Tag Archive | "Jim Paquette"

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Loyola names Nichols new soccer coach

Posted on 06 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Nichols Named Loyola Men’s Soccer Head Coach

BALTIMORE – Steve Nichols has been named the head men’s soccer coach at Loyola University Maryland, Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Jim Paquette announced Thursday.

Nichols, an all-region performer and two-time team most valuable player as a student-athlete for the Greyhounds’ men’s soccer team has coached Baltimore’s top talent for over 22 years. In addition to currently serving as head coach of the Baltimore Bohemians professional team and director of coaching for the Baltimore Celtic Soccer Club youth organization, Nichols has spent the last 17 years building McDonough School into a perennial national prep power.

“We are thrilled that Steve Nichols is returning to his alma mater to serve as our head men’s soccer coach,” Paquette said. “Steve has had a strong presence in the Baltimore soccer community for more than 20 years, and he has helped developed  some of the best talent in the state of Maryland. In addition, he has been recognized nationally for his accomplishments as a professional, high school and club coach. I firmly believe he is the right person at the right time to lead our men’s soccer program”

Nichols becomes the ninth head coach in Loyola men’s soccer history and just the third in the program’s NCAA Division I history since 1982. He takes the reins of a program that advanced to the MAAC Tournaments each year it was a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, winning a league-best 12 titles before joining the Patriot League in 2014.

“This opportunity is a lifetime dream for me,” Nichols said. “I grew up in the area and, at the time, while I was playing high school and club soccer, Loyola was the top choice for kids in the area; that’s why I went there. This is a life-changing opportunity and my dream is to come back and make that happen again.”

A graduate of Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Nichols began his career at James Madison before coming to Loyola to help the men’s soccer program to a 28-7-8 record, including an unblemished 13-0-0 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, through the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Nichols remained with the program for the 1991 season while finishing his coursework, helping the squad to a third-straight MAAC regular season and tournament title.

“From watching Steve grow as a coach, he is someone who obviously developed a mystique around him because he gets unbelievable results. There is a lot to be said for the accomplishments that he has put together,” said John Ellinger, the former head coach of the United States Under-17 National Team and Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake. “His teams, year-in, year-out are always extremely competitive, and I think Baltimore should be very happy to see one of its own in this position. I think Steve will do great things as Loyola’s coach.”

Following his time in the Green and Grey, Nichols went on to play professionally for the Baltimore Spirit of the NPSL and the Baltimore Bays of the USISL, before taking over at McDonogh School.

Since then, Nichols has led McDonogh to a No. 1 national high school ranking on two occasions, including 2013, when the Eagles posted an unprecedented unbeaten record of 21-0-1, en route to winning the national championship. McDonogh has  won eight MIAA Championships under Nichols and have been MIAA runners-up on six occasions. Only three times throughout Nichols’ 17 years of guidance have the Eagles not played for the MIAA title.

Nichols was named the 2013 NSCAA Boys Private/Parochial School National Coach of the Year and has garnered honors such as NSCAA/MACS Coach of the Year, NSCAA/Adidas Regional and State Coach of the Year and Baltimore Sun Metro Coach of the Year. He was also named the Maryland State High School Terry Colaw Service Award winner in 2007 and the Richard Bartos Memorial Coach of the Year in 2000.

Outside of McDonogh, Nichols is the only coach in the nation to win nine National Youth Soccer Championships and was appointed the national coach for the U-17 Chelsea Tour in England in both 2009 and 2011. He served as the head coach for  the Maryland Olympic Development Program from 1995-99, being awarded as the Maryland Olympic Development Coach of the Year in 1996, and was an MLS player combine coach in 2007.

“Steve is a proven winner at every level he’s coached,” said Bill Wnek, Loyola’s associate athletic director who chaired the search. “He’s won numerous coaching awards and has developed countless players who have gone on to play college soccer at some of the top schools nationally.”

Nichols earned his bachelor of arts in communications and public relations from Loyola in 1992.

