Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
ROMEOVILLE – Lewis University Athletics mourns the death of former men’s basketball coach Chuck Schwarz, who passed away at the age of 80 on September 16. Schwarz, a 1962 graduate of Lewis, led the Flyers to a 162-87 (.651) record from 1978-87 and was inducted into the Lewis Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
“Chuck Schwarz helped establish Lewis University as a Division II power and helped lay the groundwork for much of the success that the program has enjoyed,” Lewis University Director of Athletics Dr. John Planek said. “We offer our condolences to his wife, Joan, and the rest of the Schwarz family.”
Schwarz returned to his alma mater in 1978 and guided the program during its transition to Division II and the Great Lakes Valley Conference. His 1981-82 team finished 20-9 and won the school’s first GLVC title. His teams won 20 or more games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament five straight seasons and won three GLVC titles. He mentored two GLVC Players of the Year in Larry Tucker (1981-82) and Tom Niego (1985-86).
Schwarz retired from coaching in 1987 and to become the Director of Athletics at Loyola University and was there until 1999 when he announced his retirement.
He began his coaching career at St. Laurence where he was a six-time Chicago Catholic League Coach of the Year honoree and led his teams to a 260-96 overall mark in 15 seasons. In addition to his role as the head varsity coach at St. Laurence, he also served as a teacher and as the director of athletics.
Schwarz is also a member of the hall of fame for the Chicago Catholic League, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and St. Laurence High School. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Lewis Academy of Coaches in 2019.