The Huntsville, Ala., native took over the Indians program this summer.
“The people here at Harpeth that I’ve been able to work with have been very supportive, and the community has been great, too,” Schertz said. “They are excited about basketball. Basketball is important to them and it’s important to me so that’s a nice combo.”
Schertz, a graduate of Auburn University, taught and coached at Virgil I. Grissom High School in Huntsville for 11 years. He was the assistant boys coach for nine years and the head coach for two years before coming to Harpeth.
Under Schertz’s leadership in his first season at Grissom, his team posted a 24-9 record and sent three seniors to play basketball at the next level.
In his second season, Grissom spent the entire year ranked in the top 10 in Class 7A and finished the season 22-9. His team advanced to the Sweet 16 before being eliminated.
Schertz graduated from Grissom in 2001 and was a two-year letterman in basketball.
As a Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winner, he helped the 2001 team to an Elite 8 appearance and a 28-7 record.
Schertz, who teaches Integrated Math I and II at Harpeth, said he had initially planned to study engineering in college, but quickly changed his mind after the first semester.
“Coaching has always been of interest to me,” he said. “When I sat down and really looked at what I wanted to do day in and day out, I wanted to be interacting with people … I knew I wasn’t going to be a player forever so the next best thing to me was to be a coach.”
Since arriving at Harpeth, Schertz said he’s been impressed with the school’s tradition of basketball as well as the excitement and importance of the sport.
“We have great community support. I am thankful that they have welcomed me and they are excited to see what we have going on here,” he said.
Schertz said this year’s team, which features the leadership and experience of six seniors and six juniors, has been great to coach.
“The guys are incredibly hard working and enjoyable to coach,” he said. “They go hard in everything they do. You can tell that just didn’t happen overnight. That was something that started at home with their families, but also the previous coaches who were here did a good job, too,” he said.
Harpeth has had a tough schedule early this season, but Schertz said his team is showing signs of improvement.
Schertz said his players have positive attitudes and play extremely hard.
“That is something we need every night in order for us to be successful,” he said.
Schertz added he wants to create a family-like atmosphere at Harpeth and give his team an enjoyable high school playing experience like he had in Huntsville.
To help accomplish that, the team went to the Belmont-Middle Tennessee State University game on Dec. 14 and the whole Harpeth family (parents, players and Bouncing Blue youth team members) will attend the Belmont-Southern Illinois University game in January.
As of Dec. 16, the Indians were undefeated at 3-0 in District 9-AA play, and the team will be playing in the Beech Christmas Classic Dec. 28-30.