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2012 Sporting News Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year
The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball program has reached
unforeseen heights under head coach Mark Schmidt, who begins his
eighth season in charge of the program in 2014-15.
Mark Schmidt Photo Gallery
Schmidt is already sixth on St. Bonaventure's all-time coaching wins list with 106. His 100th win at Bona's came at home on Jan. 22, 2014, against La Salle.
In 2013-14, led St. Bonaventure to an 18-15 record and a ninth place finish in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies were picked to finish 12th in the conference’s preseason poll. St. Bonaventure advanced to the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament for the second time in the last three seasons, defeating No. 1 seed Saint Louis in the quarterfinals. The Bonnies also recorded the most non-conference wins in a season (10) by a St. Bonaventure team since 1997 and defeated two ranked teams (UMass and Saint Louis). All four of the Bonnies’ 2013-14 seniors will graduated -- Danny Farrell (business management), Charlon Kloof (finance), Marquise Simmons (journalism & mass communications) and Matthew Wright (history), and all but Farrell are expected to play professionally.
Schmidt’s blue-collar efforts to revive the tradition-rich program resulted in an unprecedented season in 2011-12. The Bonnies won their first-ever Atlantic 10 Championship title and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament, where they held a lead on No. 3 Florida State for nearly the entire game but narrowly lost by three points in the closing seconds of the Second Round.
Under Schmidt’s guidance, St. Bonaventure has become a consistent winner in the Atlantic 10. The team improved its conference win total in five straight seasons, starting in 2007-08 and culminating in the magical 2011-12 campaign. The Bonnies went 20-12 (10-6 Atlantic 10) and captured victories over Saint Joseph’s, Massachusetts and Xavier to win the Atlantic 10 Championship crown and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history.
Even through an uncharacteristic year in 2012-13, Schmidt still guided the Bonnies to a program first as they claimed their first-ever win at Temple in 31 tries. They followed that up with a victory at preseason league favorite Saint Joseph’s just four days later, giving St. Bonaventure two A-10 wins in the same season in Philadelphia for just the second time in school history. Additionally, Bonaventure shot 76.3 percent from the free-throw line in 2012-13 to lead the A-10 and rank sixth in the entire nation, continuing a trend of Schmidt’s teams being disciplined from the line.
Over his seven years with the Bonnies, four of Schmidt’s teams have finished in the top-three of the league in free-throw shooting, and twice have led the A-10 in free-throw percentage.
SBU’s 20 victories overall and 10 in the Atlantic 10 in 2011-12 were its most since the 1999-2000 season, the last time a Bonnies team had earned an NCAA Tournament bid. The 10 victories also marked just the fourth time in history a Bonaventure team reached double-digit conference triumphs.
Schmidt was recognized for his remarkable work in rebuilding the Bonnies by being named the 2012 Sporting News Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. He was also named the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Men’s Division I Coach of the Year.
Schmidt was instrumental in the development of 2012 A-10 Player of the Year and AP Honorable Mention All-American Andrew Nicholson, who ended his career ranked second in school history in scoring (2,103 points) and fourth in rebounds (887). Nicholson was selected by the Orlando Magic in the First Round (No. 19 overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.
In May 2012, St. Bonaventure rewarded Schmidt with a five-year contract extension which runs through the 2018-19 season.
In total, 14 student-athletes who played at St. Bonaventure under Schmidt have gone on to sign professional basketball contracts.
Schmidt took over the St. Bonaventure program on April 10, 2007, becoming the 19th head coach in school history. In just six short years, Schmidt and the Bonnies have re-energized the Bona faithful and basketball-passionate Western New York community.
During the 2010-11 campaign, Schmidt oversaw a Bonnies squad that posted the school's first winning season (16-15) and postseason berth (CBI) since 2001-02. The Bonnies - picked for second to last in the preseason poll - exceeded expectations and finished tied for seventh in the league standings and earned a home A-10 Championship game for the second straight season.
During his third season in 2009-10, Schmidt guided the Bonnies to their second straight season with 15 wins. St. Bonaventure gained its second consecutive berth in the Atlantic 10 Championship, where the Bonnies defeated Duquesne for the program's first postseason win since 2002.
In 2008-09, St. Bonaventure finished with a 15-15 overall record – the program’s best mark in the last six years. Included in that season was a program record seven consecutive road wins to start the season and the program’s first trip back to the Atlantic 10 Tournament since 2005. The team’s seven true road wins also tied the record set by the 2001-02 club.
