March 21, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After directing the Loyola University Maryland men's basketball team to a school Division I record 24 wins, Head Coach Jimmy Patsos was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District I Coach of the Year by a vote of his peers.
Patsos earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors prior to the Greyhounds' victory at the MAAC Championships, as well.
In his eighth year at Loyola, Patsos guided the Greyhounds to their first NCAA Tournament bid and MAAC title since 1994. The team's season ended last Thursday as a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament in a 78-59 loss to No. 2 seed Ohio State University.
During the season, the Greyhounds accomplished many firsts and milestones. Loyola finished with a 24-9 overall record and went 13-5 during the MAAC regular season. The 24 wins were the most since the 1948-1949 team set a school record with 25 victories, and the 13 conference wins set a program best, as well.
Four Loyola players - Erik Etherly (1st), Dylon Cormier (2nd), Justin Drummond (3rd) and Robert Olson (3rd) - earned All-MAAC honors, the most the Greyhounds have ever earned since joining the league in 1989-1990. Etherly was later named the MAAC Championships Most Outstanding Player, while Drummond and Olson earned All-Tournament honors.
The Greyhounds finished second in the MAAC during the regular season, their best ever finish in the league, and the team tied a program record with eight non-conference victories.
Loyola also put together the two longest winning streaks since the program moved to Division I for the 1981-1982 season, winning eight games from November 14-December 10 and seven from January 19-February 10.
The Greyhounds played in front of back-to-back sell-out crowds in Reitz Arena against Rider University and Iona College in February, marking the first time since the venue opened in 1984 that it has been filled to capacity for consecutive games.
Patsos guided a balanced team to the NCAA Tournament that featured four players - Etherly (13.7), Cormier (13.4), Olson (11.1) and Drummond (10.7) - who scored in double figures during the season.
Loyola averaged just over 67 points per game, but Patsos and the Greyhounds were at or near the top of the MAAC in many `hustle' stat categories: offensive rebounds (1st), rebounding margin (2nd), blocked shots (2nd) and scoring defense (2nd).
Patsos took over the Loyola program in April 2004, a month after the Greyhounds concluded the 2003-2004 season with a 1-27 record. Since then, Patsos has won 122 games at Loyola, and earlier this season, he became just the third coach in the last 20 years to take over a team that had won zero or one game the season before to win 100 or more games at the school.
Patsos is now eligible for the NABC National Coach of the Year Award.