Aug. 23, 2004
Loyola men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos today announced the hiring of Matt Kovarik as assistant coach, effective immediately. Kovarik joins assistant coaches Brian Blaney and Terrell Stokes after a 3-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland. Kovarik's hiring completes the men's basketball staff at Loyola.During his 13-year tenure at Maryland, Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos both coached, and coached with, Kovarik."We're very fortunate to have Matt as part of our staff," Patsos said. "I know that with Brian Blaney, Terrell Stokes, and now Matt, we have 3 coaches who will excel both at recruiting and at getting our current players better come October 15th."Kovarik, a point guard at the University of Maryland from 1994-98 who was a 3-time winner of the scholar-athlete award at his alma mater, will not only assume assistant coaching duties with Loyola men's basketball, but also resume his law school studies at the University of Maryland in downtown Baltimore."I'm very excited about the opportunity to join the Loyola Basketball Program", Kovarik said. "I have known Jimmy Patsos for 11 years, and have great respect for him both as a basketball coach and as a person."As an assistant coach at Maryland the last three years, Kovarik monitored the academic progress of the Terrapin squad off the court, a duty that he'll retain at Loyola, along with advance scouting and other administrative duties."I think Matt sets the kind of student-athlete example we want. He's living proof that you can excel at both," said Patsos.Kovarik, a former member of the All-ACC Academic team as a junior at Maryland, looks forward to the challenge of law school part-time and Loyola men's basketball full-time. "I think that finishing my law degree and coaching will set an example for the Loyola players, in that basketball doesn't last forever, but the degree does, and it's always good to have as many options as you can possibly have," said Kovarik, who has completed one year of law school and will re-enroll to begin his second year this Fall."Sometimes, things just work out," Patsos said. "We all knew that Matt wanted to go back to law school in Baltimore, but what started as a casual conversation about the possibilities at Loyola got more serious as I broached the topic with Joe Boylan and Marty Kelly and continued to talk to Matt."Before playing and coaching at the University of Maryland, Kovarik was a 3-year starter at Grimsley High School in North Carolina, where he teamed in the backcourt with former Loyola guard Milt Williams."The thing about those guys, having seen them both play, is that they were both tenacious defenders who not only went on to careers in college that took them to the NCAA Tournament, but they also got their degrees," said Patsos."We were very good friends while we were playing," Kovarik said of Williams. "He was the point guard and I was the two guard - in high school. It was only at Maryland that I switched to the point to get more minutes."Both Kovarik & assistant coach Terrell Stokes will be on the Bob Haynie show on WNST AM -1570 tomorrow @ 1 p.m.