Basketball

Wheeling tabs Schmidt as Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Wheeling University has named Duquesne University Associate Head Coach Matt Schmidt as the 12th Head Women’s Basketball Coach in program history.

A press conference to formally introduce Schmidt will take place in the McDonough Center on Monday, July 12 at 10 a.m. A live stream of the press conference will be available at MountainEast.tv and on the Mountain East Conference OTT app.

Schmidt spent the past eight seasons as an assistant coach at Duquesne, including the 2020-21 season as associate head coach. Schmidt brings over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, including a five-year stint as head coach at former Division II Armstrong Atlantic State.

“Coach Schmidt is a respected recruiter and developer of talent who has achieved immense success on a national level. But, most importantly, he is a tremendous person who cares for his student-athletes. His familiarity with West Virginia and the Mountain East Conference made him the perfect choice as our new head coach of Wheeling University’s women’s basketball program,” said Wheeling University President, Ginny R. Favede.

“I would like to thank President Ginny Favede and Director of Athletics Patrick Snively for the opportunity and privilege to lead these exceptional women on and off the court,” Schmidt said. “Wheeling University is a special place and I am excited to become part of the Cardinal family.”

“Immediately I was impressed by the passion and dedication by the entire campus community and everyone I came in contact with during the interview process,” he added. “I am humbled to have the opportunity to guide the women’s basketball team as they hone their leadership skills and serve others all while receiving an education that will last a lifetime as they ‘Let their light shine!'”

“We are extremely excited to bring a coach of Matt’s quality, competitiveness and pedigree to Wheeling,” said Wheeling Director of Athletics Patrick Snively. “His excitement about building for the future was quickly apparent. This, coupled with his basketball acumen, his broad recruiting network, his connection to the Valley and his desire to take the current roster and newcomers to the next level really stood out and made this a big win for us. Wheeling University and the Wheeling community will soon see a positive impact from this hire.”

In his eight seasons serving primarily as the offensive coordinator for the Dukes, the team led the Atlantic 10 in scoring offense twice, scoring margin, field goal percentage twice, free throw percentage and assists per game twice. Duquesne ranked at least fourth in the conference in points per game, field goal percentage and assists per game every season since 2014-15. The top three and six of Duquesne’s top 10 single-season point totals came under Schmidt’s watch.

Duquesne posted five 20 wins seasons and five trips to the postseason during his tenure. Schmidt coached four of the 11 top scorers in program history and seven of the 30 1,000-point scorers at Duquesne in just seven seasons. Under his tutelage, the Dukes earned 21 all-conference honors, including 2016 Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year April Robinson.

In 2015-16, Schmidt helped coach Duquesne to a program record 28 victories and 13 Atlantic 10 Conference wins. The Dukes won their first-ever share of first-place in the A-10 and also advanced to their first appearance in the finals at the A-10 Championship. For the first time in program history, the Dukes played in the NCAA Tournament, earning a No. 9 seed in the Bridgeport Region. Duquesne won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game when they defeated No. 8 seed Seton Hall 97-76 in the First Round.

Before establishing Duquesne as one of the top offenses in the A-10, Schmidt served as the head coach of Armstrong Atlantic State in Savannah Georgia for five seasons from 2008 to 2013. He led the Division II squad to 60 victories and 37 in the Peach Belt Conference during his tenure, including a signature 69-67 victory over No. 5 USC Aiken during his final season.

Prior to his time at Armstrong Atlantic, Schmidt served as the top assistant coach for legendary coach Nancy Winstel at Northern Kentucky from 2004 to 2008. As an assistant and recruiting coordinator, Schmidt helped the Norse to a 92-32 record in four seasons, including a Division II National Championship during his final season in Highland Heights.

Schmidt has also served as an assistant coach at The University of Findlay (2001-04), West Virginia (2000-01), and UMBC (1999-00). He began his collegiate coaching career at West Virginia as a graduate assistant in 1998.

Prior to coaching in college, Schmidt returned to his high school alma mater, Ferndale, as the head junior’s boys basketball coach for the 1998 season.

In 1997, Schmidt was an assistant coach at Westmont Hilltop High School in his hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He helped lead the Hilltoppers to a 21-5 record and the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference championship.

As a student-athlete, Schmidt played collegiately at nearby West Liberty. A member of the Dean’s List, Schmidt was a four-time West Liberty State College Scholar Athlete while earning a degree in education. He earned a master’s of science in physical education at West Virginia University in 2000.

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