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Loyola reports strong graduation rate numbers

Posted on 25 October 2013 by WNST Staff

INDIANAPOLIS – Loyola University Maryland recorded 100-percent graduation success rate scores for eight sports, according to NCAA graduation success rate numbers released today.

Five men’s sports and three women’s sports posted perfect scores, as the Greyhounds achieved a 95-percent cumulative graduation rate for all sports for the 2003-2006 cohorts that make up this year’s report. That rate is tied for 20th among the 346 NCAA Division I schools included in the report.

Loyola has been ranked in the top-20 of the overall Graduation Success Rate in each of the report’s nine years.

“Loyola has a strong commitment to the academic success of our student-athletes, and we are proud that we have achieved this at the highest of levels again in this report,” said Jim Paquette, assistant vice president and director of athletics at Loyola. “Our student-athletes work tremendously hard to achieve high academic standards, and they are supported by a extraordinary network at Loyola. I would like to personally thank our academic support group, the faculty and coaching staffs here who have helped them during their academic careers.”

Loyola attained 100 percent scores for men’s cross country, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s rowing and women’s tennis.

The NCAA developed the Graduation Success Rate as part of its academic reform initiative to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The Graduation Success Rate also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport, which increases the total number of student-athletes tracked for graduation by more than 37 percent.

Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing transfer students who leave in good academic standing. Instead, the outgoing transfers are passed to the receiving institution’s Graduation Success Rate cohort.

The NCAA also calculates the federal graduation rate for student-athletes, which does not hold institutions accountable for transfer student-athletes; it is the only rate by which to compare student-athletes to the general student body.

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Loyola officially joins Patriot League Monday

Posted on 28 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Monday To Mark Loyola’s Transition To Patriot League

July 1 Deemed Patriot League Day In Baltimore

BALTIMORE – More than 10 months after making the announcement that it would join the Patriot League beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, Loyola University Maryland will officially join the conference on Monday, July 1.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young also proclaimed that July 1 will be ‘Patriot League Day’ in the City.

Loyola formally joins the Patriot League along with Boston University, bringing the conference’s membership to 10: American University, Boston University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Loyola, the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy.

The Greyhounds will participate in 17 League sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and women’s volleyball. The League does not sponsor a championship for men’s rowing, but Loyola will continue to row a regionally competitive schedule in the sport.

“It is an honor to join the Patriot League’s distinguished member institutions, all of which consistently demonstrate a profound commitment to excellence both in the classroom and on the field,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president. “That commitment is one we share at Loyola, and we see this move as a vital opportunity to continue to elevate our already outstanding athletics programs in keeping with our goal of becoming the nation’s leading Catholic, comprehensive university.”

Jim Paquette, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics added, “Loyola athletics’ primary mission is to support the development of student-athletes who thrive academically, athletically, spiritually, and socially. The Patriot League embraces and supports those values, and we are thrilled to become partners with the league. Its members’ histories of academic and athletic excellence are impressive, and consistent not only with Loyola’s past achievements, but our future ambitions as well.”

Both BU and Loyola will be immediately eligible for Patriot League titles and NCAA Tournament berths in each of their incoming sports.

The Patriot League was formed as an all-sport conference in 1990-91 after beginning as a football only conference (Colonial League) in 1986. Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh were founding members of the League, and Navy joined the Patriot League for the 1991-92 academic year. Prior to the addition of BU and Loyola, American was the last full member to join the Patriot League (2001-02).

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Loyola hoops recognized by NCAA for academics

Posted on 05 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Seven Greyhound Teams Recognized By NCAA For Academic Success


INDIANAPOLIS – Seven Loyola University Maryland athletic teams were recognized Wednesday by the NCAA for being in the top-10 percent of their respective sports in the most recent multi-year tracking of the Academic Progress Rate (APR).


The Loyola men’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s indoor track and field and women’s outdoor track and field were among those NCAA Division I programs honored.


“It is always special when our student-athletes and teams are recognized for their achievements in the classroom,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Throughout the academic year, they do tremendous jobs balancing the rigors of athletics, academics and other responsibilities with being a college student, and I am so proud of them for their efforts.


