Anthony Stewart, head coach of the UT Martin men’s basketball team, died on Sunday, the school announced. He was 50.
Skyhawk athletic director Kurt McGuffin released a statement confirming the sudden passing of Martin, who was set to begin his fifth season as head coach later this month.
“We are stunned to hear this tragic news,” McGuffin’s statement read. “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.”
The cause of death was not immediately known.
Stewart joined the Skyhawks as an assistant coach in 2014. In 2016 he was offered the head coaching position after Heath Schroyer moved on to NC State. He previously worked as an assistant coach at Ohio, Southern Illinois and Wyoming.
“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 in a statement.
“He always stressed the development of the entire person, well beyond athletics.”
Stewart’s son, Parker Stewart, transferred from Pittsburgh last season to play for his father at UT Martin.