Loyola College will launch its next men's basketball rebuilding effort today by introducing University of Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos as head coach.
Patsos and Loyola were finalizing what sources said is a four- or five-year contract last night. The deal is expected to be signed by this morning, before the formal announcement is made at a news conference at the school.
Patsos, 37, who made an unsuccessful run at the Loyola job four years ago, becomes a head coach for the first time after working under Maryland coach Gary Williams for 13 seasons. As the 20th head coach in Loyola history, Patsos replaces Scott Hicks, who was fired after a 16-97 record in four years.
Since the Greyhounds' last winning season in 1993-94 - which culminated in their first and only NCAA tournament appearance - Loyola has hired and fired three coaches. Patsos inherits a program that bottomed out this season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and finished 1-27.
"Jimmy has got everything we want. We're really fortunate to get somebody with his qualifications," Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan said last night. "I've watched him grow and mature. I used to wonder how he would do down the road. I think we got lucky."
Patsos, a native of Boston, is a 1989 graduate of Catholic University, where he was a three-year varsity basketball letter-winner. Upon graduation, he got into coaching as an assistant at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington.
In 1991, Williams, then trying to rebuild a Maryland program hindered by NCAA sanctions and mired in the Atlantic Coast Conference basement, hired Patsos as a volunteer assistant.
Patsos would become the staff's academic development coordinator. Then, after top assistant Billy Hahn left Maryland to take the head coaching job at La Salle in 2001, Patsos became the No. 2 assistant and took on opponent scouting and recruiting responsibilities.
"This is a tremendous opportunity. I wanted to be the coach here four years ago, and I've got more experience now. I was Gary's secretary my first year. I've done every job [besides run a program]," Patsos said last night. "We were the last-place team in the ACC, and I learned from the best coach in the country how to rebuild a program. It's exciting."
Sources said Patsos intends to hire former Maryland point guard Terrell Stokes as part of his new staff, and that Catholic University coach Mike Lonergan could be a candidate to join Williams' staff at Maryland.