“I would also like to thank our academic affairs staff — Colleen Campbell, Adriana Mason and Abbie Day — as well as our coaches and other members of the University community for their support and work with our student-athletes.”

Loyola had the most teams honored, for their fourth year in a row, of any of the schools the Greyhounds competed against this year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Additionally, Loyola’s men’s basketball team was the only one from that sports in the conference so recognized.


Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multi-year NCAA Division I APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multi-year APRs in the top-10 percent of all squads in each sport. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years.


The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team’s academic performance.

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GG Smith tabbed to replace Patsos at Loyola

Posted on 12 April 2013 by WNST Staff

G.G. Smith Named Loyola University Maryland Men’s Basketball Coach


BALTIMORE – Orlando “G.G.” Smith has been named the head men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland, the school’s president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., announced today at a press conference in Reitz Arena.


Smith, who is the son of current Texas Tech University Head Coach Tubby Smith, has been an assistant at Loyola for the past six seasons under former coach Jimmy Patsos.


“At Loyola, we take great pride in a Greyhounds athletics program where our students’ achievements and contributions in the classroom and in the community are as remarkable as their accomplishments in competition,” Fr. Linnane said. “G.G. Smith shares this commitment, and I know he will build on our program’s recent successes to bring even greater excitement and spirit to Loyola basketball and our university.”


Smith, 36, is the 20th head coach in Loyola history and takes the reins of a program that won 62 games over the last three seasons and reached the postseason in each of the last two.


“It is an honor to be asked to continue building on what Loyola men’s basketball has accomplished,” Smith said. “Loyola is a wonderful school that has been a great home for the last six years, and I look forward to leading the program going forward. I would like to thank Father Linnane, (executive vice president) Susan Donovan, (vice president) Marc Camille and (assistant vice president and director of athletics) Jim Paquette for their support and commitment to Loyola basketball and me.”


Smith was a three-year starter at guard at the University of Georgia where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1999, and he later received his master’s degree from the University of Kentucky.


“G.G. is the right person to lead our men’s basketball program as Loyola transitions to the Patriot League next season,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics. “His knowledge of basketball, care for our student-athletes and desire to develop them as leaders has been evident in his time at Loyola, and we are excited that G.G. will build on the success Loyola basketball has achieved in recent years.”


As a member of the Loyola coaching staff, Smith helped guide the Greyhounds to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 when Loyola won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2012. That season, the Greyhounds won a school Division I record 24 games and also were successful in a school-best 13 conference games.


“G.G. was a huge part of our success,” Patsos said of his former assistant. “G.G. is not only a tremendous coach, but he is a better person. His knowledge of the game is outstanding, and I believe that he will be a great leader of the program going forward.”


During his time at Loyola, Smith has handled many on-court coaching and scouting responsibilities for the Greyhounds. In the last two seasons, Loyola posted its first two Division I 20-win seasons, and this year’s trip to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament Quarterfinals marked the first back-to-back postseason appearances since 1951-1953.


Smith has been instrumental in the development of Loyola guard Dylon Cormier, a back-to-back All-MAAC performer who earned First Team honors in 2012-2013 when he averaged 16.4 points per game. In his six years at Loyola, Smith has coached 10 All-MAAC performers, four members of the league’s All-Rookie Team, four MAAC Sixth Players of the Year and a Rookie of the Year.


“I am very excited that G.G. Smith is our next coach,” Cormier said. “He has played at the highest levels, and as a team, we are looking forward to playing for him. He knows us as players, but he knows so much about basketball that we love to learn from him.”


Prior to joining the staff at Loyola prior to the 2007-2008 season, Smith was an assistant at nearby Johns Hopkins University in 2006-2007, helping the Blue Jays to a 24-5 record and berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.


He spent two seasons, 2004-2006, at Armstrong Atlantic State University. The Pirates finished 23-8 in 2005-2006 and earned a No. 2 seed in that season’s NCAA Division II Tournament. Smith was an assistant at Tennessee Tech University in 2002-2003 when the Eagles went 21-10 and were the runners-up in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.


