DOB: 24 July 1979
From: Sunbury/Melbourne High School
Signed at 15-years-old in 1987 as a Junior Development Squad player, Schwarz graduated through the Under 19s and Reserves to debut in 1991. After briefly walking away from the game in early 1992, Schwarz returned to play 22 games and finished third in the Best and Fairest. He was reportedly pursued by five clubs at the end of the season, but remained contracted to Melbourne through 1993.
Schwarz's first injury trouble came in 1993, when persistent groin issues and a hernia restricted him to nine games. He bounced back to kick 60 goals in 1994, including a career-best nine in the last home and away game. That year he and took more marks than Wayne Carey in a season where he stamped himself as a future star of the competition. At the end of that year, he ended speculation of a switch to the new Fremantle side by signing a contract extension to the end of 1998.
The AFL Media Guide for 1995 described Schwarz as "a genuine AFL star centre half-forward. High-leaping, aggressive and mobile", but he was soon struck down with a serious knee injury during an intra-club match. He returned just 16 weeks after surgery, in Round 9, 1995, but the knee collapsed under him in the first quarter of the next game, requiring another reconstruction. Returning in the 1996 pre-season he broke down again in a Reserves practice match and missed the entire year.
Crediting his mother as the inspiration for not giving the game away after the third reconstruction, Schwarz came back again in Round 11, 1997. Returning at a playing weight of 113kg he gradually reinvented himself as a bullocking key forward. The knee held up for the rest of his career.
At the end of 1998 he was mentioned as a potential swap for Wayne Campbell of Richmond, but the deal never went through. In 1999 he was Melbourne's Best and Fairest. Late that year Schwarz entered into a partnership with teammates Matthew Febey and Paul Hopgood to buy the Blarney Stone Hotel in Bay Street, Port Melbourne. It was renamed The Hurdle
Early in the 2000 season, it was reported that Schwarz risked permanent damage to his left ring finger by delaying an operation to avoid missing eight weeks of football. It was a disappointing season, inconsistent early in the year, often going missing in games or kicking inaccurately for goal. In Round 19, 2000 Schwarz made an allegation that former teammate, and now Saint, Sean Charles had called him a racist. Charles apologised for the allegation after reconciliation talks. The next year Schwarz was forced to apologise to Geelong's Justin Murphy for racially vilifying him during the Round 3 match. His year had already started badly, losing the vice-captaincy due to poor form during the pre-season.
2001 was another tumultuous season for the 'Ox'. In June, a stunt on The Footy Show which involved Sam Newman pushing a pie into Schwarz's face, ended with Newman being pushed to the ground. Amidst claims that the incident had been pre-planned, the two made peace, but Schwarz was banned from further media duties by the club for criticising teammates in a radio interview. He still finished third in the Best and Fairest again, and while there were suggestions that Sydney and Carlton might be interested in trading for him, Schwarz stayed with the Demons.
In the first three games of 2002, Schwarz only kicked one goal and spent more time on the bench than he had been accustomed to. He was also fined $5000 for getting into a fight outside a South Melbourne nightclub. The situation was so dire that his former captain Garry Lyon wrote an open letter to Schwarz in the Herald-Sun newspaper. Schwarz retired after Round 13, a week where he had been suspended for a week for striking Bomber Andrew Welsh after his frustration boiled over. He had played 84 of the previous 85 games for the club but was finding it increasingly hard to make an impact on games.
Later Schwarz served as a form analyst for Channel Seven's horse racing coverage, but was also fighting a gambling addiction. In 2005 he revealed an addiction to horse racing, pokies and casino games had left him broke. He was losing up to $20,000 in one day at the racetrack, and at one point bought a $300,000 house with three weeks worth of winnings, then had to sell it when he couldn't cover the repayments. In his 2009 autobiography he admitted losing $4 million while betting. It was also revealed that as an eight-year-old, Schwarz witnessed his father, and another woman being murdered. The gunman - the woman's ex-husband - then committed suicide. In his 2009 autobiography he admitted losing $4 million while betting.
He later worked as a commentator and radio host on SEN until 2017, then on a series of other media outlets.
|Round 19, 1993 Reserves||Abusive language||Unknown|
|1998 Ansett Cup QF||Striking||1 match|
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$2000 fine|
|2000 Ansett Cup Semi Final||Kicking||Withdrawn|
|2000 Grand Final||Melee||$3500 fine|
|Round 7, 2001||Striking||Withdrawn|
|Round 13, 2002||Striking||1 match|
Age - 27/09/1992, 20/02/1994, 13/11/1994, 05/06/1995, 18/02/1996, 22/03/2001, 02/04/2001, 17/04/2001, 17/07/2005, 25/05/2007
Herald Sun - 27/11/1999, 19/04/2001, 17/04/2002
AFL Record - 18/04/2002
Herald Sun - 18/04/2002
AFANA News -25/03/2001