March 23, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Watch the archived press conference HERE!
Heath Schroyer is returning to the University of Wyoming as its 20th head basketball coach, Athletics Director Tom Burman announced Friday during a media conference at the Rochelle Athletics Center.
Schroyer, 35, returns to Wyoming where he was an assistant coach during the Cowboys' NCAA Tournament season of 2001-02. He replaces Steve McClain who had been head coach for the past nine seasons.
Schroyer's contract is for five years with a base salary of $150,000. With incentives, his salary could exceed $500,000 per year. The contract includes a buyout clause for each of the five years.
"From the beginning of the search our goal was to find the coach who could lead this program back to the top of the Mountain West Conference," Burman said. "In Heath, we have an individual who has been part of significant rebuilding jobs at Brigham Young, Fresno State and Portland State. Each became better when he got involved.
"Fortunately, as long as this Cowboy team stays together and is willing to embrace the changes, Wyoming has a chance to be successful immediately."
"I am honored, and extremely excited to be the head basketball coach at Wyoming," Schroyer said. "I know how important this program is to the state of Wyoming, and to Cowboy fans throughout the country. It is my belief that this job has unlimited potential. It is a special place. I know we can be successful because I was a part of a very successful time here. I have been in this league, and I know what it takes.
"We are going to build a program that will make every Cowboy fan proud. We will do it with a great work ethic, something the people of this state know all about."
Prior to accepting the Wyoming job, Schroyer had been associate head coach at Fresno State University under Steve Cleveland for the past two seasons. The Bulldogs finished 22-10 this season, and third in the Western Athletic Conference behind Nevada and New Mexico State. They lost in the first round of the NIT to Georgia. He also coached with Cleveland at Fresno City College (1996-97) and Brigham Young University (1997-01). At BYU, he was part of a resurgence that saw the Cougars improve from a 1-25 record in 1996, the year prior to their arrival, to an NIT appearance in 2000, and a league championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001.
After leaving BYU in 2001, Schroyer joined the McClain staff at Wyoming. The Cowboys won the Mountain West Conference Championship, earned their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 14 years and upset Gonzaga in the Tournament's first round. With Schroyer in charge of the defense, the Cowboys led the MWC in field-goal-percentage defense, defensive rebounding, and rebound margin.
Schroyer left Wyoming to become the second youngest Division I head coach (30) when he was hired as Portland State's head coach in April of 2002. In his three seasons at Portland State, he led the Vikings to steady and marked improvement. In his first season (2002-03), the Vikings won five games. In his second year, they won 11, and in his final season he directed PSU to a 19-9 record, and an 11-3 Big Sky Conference title, the first conference championship by a Portland State men's team in 20 years. PSU was one of the top three turnaround programs in the nation in 2004-05 as ranked by The CollegeInsider.com.
Not only did that `04-05 Viking team set a school record for consecutive conference wins (7), but it was the only team in the Big Sky to boast a winning road record. The Vikings were ranked 10th in the nation in field goal percentage (.492) and 15th in assists per game (16.8). In addition, Schroyer coached the nation's assist leader in Will Funn, and the country's 16th-best scorer in Seamus Boxley.
Schroyer has been involved in winning three league championships at three different Division I programs.
A native of Walkersville, Md., Schroyer played high school basketball at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, under legendary coach Morgan Wootten. He was an All-Conference performer at Kings River Community College (Reedley, Calif.), and led his team to the California Junior College Final Four in 1991-92. He finished his collegiate career at Armstrong Atlantic State (Savannah, Ga.). As a senior there, he was captain, and led the team to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16.
Schroyer earned his B.A. in liberal studies from Armstrong Atlantic State in 1995, and his master's in institutional leadership from National University (Fresno, Calif.) in 1996.
Schroyer, and his wife, Karen, have one son, Hayden, who is five years old.