Since taking over the reins of the program in April 2004, Head Coach Jimmy Patsos has turned around the Greyhounds and continued to establish new school marks.
Patsos' eighth season at Loyola, 2011-2012, saw the program reach new heights. The Greyhounds, under his direction, won a school record 24 games, captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title for the first time since 1994 and advanced to play Ohio State in the NCAA Second Round.
During the season, Patsos became just the third coach in Loyola history to reach 100 wins at the school, joining Emil "Lefty" Reitz and Nap Doherty, when the Greyhounds defeated UMBC on November 17, 2011. He will begin the 2012-2013 season with a 122-123 record.
He became the third coach in NCAA Division I over the last 20 years to take over a team that had won zero or one game in the year prior to his arrival to reach the 100-win plateau, joining BYU's Steve Cleveland and UC Irvine's Pat Douglass.
In addition to the school record for victories and second NCAA tournament appearance in Loyola history, the team was the first to win 20 games at the NCAA Division I level, tied a program record with 13 MAAC victories, had the longest winning streak in school history and hosted the first back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena in the venue's history.
With the accomplishments on the court came a slew of recognition for Patsos and the Greyhounds. He was named the Anaconda Sports/MAAC Coach of the Year, another first by a Loyola coach, and he capped his year when he was named the Skip Prosser National Man of the Year by College Insider, a nod to Patsos' work on and off the court.
Taking over a team that had recorded just one win the season prior, Patsos and his staff injected immediate energy into the program and generated legions of followers through its fast-paced, pressing style of play. That first season featured the college's first three-game winning streak in five years and the snapping of a 39-game road losing streak. Patsos registered his first career coaching win over eventual MAAC regular-season and championship titlist Niagara when the Purple Eagles left Reitz Arena saddled with a 97-89 defeat.
There was plenty more to come in Season Two. A five-game winning streak to start the season ballooned into a 10-3 start with the only blemishes being losses to MAAC regular-season champion Manhattan, Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Providence of the BIG EAST. Regrouping at the end of the season, Patsos rallied the team to finish with four wins in the final five regular-season games to secure a winning record and the No. 6 seed at the MAAC Championships, where the season ended with a tough two-point loss in the opening round.
Patsos' third season saw the successes came more frequently and the wins began to pile up. After concluding December with a three-game losing streak, the Greyhounds ran off six straight MAAC wins in January for a school-record seven straight conference victories. By mid-February, Loyola had secured a bye in the MAAC Championship for the first time since 1998 and finished tied for third in the conference standings and as the No. 3 seed. The quarterfinal win over Fairfield gave the Greyhounds wins over all nine MAAC opponents for the first time in school history and that spot in the Championship Semifinals.
The Greyhounds backed up that success in 2007-2008 by collecting 11 home wins -- the most victories in Reitz Arena since the first team to play there won 12 games in 1984-1985. Another MAAC Quarterfinal win over Fairfield vaulted Loyola back into the Semifinals where they lost to the eventual champion for the second straight season.
Three years ago, despite losing more than 3,000 points and 1,500 rebounds to graduation, the young team found its mark at the end of January, winning six straight, including road wins at Manhattan, Marist and Rider. And in 2009-2010, the team recorded arguably the biggest regular-season win in the 100-season history of the program with a 72-67 victory at five-time National Champion Indiana.
The turnaround is not surprising after looking at Patsos' pedigree. He was been surrounded by winners and learned from some of the best basketball minds in the nation during his rise to the helm of the Greyhounds.
Patsos came to the Loyola campus straight from the University of Maryland where as an assistant on the staff of Gary Williams for 13 seasons he helped guide the Terrapins to 11 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including seven Sweet Sixteen appearances, consecutive trips to the Final Four (2001 and 2002) and the 2002 NCAA National Championship. In those 13 seasons, Maryland finished in the top half of the rugged ACC 10 times, won two ACC regular-season championships (1995 and 2002), captured the 2004 ACC Tournament title and posted a school-record eight straight 20-win seasons. Additionally during his tenure with the Terrapins, 13 players who Patsos coached were drafted into the NBA, including six first-round selections with four of those being tabbed as lottery picks -- Walt Williams (1992), Joe Smith (1995), Steve Francis (1999) and Chris Wilcox (2002). Former Terrapins Keith Booth (1997) and Juan Dixon (2002) round out the sextet.
While at College Park, Patsos was recognized by ESPN's Andy Katz as a "Coach on the Rise" after helping Maryland to their seventh Sweet Sixteen appearance, a fifth Top 10 ranking in the final coaches poll and a victory over No. 1 Duke in the inaugural season at the Comcast Center in 2003.
Patsos joined the Terrapins as a volunteer assistant prior to the 1991-1992 season and immediately became an integral part of Williams' staff. His numerous responsibilities included on-court coaching and the academic development of Maryland's players. His role as an academic mentor during his first 10 seasons on Williams' staff proved productive, as the teams' overall academic performance improved under his guidance. As a recruiter, he helped Maryland land a 2002-2003 incoming class ranked as high as fourth in the nation and a group of Terrapins newcomers for the 2003-2004 season rated as high as second in the country by several national publications.
Prior to his appointment at Maryland, Patsos was the assistant coach at Archbishop Carroll HS in Washington, D.C. He helped Carroll to a 21-8 record and a national ranking of No. 6 during his first season before the team lost to famed DeMatha Catholic HS in the city playoffs. Patsos was involved in the maturation of Charles Harrison (Wake Forest) and Lawrence Moten (Syracuse), both of whom became collegiate stars.
A three-year varsity letter winner at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Patsos played for the late Jack Bruen, who later led Colgate University to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament appearances in the 1990s. The Cardinals posted a record of 51-26 during his career as a player and captured four in-season tournament championships, highlighted by a 106-99 victory over Manhattanville in the championship game of the Manhattanville Tournament as Patsos led the Cardinals with career-highs for points (17) and rebounds (14). Other top games during his senior campaign included 12 points and five rebounds against Frostburg State, 10 rebounds at Scranton, and 12 points and nine rebounds against St. Mary's (Md.).
As a junior, Patsos recorded season-highs of 14 points against Upsala and 11 rebounds against Washington (Md.) College. He scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Catholic to the championship of the Alfred University Charity Cage Classic with a 90-88 victory over the host Saxons. The Cardinals were 18-8 during both his junior and senior years, then school records for victories in a single season.
A native of Boston, Mass., Patsos grew up attending games at the Boston Garden. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in History from Catholic in 1989. His brother Chris captained the Florida Southern baseball team to the 1981 NCAA Division II World Series championship and his father Charles received a Tony in 1987 for Best Revival as a member of the producing team for "All My Sons".
In 2011, Patsos married the former Michele Schmidt, a Senior Associate for Triad Strategies.