Now in his 19th season as the head Track& Field coach at Whitworth, Dr. Toby Schwarz has transformed the Whitworth Track & Field team into one of the top programs in the nation.
Since the 2008 season Whitworth has sent 84 student-athletes to the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships and come home with 43 All-America (top-8) performances. Schwarz has coached Pirate athletes to eight individual national titles over the same time frame (seven outdoor and one indoor). The Whitworth men have finished among the top 20 teams in the nation six times since 2008, including a third place finish at the 2008 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, a third place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships and a sixth place finish at the 2009 outdoor meet.
Schwarz has built a powerhouse program at Whitworth, sweeping the Northwest Conference men's and women's title in 2001 and 2015. The Pirate men have won six straight NWC championships and seven in the last eight years. Over the last ten seasons more than 60 athletes per year (over 75% of the team) have qualified for the NWC championship meet. And over the last ten years Schwarz coached Kristin Shields to a national championship in the 100 meter dash in 2004, and two time national champions Emmanuel Bofa (800 meters) and Cody Stelzer (High Jump) in 2008 and 2009. Coach Schwarz added his sixth national champion with Carter Comito winning back-to-back-to-back national titles in the men’s discus in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This past spring (2015) Kerry Wright claimed her own national title in the women's javelin throw.
Schwarz has earned 29 Coach of the Year awards, including the 2015 NCAA West Region men's outdoor award and 2015 Northwest Conference honors (men and women). In 2009 Schwarz was selected as the NCAA Division III Men’s Coach of the Year. Members of Schwarz’s coaching staff have also won the NCAA DIII West Region Assistant Coach of the Year awards for the past six years including the 2015 outdoor men’s assistant coach of the year (Joe VanHoomissen).
Following the 2006 season, a decision was made by the coaching staff to cease the continuous growth of the program and move to a philosophy of a smaller, more focused and committed group of student-athletes. Through a process of tryouts and cuts, a more streamlined group of student-athletes make up the current and future Whitworth program.
With a smaller, more committed group of student-athletes, the level of excitement at practice is high, leading to a national championship caliber program. Whitworth finished fourth in the inaugural Al Carius Men’s Program of the Year award that was based on the team’s overall finish at the NCAA DIII cross country, indoor and outdoor Track & Field national championships in 2008-09. The men’s team finished 9th in the Al Carius Program of the Year standings in 2011, while the women’s team finished 11th in the female counterpart, the Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year, in 2011. The Pirate program was also honored as the Scholar Team of the Year in 2008 and 2009 which is based on team overall GPA and national team finishes.
Schwarz has also been the head coach of the very successful Pirate cross country program since 1998. In addition to their national championship appearances in 2001, 2009 and 2010, the women's team won NWC crowns in 2001 and 2009 and finished as NWC runners-up in 2002-04 and again in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014. The Pirate women won the NCAA DIII West Regional title and finished 6th at the NCAA DIII national championships in 2009 and 17th in 2010. The Pirate men have improved dramatically, finishing third in the conference from 2002-07 and winning the NWC in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The Pirates earned an NCAA West Region title in 2008 while sending the Whitworth men’s team to their first ever NCAA national championships in school history with a repeat appearance in 2010. Schwarz has led Whitworth runners to the NCAA Division III championships every season since 2001.
Dr. Schwarz is also a Professor in the Kinesiology Department. Schwarz fills his "spare time" when he is not teaching and coaching by being very active in the community and in youth ministry, including being the advisor for Whitworth’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Schwarz lives with his wife, Sally, and their daughters Malya and Ruby in north Spokane’s Mead neighborhood.
If you are interested in more information on the Whitworth Track & Field teams, you can contact Coach Schwarz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.777.4361.
A full list of the Whitworth Track and Field accomplishments can be found by clicking here.