March 30, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Loyola University Maryland head men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos was named the 2012 recipient of the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award on Friday night at an awards banquet hosted by CollegeInsider.com at the NCAA Final Four.
The award is named in honor and memory of the late Prosser who was the head coach at Loyola, Xavier and Wake Forest before passing away in July 2007. It recognizes those who achieve success not only on the basketball court, but coaches who display moral integrity off it.
Patsos recently completed his eighth season at Loyola, a year in which he guided the Greyhounds to a 24-9 overall record and the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. Loyola set numerous program records during the season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.
Prosser and Patsos are the only coaches to lead Loyola to the NCAA Tournament. Prosser's 1994 squad is the only other in school history to accomplish the feat.
"To receive an award that is named for Skip Prosser who was just a wonderful person and coach is humbling," Patsos said. "He did tremendous things for the game of basketball, Loyola and all of the schools he coached, and he touched lives of those he met on and off the court."
Earlier this month, Patsos was named the 2012 The Rock/MAAC Coach of the Year, days before the Greyhounds made a three-game run to their second MAAC Championship since joining the conference in 1989-1990.
Loyola defeated Niagara in the MAAC Quarterfinals, Siena in the Semifinal and Fairfield in the Championship Game to earn the school's second bid to the NCAA Championships.
He later was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches District I Coach of the Year.
In addition to leading his team to many accomplishments on the court, Patsos often took time during road trips to take the Greyhounds to cultural events and locations. This season, the team visited the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans' Memorials in Washington, D.C. and finally the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh where Loyola played in the NCAA Tournament.
"I don't want our team to be just about basketball," Patsos said. "I was a history major (at Catholic University of American), and I love learning about different cultures and spreading some of that to the players. I think it is important that we recognize that we are all teachers and students, and we can learn in many different ways from different places."
The Baltimore Sun profiled Patsos and many of the Greyhounds side ventures in an article that ran on the day of their NCAA Tournament game. Read it here.
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.