- INSIDE ATHLETICS
- FOR THE STUDENTS
MATT KOVARIK returns for his sixth season as an assistant after coming to Loyola following time as both a student-athlete and coach in the Maryland Terrapins program.
Kovarik was in his third season as an assistant alongside Jimmy Patsos at Maryland when he decided to follow him to Loyola after Patsos' appointment in April 2004. During those three seasons in College Park (2001-2004), Kovarik helped guide the Terrapins to a 73-26 record, three NCAA Tournament berths, an ACC regular-season championship (2002), an ACC Tournament Championship (2004) and the 2002 NCAA Championship.
The first player in Maryland history to play on five straight teams that finished in the top half of the ACC, Kovarik appeared in 129 games during his career (1993-1998) and all five teams participated in the NCAA Tournament, including three Sweet 16 appearances. The Terrapins were 103-55 during that span and the 1995 team was co-regular season champions of the ACC. His game total ranks among the top 10 in Maryland history, trailing elite company such as Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, Lonny Baxter and Len Bias in the record books.
An honorable mention selection for the 1994 ACC all-freshman team, Kovarik was named to the conference's all-academic team following the 1996-1997 season. He was a three-time recipient of the Maryland men's basketball scholar-athlete award.
During his tenure as a Terrapins player and coach, he was surrounded by future NBA players. A roommate of Joe Smith, the 1995 NBA Draft No. 1 overall selection by the Golden State Warriors, he also played with Keith Booth, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Laron Profit, Obinna Ekezie and Terence Morris. While assisting Williams, he coached future NBA players Dixon, Blake, Baxter, Chris Wilcox and D.J. Strawberry.
Following commencement, Kovarik worked for the Xerox Corporation in New York City for two years, before attending the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore. He continued those studies at Maryland's Law School in Baltimore while at Loyola and completed his requirements to receive his law degree in June 2007. He is currently a member of the Maryland Bar Association.
The Greensboro, N.C., native attended Grimsley HS where he was a three-year starter at shooting guard and backcourt teammate of former Loyola Greyhounds guard Milt Williams. Matt is married to the former Thea Crosby-Levine, a registered nurse at Shady Grove Hospital, and the couple celebrated the birth of their first child, Ava Ryan, in the spring of 2009.