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Jim Paquette is in his fourth academic year as Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics at Loyola University Maryland after being appointed in February 2010. He previously spent 16 years on the athletic leadership team at Boston College.
The 2013-2014 academic year marks the beginning of a prominent chapter in Loyola's athletics history, as the Greyhounds became an official member of the Patriot League on July 1, 2013. The conference's values of developing student-athletes academically, socially, athletically and spiritually align closely with Loyola's.
Loyola experienced considerable success in 2012-2013 both on and off the field. Both soccer teams won Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles with the men capturing the league's regular-season crown and the women taking the tournament title and advancing to the NCAA College Cup.
Soon after that, the men's basketball team had back to back 20 win seasons and reached the postseason for the second-straight year, marking the first time in school Division I history that the program has achieved those feats. Loyola also hosted the first men's basketball postseason games in school history, welcoming Boston University and Kent State University for first and second round games in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
The Loyola golf program finished its 2012-2013 campaign in the NCAA Championships after winning a record-setting sixth-straight MAAC title. Both lacrosse teams advanced to the NCAA Championships with the women winning a first round game for a program-record third year in a row.
Off the field, the Greyhounds accomplishments were just as impressive, if not more. Student-athletes had a combined grad-point average of 3.1 for the 2012-13 academic year. Two hundred student-athletes earned Dean's list honors during the fall and spring semesters. The student-athlete graduation rate of 96% remains among the best in Division I.
Loyola student-athletes and coaches participated in more than 4,500 hours of community service, and six teams attended retreats facilitated by the Loyola Campus Ministry Department with nine scheduled for retreats during 2013-2014.
This fall, the athletic department launched the Loyola Leadership Academy in cooperation with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center. The Academy will develop, challenge, and support Loyola student-athletes and coaches in their quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics, and life.
The Greyhounds have seen significant increases in revenue and attendance since Paquette's arrival. Since 2010-2011, Men's basketball ticket sales have increased by more than 300-percent and attendance has risen 65-percent. In addition, both ticket sales for men's lacrosse and corporate sponsorship have increased 200-percent.
Also, a brand new Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame was constructed in the entrance way to Reitz Arena.
Loyola Athletics established another fundraising record in 2012-2013, as donors contributed $1.1 million in cash and made $2.9-million in overall commitments. Fundraising cash has increased more than 200% in the last three years.
Additionally, in 2012, the University announced a $1-million gift from trustee Jim '80 and Hollis Forbes that will provide enhancements to Reitz Arena.
Unprecedented success came to the Loyola Department of Athletics during the 2011-2012 season and the Baltimore Sun called it "The Year of the Hound".
The Loyola men's basketball team won a school Division I record 24 games, the school's second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994. The Greyhounds set attendance records along the way and recorded the first back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena since the facility opened in 1984.
The men's lacrosse team won the first NCAA Division I Championship in school history, tying the NCAA record with 18 wins in the process. Loyola became only the 9th school to capture a Men's Division 1 Lacrosse Championship.
The women's lacrosse program finished reached the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second time in as many years and won the BIG EAST Conference crown for the second year in a row.
Loyola's athletic social media numbers rose by more than 200-percent in areas during the school year, and the Greyhounds received attention in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal, to the New York Times to National Public Radio.
Loyola's men's athletic department finished tied for 10th in the Capital One College Cup, the highest finish ever for a school with fewer than 4,000 students.
In addition to his commitment to Loyola, Paquette is active both within the conference and at the national level. He served as the chair of the MAAC Men's Golf Committee, MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration and the MAAC Membership Committee and was a member of the MAAC Marketing and Television committee. He presently serves on the Patriot League Women's Lacrosse Committee and is a member of the 1AAA Athletic Directors' Association Executive Committee.
During his first two years on the Evergreen campus, the Loyola Athletic Department had a number of high-water performances in competition, academics, attendance and revenue.
In February 2012, Loyola announced its first all-sport athletic apparel sponsorship deal with Baltimore-based Under Armour. A world-class brand, Under Armour has helped give Greyhound student-athletes a competitive advantage, and this partnership helps strengthen the Loyola brand with consistent, high-performance gear from head-to-toe.
Loyola's student-athletes continued their achievements during the 2011-2012 academic year. Through the dedication of the Loyola academic support staff, coaches, administrators, and especially the hard work of the student-athletes, 60-percent of student-athletes finished the academic year with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Loyola's women's basketball team excelled in 2010-2011, setting a school record with 21 overall, and 15 MAAC, victories. The Greyhounds advanced to the MAAC Championship Game for the second time in Head Coach Joe Logan's career at Loyola, and they received the program's first bid to the postseason WNIT.
The Greyhounds marked another milestone in the WNIT, winning the first postseason basketball game in Loyola history when they defeated Old Dominion on the Monarchs' home court. Following that victory, the school received a bid to host a WNIT Second Round contest against the University of Virginia. With Paquette's leadership, the Athletic Department collaborated with several other departments on campus to generate a fantastic crowd to support the team and the event.
Paquette's career in athletics administration dates back to his days as an undergraduate at Providence College, where he worked in the Friars' athletics ticket and fundraising offices. After graduating, he became an assistant ticket manager at the University of New Hampshire. While pursuing a master's degree in sports management at the University of Massachusetts, he worked in the university's football game-day operations and on a research grant from the NCAA on its championship promotions.
"Loyola is incredibly fortunate to welcome a leader of Jim's caliber to our athletics program," University President Brian F. Linnane said at the time of Paquette's hiring. "His experience and achievements at Boston College - like Loyola, a Jesuit university - demonstrate his profound understanding of the critical role athletics play in thriving universities. Boston College shares Loyola's philosophy that the best college athletics programs are distinguished not just by their successes in competition, but by their ability to shape men and women of character who serve as role models for their fellow students. I am confident that Jim will build upon the outstanding foundation established and that our Greyhounds athletics programs will continue to provide opportunities for Loyola's student-athletes to excel on the field, in the classroom, and in their communities, and will inspire extraordinary pride and spirit among all members of the university community for many years to come."
He joined Boston College in 1994 as a development assistant, and later accepted a series of positions of increasing responsibility which included sport oversight and luxury suite sales and operations.
Boston College secured more than $211 million in athletic fundraising commitments, and set athletic fundraising records in each of Paquette's 16 years at the institution. Additionally, total cash gifts received by BC Athletics increased from $2 million in 1994 to more than $20 million in 2010.
During his tenure with the Eagles, he served as vice chair of the ACC Men's Tennis Committee and as a member of the ACC Student-Athlete Welfare Committee. Paquette also was a past chair of the ACC Development Committee. He served as the first vice president for the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and was an officer and executive committee member for five years.
Paquette and his wife Erin have two sons, James and Brian, and the family lives in the Baltimore area.