After graduating from Georgia, Smith was an assistant coach for a year at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic High School before spending two years, 2000-2002, as a graduate assistant coach at the Kentucky. The Wildcats advanced to a Sweet Sixteen and won an Southeastern Conference regular-season title in his time at Rupp Arena.


“While all of us at Loyola know that the men’s basketball coaching position is a great job and the vacancy comes at an exciting point in time due to the team’s recent successes and the University’s impending move to the Patriot League, it quickly became evident to me that the college basketball world has caught on as well,” said Marc Camille, Ed. D. Loyola’s vice president of enrollment management and communications, who chaired the search process. “The level of interest in the position from quality candidates around the country made the process of narrowing down the pool more challenging, but equally so, more promising. We could not be more pleased with how things turned out.”


Smith earned his bachelor of science in health and physical education from Georgia in 1999. He was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs as a point guard. He earned All-SEC Third Team honors and helped Georgia advance to the NCAA Tournament twice, including to the 1996 Sweet Sixteen.


He graduated as the program’s all-time leader in games played (129), wins in a season (24) and 3-pointers in a game (three).


Smith then earned his master’s degree in education in sports management from Kentucky in 2002.


Smith, and his wife, Lorie, have a young daughter, Jayna.

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Loyola announces “national search” for Patsos’ successor

Posted on 03 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Patsos Named Head Coach At Siena College


BALTIMORE – After guiding Loyola University Maryland to its first back-to-back postseason appearances in school Division I history, Jimmy Patsos has accepted the position of head men’s basketball coach at Siena College, the Loudonville, N.Y., school announced today.


A national search will begin immediately for his successor at Loyola.


“I am grateful to Coach Patsos for all that he has done to advance our men’s basketball program and Loyola,” said Loyola President Brian F. Linnane, S.J. “During his nine years with the program, he and his dedicated assistants have led a transformation of the basketball program to a point where competing for league championships has become a reality. Of equal importance, Coach Patsos has continued Loyola’s long-standing tradition of emphasizing excellence in the classroom as well as on the court. I wish Coach Patsos and his wife Michele the best as they begin this next phase in their lives. ”


Patsos recently guided the Greyhounds to a 23-12 record in his ninth year at Loyola, the second-most wins since Loyola moved to Division I in 1981-1982. The Greyhounds advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament following the season.


“Jimmy Patsos did an unbelievable job of putting Loyola back on the basketball map, and we thank him for the nine years of passion and spirit that he brought to our campus,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics. “Through his leadership, the program reached heights not seen before at Loyola, and we wish Jimmy, and his wife, Michele, all of the best as they open this new chapter.”


The Greyhounds set several program firsts over the last two years, including the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in school Division I history. Loyola’s 47 wins over the last two seasons – the Greyhounds finished the 2011-2012 campaign with a 24-9 record and the school’s second-ever berth in the NCAA Championships – have brought the first 20-win seasons in as many years since the Greyhounds won 20 or more in 1946-1947, 1947-1948 and 1948-1949.


Patsos was named the 2012 recipient of the Skip Prosser Award as college basketball’s Man of the Year, and he was a finalist for the 2013 honor, as well. Earlier this season, Patsos’ team scored the highest amongst squads in the State of Maryland in the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report. The Greyhounds checked in with a 91-percent GSR, tops among the state’s nine Division I schools, for players who entered the school between 2002-2005.


In the year prior to his arrival at Loyola, the Greyhounds finished with a 1-27 record and were the last ranked team in the national RPI. In nine seasons at the Baltimore school, Patsos achieved a 145-135 (.518) record and became the third coach – first in Division I history – to win 100 games in school history.


The 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year also became just the second coach nationally in the last 20 years to take over a program that had won zero or one game the year prior and go on to win 100 or more. Brigham Young finished the 1996-1997 season with a 1-25 record. Steve Cleveland took over the following season and tallied 138 wins until his departure for Fresno State after the 2004-2005 season.

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