Boylan gets first nibbles on line, searching for Loyola's new coach

January 20, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

The small, quiet campus is five miles from downtown, and the arena opened in 1984. The administration will allow some recruiting leeway, and since the team hasn't been to the NCAAs since it went to the Division II tournament in 1973, the fans aren't spoiled.

Do you think there might be some interest in the vacant Loyola job?

Athletic director Joe Boylan took over as interim coach of the Greyhounds Friday, after the resignation of Tom Schneider. The players are his first concern -- the team is 1-11 and about to play six of its next nine on the road -- but the hiring process has begun.

"It seems like I've already talked to 15 people today," Boylan said last night. "We'll be advertising in the NCAA News, hopefully next week, but in this business, everyone knows about the job already. We won't bring anyone [finalists] on campus until after the season, but I'll be talking to people over the next couple of weeks. This coming weekend, I'm sure I'll talk to some people."

Boylan has talked to Tom Young, the head coach at Rutgers when Boylan was an assistant there, about helping the Greyhounds as an assistant coach the rest of this season. Since leaving Old Dominion, Young has done TV commentary and lowered his golf handicap.

"I asked Tom if he wanted to help, and he said he wasn't sure," Boylan said. "I hope he does it, because it would be great for our players. I haven't gotten any indication about whether he would be interested in [coaching Loyola] next year. If he were, I'd talk to him."

The early list also includes a couple of assistants at unbeaten Virginia. Brian Ellerbee, who played at Rutgers when Boylan was an assistant there, said he hasn't given Loyola any thought, but Dennis Wolff said he is interested. Two assistants at Philadelphia schools, La Salle's Joe Mihalich and St. Joseph's Phil Martelli, also are interested.

Boylan wants a new coach before the Final Four, which would give the staff a few weeks of late recruiting before the spring signing period begins April 15. If Schneider's successor can recoup some personnel losses, the building process would be easier.

Schneider came to Loyola four years ago, when the Greyhounds were moving up in class from the Northeast Conference to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

He won't look back and talk about what went wrong, but he lost some recruiting gambles. The academic, legal and personal problems of his players didn't help Schneider, who was in the final season of a four-year contract that apparently wasn't going to be renewed.

Point guard Tracy Bergan, behind in his studies, left college last March. Bergan, who also was suspended for academic shortcomings as a freshman, is back at Loyola this semester, paying his own way in the hope that he'll be eligible next season. The November suspensions of Michael Reese, their top returning player, and Chad Anderson severely hurt the Greyhounds.

Reese was charged with assault, and Anderson withdrew from school after an unrelated violation of the school's conduct code.

The Loyola administration has made many admissions exceptions for recruits. Virgil Wallace, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound sophomore who first suited up last week, has been at Loyola since September 1991, getting his academics in order. The team's best player, sophomore forward B. J. Pendleton, was supposed to come to the Greyhounds in 1990, but first had to spend a year at prep school.

If UMBC beat . . .

Accept the value of comparative scores, and it only takes three games to get Baltimore involved in top 25 speculation.

Two-time NCAA champion Duke loses to Georgia Tech, which loses by 17 to the College of Charleston, which lost here Dec. 19 to Coppin State. Of course, 10 days before that, the Eagles lost to UMBC, which two days ago was hammered by 36 at Charleston.

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