Longtime Loyola Golf Coach Ventura Passes Away Monday

Feb. 9, 2009

BALTIMORE - Longtime Loyola Golf Coach Dr. Michael Ventura '42 passed away on Monday at the age of 89. A Baltimore native, Ventura headed his alma mater's golf program for 26 seasons and made his presence known at the College for over a half-century.

Ventura, a member of the Loyola College Athletics Hall of Fame, led the Greyhounds' program from 1971-1997, a span of 26 seasons in which he produced only one losing record and accumulated a highly successfully track record.

His teams captured eight Northeast/ECAC Metro Conference titles during his career and five Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships (1990, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96). In 1993, behind Ventura, the Greyhounds achieved their first-ever national ranking.

"This is the end of an era with the passing of a great Loyola College ambassador. Dr. Ventura spanned time at Loyola from World War II through the 21st Century," said Loyola College of Athletics Director Joseph Boylan.

"Dr. Ventura's love for Loyola and his student-athletes was legendary and we will not see his likes again."

Born and raised in Baltimore, Ventura graduated high school from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1936. He first distinguished himself at Loyola as a standout wrestler and student coach. He graduated from the College in 1942 with a B.S. degree and entered the Army Air Corps shortly thereafter until 1946.

Upon his return to Baltimore, he proceeded to earn his dental and orthodontia licenses and practiced in the Baltimore area for nearly 40 years. During that time, he also returned to Poly to coach wrestling.

"Dr Ventura's impact on the Loyola Golf Program is unquestionable," current Head Loyola Golf Coach Tom Beidleman said.

"In addition to producing a great number of championship teams andindividuals, he was a man of impeccable character. His playersrespected him immensely and he has had a lasting effect on all that Icome in contact with who knew him."

Dr. Ventura lived in Towson, Md., and is survived by his three sons: Michael Jr., a 1976 Loyola graduate; Patrick, who graduated from Bucknell in 1980; and Robert, who graduated from Loyola in 1992.

Visitation will be held Wednesday and Thursday from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Ruck Funeral Home in Towson, Md., (410) 823-1700.