Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola athletics through the years


1963: Coach George Ireland leads the Ramblers to the NCAA championship.


Lenny Sachs is hired as the men’s basketball coach. During his 19 seasons as head coach, Sachs, who was later inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, helped the Ramblers become one of the finest teams in the Midwest and was instrumental in nurturing the game of basketball from its infancy.


Loyola finishes as the runner-up at the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden in New York, falling to Long Island 44-32 in the championship game.


Loyola finishes as the runner-up at the NIT, earning wins over CCNY, Kentucky, and Bradley before falling to San Francisco, 49-48, in the title game. Jack Kerris becomes the Ramblers’ first-ever NBA draft pick, and Loyola closes out the year ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll.


On March 11, Loyola opens play in the NCAA Tournament by beating Tennessee Tech, 111-42. That 69-point win still stands as a record for margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game.

On March 15, Loyola plays in one of the greatest games in the history of the social rights movement when it faces Mississippi State in the NCAA Tournament in East Lansing, Mich. Mississippi State was forced to sneak out of Mississippi under the cover of darkness because it was prohibited from playing integrated teams. (Loyola’s team featured four African-American starters.) The Ramblers prevailed in the game, 61-51, as racial barriers are forgotten. A documentary titled “Game of Change” was later produced about the events surrounding the historic game.

On March 23, Loyola captures the NCAA men’s basketball championship by defeating two-time defending champion Cincinnati, 60-58, in overtime at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. The Ramblers rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to force overtime, and Vic Rouse’s tip-in of a missed shot at the end of the first overtime provided the winning margin for the Ramblers. Loyola is the only school in the state of Illinois to have won the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship.

Tom O’Hara wins the NCAA cross country individual championship.


Tom O’Hara breaks the indoor world record for the mile with a time of 3:56.4 at the Chicago Stadium. O’Hara, who would also be named to the U.S. Olympic Team that competed at the 1964 Tokyo Games, will have his world record stand for 10 years.

The men’s basketball team reaches the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and posts a 2-1 record in the tournament to finish the season with a 22-6 record and a No. 8 national ranking in the AP poll.


Loyola loses only three times all season, posting a 22-3 record, and earns a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Ramblers finish the season ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.


George Crosby sets the world record in the 300-yard dash and in the process becomes the first man to break the 30-second barrier, posting a time of 29.9.


LaRue Martin is the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, going to the Portland Trailblazers. Martin is one of only two players in Loyola history (Les Hunter is the other) to finish his career with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.


On June 16, the Midwestern City Conference is officially formed, with Loyola, Butler, Evansville, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts, and Xavier as charter members.


The men’s basketball team reaches the NCAA Sweet Sixteen before falling to a Georgetown team that was led by future NBA star Patrick Ewing. Senior Alfredrick Hughes averages 26.3 points per game and eventually winds up as an NBA first-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs. Loyola, which finished the year ranked No. 14 in the AP poll, won 19 straight games before the season-ending loss to Georgetown and notched wins that season over Northwestern, Illinois, Louisville, and DePaul among others.


Senior Jim Westphal becomes Loyola’s only four-time All-American when he places fourth in the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships.

Leigh Anne Renk earns All-America accolades in the 10,000-meter race to become Loyola’s first female All-American in track and field. She was the MCC champion in the indoor mile and 3,000 meters.


The women’s volleyball team earns its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth by defeating Northern Illinois in the title match of the MCC Tournament. The Ramblers, who were led by the one-two punch of MCC Player of the Year Arian Adams and Missy Sartorelli, finished the season with a 27-7 record.


The women’s volleyball team finishes the season with a 27-5 overall record, wins the Horizon League regular-season title, and posts a best-ever No. 28 ranking in the final Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) poll.


Loyola wins a school-record 16 Horizon League contests to earn at least a share of the Horizon League softball regular-season championship for the third consecutive season under the guidance of first-year coach Jamie Gillies. The Ramblers go 33-23 overall to establish a school record for victories.


Under the direction of head coach Nate Miklos, the women’s golf team captures first place at the Horizon League championship for its first-ever league title.


The men’s volleyball team posts a school-record 26 victories (26-3 record) and wins the MIVA regular-season crown.

The Loyola’s men’s cross country program competes at the NCAA championships as a team for the first time ever on Nov. 21.


On Nov. 5, the men’s soccer team defeats Green Bay to win the Horizon League Tournament title and earn its first-ever berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Ramblers, who finish with an 11-8-2 overall record, will win 33 matches over a three-year span from 2006-08 under head coach Brendan Eitz. Loyola was one of only three NCAA Division I schools to send both its men’s and women’s soccer teams to the NCAA Tournament via automatic bids in 2006.

Also on Nov. 5, the women’s soccer program starts a string of three consecutive 14-win seasons and earns an NCAA Tournament berth by defeating Detroit, 2-1, in the championship match of the Horizon League Tournament. Freshman Cynthia Morote-Ariza is named Soccer Buzz Second Team Freshman All-America and becomes the program’s first-ever NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region player, earning Second Team accolades.


James Grunst becomes Loyola’s first-ever two-time All-American in men’s volleyball as he earns Second Team accolades after snagging First Team honors in 2006.

Men’s soccer wins its first-ever outright regular-season Horizon League championship, going 5-1-2 in league play. Sophomore Michael Ferguson earns National Soccer Coaches Association of America and College Soccer News Third Team All-America recognition, while also picking up hardware as the Horizon League player of the year. Senior Markian Zyga earns ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America honors.


Junior Cynthia Morote-Ariza becomes the first-ever player to earn Horizon League women’s soccer player of the year honors in consecutive campaigns. The high-scoring forward leads the NCAA with 19 assists and ranks tied for second with 55 total points. She also earns ESPN The Magazine and NSCAA Third Team Academic All-America honors as Loyola wins the Horizon League regular-season crown.


Junior Maggie McCloskey sets an NCAA record by hitting at least one three-point field goal in 69 consecutive contests, a streak that dates back to Dec 20, 2006. The previous NCAA record was 60, set by Kim MacMillan of Long Island University.


On April 29, Loyola captures its first-ever Horizon League championship in men’s golf and earns its first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

Gina Valgoi becomes the first Loyola female ever to compete as an individual at the NCAA cross country championships.


On April 2, it is announced that the 1963 Loyola men’s basketball team will become the first team ever to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The official induction is scheduled for Nov. 24.

On April 19, Loyola ushers in a new era in its history when it announces that it will join the Missouri Valley Conference effective July 1, 2013.