Coach Shurtz Collects 100th Career Win During the Midwinter Classic


Photography, Mads LaBotte

Coach Sayler Shurtz talks with is team during a time-out.

This past Tuesday, Boys Basketball coach Sayler Shurtz achieved a huge milestone within his coaching career.  After defeating the West Frankfort Redbirds at this season’s Midwinter Classic, the Herrin boys helped Shurtz capture his 100th win as the Tiger Basketball coach.


Coach Shurtz began his tenure during the 2017-18 season, amassing a 12-18 record with the team during his first season.  He returned the following year, capping off his second season by earning 27 wins, an incredible improvement from the prior season. Speaking of his sophomore season during a recent interview, Shurtz emphasized that the 2019 season brought him one of his favorite coaching memories: bringing the Regional Championship home.


Sayler now carries a 19-1 record with his Tigers this season, as well as a career mark of 101-54.  Coach Shurtz has led his team to deep tournament runs, winning streaks, and has taught his players what it means to play as a cohesive unit.  When speaking to Tiger Journalists during a recent interview, Coach spoke on the Midwinter Tournament, stating that the team “Has been successful, but we still have to figure out some things as a team, and we are on our way.”  

Shurtz is very grateful for those that have surrounded him on his path to 100 wins, saying that “The players and the coaches are the ones who win those games.”  Don’t think for one second that Shurtz is done here, he is just getting started.  He is looking to bring the Conference title back to Herrin’s hometown faithful, and the Tigers are laser focused on winning the regional crown.


To Coach Shurtz, basketball is more than just a game.  Coaching gives him an outlet to return to the game he loves, competing with, and against some of the best talent in the Southern Illinois area.  Coach emphasized that he “loves being able to teach his players, and he loves building lifelong relationships with both players, as well as coaches.  Partnered with this is his love for the atmosphere.  Loud gyms, cheering crowds, and big-game situations all fuel his love for the game.


By already reaching the century mark in wins, Coach Shurtz has already made a name for himself as one of the most effective and victorious coaches in Southern Illinois, and he has put himself in the echelon of the Herrin High greats that have preceded him.  Great coaches of the past like Irv Lukens, Mike Moneyham, and Ron Nesler now occupy the same space with Coach Shurtz, all of whom have effective coaching styles, a winning mentality, and most importantly, a great mind for the sport of basketball.