great opportunity to become the next head men’s tennis coach,” Schwartz said. “App State is a special place, and I couldn’t be more excited to begin the journey of building a culture through hard work, discipline and respect, which will culminate into building champions both on and off the court. It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer!”
Schwartz arrives in Boone after a successful one-year stint as the head men’s tennis coach at St. John’s, helping the Red Storm to a 14-6 mark highlighted by a stellar 10-1 record at home.
SJ posted its first winning season since the 2015-16 campaign while earning a Big East Tournament victory for the first time since 2014-15. Schwartz helped develop three All-Big East selections including Co-Big East Player of the Year, Alan Nunez Aguilera.
The newly hired head coach is no stranger to Boone, as he was a volunteer assistant coach with both men’s and women’s squad during the 2016-17 season. He contributed to the men registering a second straight winning campaign and three Mountaineers in Scott Webster, Milo Bargeron and Jack Maddocks earning postseason Sun Belt honors. With the help of Schwartz’ development, Webster was the first student-athlete to land on the All-Sun Belt first team since the Mountaineers joined the conference, while he was the first athlete to garner first-team league honors since Alex Markov in 2011 when App was in the Southern Conference. Bargeron saw a successful season in his debut campaign, as he was a first-team doubles pick, and Maddocks tied a career best with 13 wins and was named all-conference for a fourth consecutive season.
With the women, Schwartz assisted head coach Blake Mosley’s debut campaign in which Taylor Bygrave, Megan Mullen, Heidi Swope and Rebecca Morse all turned in their best seasons with then-career highs in singles victories. Bygrave’s nine wins were the most by a student-athlete since the 2015 campaign while the tandems of Gabrielle Wreder/Mullen and McKayla Zupan/Swope were the first duos to turn in at least eight wins since the 2012 season at the time.
Before his first season in Boone, Schwartz was the interim head coach and later was promoted to head coach at Bucknell. In his three years with the Bison, Schwartz turned them from a three-win squad to a 14-win team that reached the Patriot League semifinals in his final season.
At the helm, Schwartz guided BU’s Nick Bybel to Patriot League Player of the Year honors. Bybel also won Doubles Team of the Year with teammate Bryan Adams.
Before heading into the Division I ranks, Schwartz spent five years as the tennis coach and coordinator at Queens College in Flushing, New York. He led the Knights to an 86-28 mark while earning NCAA Tournament berths all five seasons, advancing to the Round of 16 in four straight campaigns.
Schwartz was named the ITA East Region Coach of the Year in 2009 and the ECC Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012. He coached two ITA All-Americans, three ECC Players of the Year and 23 ECC All-Conference selections during his five years with the program.
Schwartz began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, embracing two stints as the head coach at Dowling College during which time he compiled a 26-18 record. He guided the team to an NCAA Tournament berth and the NYCAC championship during the 2003-04 season, earning NYCAC Coach of the Year honors. He then returned to the program from 2005-07, leading the Golden Lions to two more NCAA Tournament appearances.
Schwartz is married to App State women’s field hockey head coach Meghan Dawson. The couple has a son, Caden.