By Jason Rich ’98
Jimmy Patsos, the man who transformed Loyola University from a one-win team to a perennial MAAC contender, is the 16th head coach in Siena men’s basketball history, and the 10th since the program moved to Division I 1976-77.
He led Loyola to a school-record 24 wins and a MAAC Championship in 2011-12. This past year, the Greyhounds went 23-12 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). It is the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in Loyola’s Division I history.
Patsos posted a 145-135 (.518) record at Loyola, including a 47-21 (.691) mark the last two years . The 2012 NCAA Tournament Second Round loss to Ohio State marked Loyola’s first trip to the Big Dance in 18 years.
He was just the third coach in Loyola history to reach 100 wins, joining Emil “Lefty” Reitz and Nap Doherty. In doing so, he 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 more than 100 games (Steve Cleveland – BYU, 1997-05).
Patsos was named MAAC Coach of the Year and the Skip Prosser National Man of the Year by College Insider in 2012, the later a nod to his work on and off the court. He was a finalist for the Prosser award again this season.
Under his leadership his staff injected immediate energy into the Loyola program and generated legions of followers through the Greyhounds’ fast-paced, pressing style of play. In 2012, Loyola hosted the first back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena in the venue’s history.
Patsos came to Loyola from the University of Maryland, where as an assistant to 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 National Championship.
He began his coaching career as the assistant at Archbishop Carroll High School 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 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.
A native of Boston, Patsos earned his Bachelor’s Degree in history from Catholic in 1989.
In 2011, Patsos married the former Michele Schmidt, a senior associate for Triad Strategies.