Indians lose second coach; Schuberth accepts UAB job

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

It looks like Southeast Missouri State University men's basketball coach Gary Garner will need to find two new assistants.

Tom Schuberth confirmed Monday that he will be leaving the Southeast program this week to became an assistant coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, although the move has not yet been officially announced by either school.

Schuberth, who spent four seasons as Garner's top assistant with the Indians, is departing Cape Girardeau less than two weeks after another Southeast assistant coach, Chris Lowery, left to take a similar position at Southern Illinois-Carbondale.

"It's a happy day for me but a very sad day as well," said Schuberth. "I think this is a very good career opportunity for me, but I've had such a great time here the past four years and it's hard to leave."

Schuberth said he has had some other opportunities to leave Southeast in the past but was looking for just the right situation.

"Because of the respect I have for coach Garner and the program here at Southeast, I wanted to make sure in my mind it was the right move," he said. "I'm going to a program in a major conference with great tradition that has had tremendous success in the past."

UAB, a member of high-profile Conference USA, compiled a 17-14 overall record and an 8-8 league mark last season under head coach Murry Bartow, who is 90-66 in five years at the school. The Blazers have made one NCAA Tournament appearance and landed two NIT berths under Bartow, although they missed out on the postseason last year.

"Coach Bartow is a very good guy, and very similar to coach Garner," Schuberth said. "I was in Conference USA for five years (while an assistant at Memphis) and it's a very tough conference, one of the best in the country. I think any coach likes to try and compete at the highest level."

Schuberth said he will carry with him to Birmingham fond memories of Cape Girardeau and Southeast basketball. He, along with former Indian assistant Anthony Beane, was Garner's first hire four years ago when Garner took over Southeast's young Division I program that had struggled since moving up from the Division II ranks in 1991.

With Schuberth acting as Garner's chief recruiter, it didn't take long for the program to improve dramatically. The Indians made their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance two years ago and they have compiled a 62-28 record over the last three seasons, which is the second-best mark among Ohio Valley Conference teams over that period, behind only longtime powerhouse Murray State.

"I'm very proud to have been associated with Southeast and I'll always have a special place in my heart for Southeast," said Schuberth. "The people in the community are so friendly. The support they give the university and the basketball program are tremendous.

"Any coach at the Division I level, their goal is to play in the NCAA Tournament and that was our highlight at Southeast. I'm proud of the way we have been able to get the program going. And I'm confident that coach Garner will mold this young team and I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the NCAA Tournament again very soon."

Garner was out of town Monday and unavailable for comment.

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