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UT Martin head coach Anthony Stewart passes away

He was set to begin his fifth season on the Skyhawks’ sideline

NCAA Basketball: Tenn-Martin at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

UT Martin men’s basketball head coach Anthony Stewart passed away on Sunday, the university has announced. He was 50.

The cause of Stewart’s death has not been made public.

He was set to begin his fifth season as Skyhawks head coach, coming off a 9-20 record in 2019-20. This was his first head coaching position after serving as an assistant since 2001 at Columbus State CC, Long Beach State, Wyoming, Southern Illinois, Ohio, and finally UT Martin, alongside former head coach Heath Schroyer. The Skyhawks return three starters from last season, including Stewart’s son Parker — the team’s second-leading scorer.

University officials expressed their sadness and surprise in the university’s official announcement.

“We are stunned to hear this tragic news,” Skyhawk athletic director Kurt McGuffin said. “Coach Stewart was a true leader to every one of the young men he coached. He emphasized the meaning of a college degree and instilled professionalism in each of his student-athletes. We ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

“What I will remember most about Coach Stewart was his focus in developing our young men to be leaders in their community, leaders in the workforce and leaders in their homes,” UT Martin Chancellor Dr. Keith Carver said. “He always stressed the development of the entire person, well beyond athletics.”

UT Martin has not announced a non-conference schedule, but Division I teams can begin playing as soon as Nov. 25.