DOB: 24 July 1979
From: Sunbury/Melbourne High School
First signed to the club as a 15-year-old as part of the Junior Development Squad late in 1987, Schwarz graduated through the Under 19's and Reserves to debut in 1991. After initially walking away from the game in early 1992, Schwarz returned to play 22 games and finished third in the Best and Fairest count.
Schwarz's first injury trouble came in 1993 when persistent groin troubles and a hernia kept 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 against Sydney, 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 him as "a genuine AFL star centre half-forward. High-leaping, aggressive and mobile", before a serious knee injury during a 1995 intra-club game match derailed his career. In Round 9, 1995 he returned to senior football just 16 weeks after surgery, but the knee collapsed under him in the very next game. Returning in the 1996 pre-season he broke down again in a reserves practice match at Lavington and missed the entire year.
Crediting his mother as the inspiration for not giving the game away after his third reconstruction, Schwarz returned again in Round 11, 1997 and had two kicks for two goals. Returning at a playing weight of 113kg he would gradually reinvent himself again as a bullocking key forward. His knee held up for the rest of his career, and he won the 1999 Best and Fairest.
At the end of 1998 he was mentioned as a potential swap for Wayne Campbell of Richmond, but the deal never went through. In late 1999 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 for him, 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 calling him a 'coconut' during the Round 3 match. His year had already started badly, dumped as vice-captain due to poor form during the pre-season.
2001 was a 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 set-up, the two made peace, but Schwarz had to stand down from TV duties when he was put on a media ban by the club after 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 got just 39 touches for 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 through the Herald-Sun. Schwarz retired after Round 13, a week where he had been suspended for a week for striking Bomber Andrew Welsh after his frustration had 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 fighting a gambling addiction at the same time. In 2005 he revealed that 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 but then had to sell it when he couldn't cover the repayments.
It was also revealed that as an eight-year-old child Schwarz witnessed his father, and another woman, murdered in front of him. The gunman - the woman's ex-husband - then committed suicide. In his 2009 autobiography he admitted losing $4 million while betting. He continued working as a commentator and host at SEN until being released in late 2017.
|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|
The Age - 20/02/1994
Age - 13/11/1994
Herald Sun 27/11/1999
Sportal - 28/11/01
Herald Sun - 17/04/2002
AFL Record - 18/04/2002
Herald Sun 18/04/2002
demons.com.au - 04/07/2002
AFANA News 2001
Age - 17/07/2005
Age - 25/05/2007