After three years of coaching in the Bulls’ junior structures, the 36-year-old former provincial centre takes over from Werner Janse van Rensburg.
Swartbooi acknowledged his predecessor’s efforts with UJ and said he wanted to maintain the varsity’s strong rugby culture.
“As I mentioned to one of the guys, Skollie [Janse van Rensburg] has done a great job in the last few years and you have to give him credit.
“I want to build on the legacy he has left and I also want to create my own legacy and try to take the team forward.
“This is a new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
He added that his strategy would revolve around an exciting brand of rugby.
“I definitely aim for a ball-in-hand type of style,” said Swartbooi. “We want to make it entertaining for the fans, but we also know that winning is important so we won’t be reckless in any way.”
The new mentor has warned the players that there will be no preferential treatment.
“I have told the boys that everyone will have an equal opportunity – we will start on a clean slate,” said Swartbooi.
“There are a couple of them who played Varsity Cup last year, but everybody will be handled equally and given a fair chance.”
The squad resumed training early this month and their first match is against last year’s losing finalists, NWU-Pukke, in Johannesburg on February 4.