Earl Schunk begins his ninth season as the Spartans’ head men’s basketball coach for the 2019-20 season, having established the foundation for the Spartan men’s basketball program over the past eight years. The team is coming off a 2018-19 season that produced an AMCC playoff berth along with the team leading the conference in scoring and producing the conference’s leading scorer and rebounder. “We now have a solid core group of players who are committed to the goals of our school and our men’s basketball program,” Schunk stated. “The time has come for all the hard work recruiting by our staff and the effort of our players to pay off in success on the court.” This past six seasons, the team received the Academic Excellence award by the College Basketball Officials Association of America for their overall grade point average for the season. In 2019, for the fourth straight season the team was also awarded the Peak Performer Award, given by the AMCC to the men’s basketball program with the highest team GPA. “We are proud of the way our players represent our institution as student-athletes,” Schunk commented. “The honors we have received are a validation of their character on and off the court.”
During his first season at D’Youville in 2011-12, Schunk led the team to its first ever AMCC Conference playoff berth, as well as ranking in the top 25 nationally in four categories: points per game, blocked shots, steals and turnover margin. The team set several program scoring records including averaging the most points per game during the Spartans’ NCAA era and eclipsing the 100 mark four separate times. Individually, the Spartans had three players rank in the top ten nationally for the first time in program history. The Spartans also had three players make all conference teams for the first time since joining the AMCC.
Prior to D’Youville, Schunk had been a very successful varsity high school coach in Western New York for 21 seasons. His last season as a high school coach was in 2010-11 at Tapestry Charter School and Schunk led the team to a record of 17-4 and the Section 6 Class C finals, the first charter school in Western New York to ever advance that far in the playoffs. That season, Schunk’s Tapestry team led all Section 6 high school teams in scoring, averaging 81.6 points per game.
Before that he was the varsity coach at Grover Cleveland High School from 1998-2010 compiling a 165-64 record and two City of Buffalo championships (2004, 2008). In 2003-04 his Presidents won the Section 6 Class A championship and advanced all the way to the New York State Public High School Championship’s Final Four. That season Schunk was honored by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York as their Section 6 Coach of the Year.
A graduate of Canisius College, Schunk spent 33 years in the Buffalo Public School system teaching mathematics and technology integration and coached basketball, baseball, cross-country, track and field, tennis and softball at Grover Cleveland High School. “We are committed to making D’Youville a key destination college for high school players in Western New York and the surrounding area, and develop teams that people want to watch and where our students are well represented,” Schunk said. “I’ve learned in my years in education that sports are a microcosm of life and young athletes learn how to deal with many situations they can use later in life.”
In addition to coaching basketball at D'Youville, Schunk is also Assistant Athletic Director in charge of recruitment.