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Following the departure of Jimmy Patsos to fill the vacant head coaching position at Siena, the powers that be at Loyola (MD) had an important decision to make in regards to who would lead the program into the Patriot League.
Patsos took over a program that won just one game in the season prior to his arrival and led the Greyhounds to heights never before visited by the program, including a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2012 (the program’s first NCAA appearance since 1994).
And in looking for Patsos’ replacement the school ultimately decided that the best course of action would be to hire a familiar face.
Friday afternoon Loyola introduced G.G. Smith as its new head coach, with Smith serving as an assistant on Patsos’ staff for the last six years. Smith comes from a coaching family, as he’s the son of new Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith.
“G.G. is the right person to lead our men’s basketball program as Loyola transitions to the Patriot League next season,” said athletic director Jim Paquette in a statement released by the school.
“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.”
This is Smith’s first head coaching job, and an interesting transition awaits the Greyhounds as they’ll be one of two programs joining the Patriot League this summer (Boston University being the other).
Loyola finished the 2012-13 season with a 23-12 record (12-6 MAAC), finishing one game behind regular season champion Niagara in the MAAC standings. The Greyhounds lose versatile forward Erik Etherly (15.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and guard Robert Olson (12.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg), but Dylon Cormier (16.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) returns to lead a team that can is capable of contending in the Patriot League.
“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.”
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.