Key to the quick turnaround in 2008-09 was the team’s ability to buy into Schmidt’s emphasis on playing hard for 40 minutes. That philosophy paid big dividends, as the Bonnies out-rebounded 22 of their 30 opponents en route to ranking in the top five in the conference in all three major rebounding statistics. Also a direct result of Schmidt’s style of play was the team’s 70.8 points per game – the most by a Bonaventure team since 2002-03.
During the 2008-09 season, Nicholson was named the A-10 Rookie of the Year and a Freshman All-American by CollegeHoopsNet.com. Nicholson was the third player in Schmidt’s eight-year head coaching career to win a conference Rookie of the Year accolade. Junior Jonathan Hall also flourished under Schmidt’s run-and-gun style, becoming the second player in program history to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists in the same season.
Additionally, Schmidt achieved a personal milestone of his own midway through the season, as he earned his 100th career win in the team’s 78-65 win at Fordham in the A-10 opener.
Schmidt’s intense personality rubbed off on everyone involved with the program in his first season, as St. Bonaventure was much more competitive in the ultra-talented A-10 Conference. Disguised in the team’s 8-22 record were 10 losses by 10 points or less, including four by five points or less.
St. Bonaventure’s senior class of Zarryon Fereti, Michael Lee and Tyler Relph flourished under just one season of Schmidt’s guidance. All three posted career years on the court and experienced success of the court by graduating in May. Both Fereti and Lee worked their way into the professional ranks overseas, while Relph finished as the NCAA leader in free throw percentage.
Schmidt served as the head coach at Robert Morris for six seasons prior to coming to St. Bonaventure. There, he inherited a program that had managed just a 7-22 record in the season before his arrival. Schmidt quickly turned things around, leading the Colonials to the Northeast Conference Tournament semifinals in 2004 and 2006. During his six seasons at RMU, he had an overall record of 82-90, including a 15-14 mark in 2005-06, the program's first winning season since 2000. Schmidt turned the Colonials into a year-in and year-out contender in the conference, posting a 58-52 mark in league play highlighted by four seasons of 10 or more league wins.
Schmidt coached six NEC All-Conference players at RMU, along with three All-Rookie team selections and one Conference Rookie of the Year in Jeremy Chappell in 2006.
Prior to Robert Morris, Schmidt spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Xavier University under head coach Skip Prosser. Schmidt served as the program's top recruiter, landing future NBA players Torraye Braggs (Houston Rockets), Lionel Chalmers (Minnesota Timberwolves), James Posey (Miami Heat), Romain Sato (San Antonio Spurs) and David West (New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets). With most of his coaching responsibilities centered around the post players, Schmidt helped develop West into a three-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and the National Player of the Year in 2003.
During his stay in Cincinnati, Ohio, Schmidt helped lead the
Musketeers to four NCAA Tournament appearances and the National
Invitational Tournament (NIT) twice. Xavier claimed its first-ever
Atlantic 10 West Division title in 1996-97 and both the West
Division and tournament championships in 1997-98. In 1997, Xavier
defeated Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and
finished the season with the school's highest Associated Press
ranking at No. 13. The Musketeers made it to the NIT Final Four at
Madison Square Garden in 1999, finishing third, the school's best
finish since 1958.
Schmidt served as an assistant under Prosser at Loyola College during the 1993-94 season. He helped guide the Greyhounds to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament title and the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
From 1991-93, Schmidt was an assistant at Penn State University under Bruce Parkhill. The Nittany Lions went 21-8 in 1992 and appeared in the NIT. Schmidt's coaching career began with a two-year stint as an assistant at St. Michael's College in Vermont.
Schmidt played four seasons at Boston College, where he received his bachelor's degree in business administration and management with a concentration in marketing. In his freshman season under head coach Tom Davis, the Eagles went 22-10 and made the NCAA Elite Eight. Schmidt played his final three years under the guidance of head coach Gary Williams. Boston College advanced to the NIT in 1984 and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen the other two years.
A native of North Attleboro, Mass., Schmidt and his wife Anita have three sons: Nick, Derek and Michael. Nick was an All-State player at Olean High School in 2013-14 and is now playing at Division III Alfred (NY) University.