Loyola takes chance, enlists Gaudio as coach He's hired from Army despite 36-72 record

April 16, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Seeking long-term success and stability in its basketball program, Loyola College named Dino Gaudio coach yesterday in a decision athletic director Joe Boylan said will be considered by others "as a gamble for us and him."

Gaudio, 40, comes to Loyola from Army where he had a 36-72 record in four years as head coach and lost 10 of 11 games to Navy.

He will be introduced this morning at an 11 o'clock news conference at Reitz Arena.

Gaudio's lone victory over Navy came in the first round of Patriot League tournament in 1996.

There is hope at Loyola that Gaudio might have some of the same magic that Mike Krzyzewski carried with him when he left Army for Duke.

"Not everybody is going to be a Mike Krzyzewski," said Boylan. "But it gives you a benchmark. At this point, I think Dino is the best person for this job. Is he the only one? No. But we're really excited about him coming here. He looks at the academic situation as a positive and considers it a challenge to recruit here like it was at Army."

Boylan said Gaudio is coming to Loyola with the idea "he can succeed."

"Dino is a risk-taker and I like that about him," said Boylan. "He left a very comfortable position at Army to take this job. You can't help build a better world if you don't improve as an individual. I don't look at this as a gamble on our part because I know of all the things that can happen when you're coaching at a school like Army. Mike Krzyzewski said coaching at Army is like coaching nowhere else."

Gaudio said yesterday from his West Point, N.Y., home he was aiming to put Loyola in the NCAA tournament immediately next season and build a program similar to the one at Xavier, where he spent six seasons as an assistant coach to Pete Gillen before going to Army.

"I see what Xavier has done in Cincinnati and I believe we can do the same thing in Baltimore," said Gaudio. "Loyola is a great Catholic school in a super metropolitan area. I believe the potential for recruiting is unlimited."

Gaudio said he would have the Greyhounds "playing fast."

"We're going to run and press," he said. "I believe the talent is there. But when a team loses, the kids start to become aggressive with each other and break apart. You have to bring them back together."

Gaudio left West Point last night with his wife, Maureen, and two daughters, Kaylan, 13, and Alyssa, 6, to drive to Baltimore.

"It's not that bad a drive," said Gaudio, who was used to taking long bus rides when he was an assistant basketball coach four years and head coach two years at Wheeling (W. Va.) Central Catholic High from 1981-87. His team won the Class AA state title in 1987.

There is also Gaudio's connection to Xavier head coach Skip Prosser, who came to Loyola in 1993 and instantly took the

Greyhounds to the NCAA tournament with a 17-13 record.

Prosser left after that one season to take the Xavier job that opened when Gillen went to Providence.

Gaudio spent four of his six seasons at Xavier as an assistant with Prosser after the two had coached together at Wheeling Central. Gaudio was an assistant to Prosser at Wheeling Central and succeeded him as head coach in 1985.

"This is not something I go around talking about much but I was the best man in Skip's wedding and he baptized my youngest daughter [Alyssa]," said Gaudio. "He's very happy for me."

Gaudio replaces Brian Ellerbe, who left Loyola after three seasons.

Gaudio's record

Dino Gaudio has been head coach the past four seasons at Army. The six years before that he was an assistant to Pete Gillen at Xavier. Gaudio's record at Army:

Year ...... Record

1993-94 ... 7-20

1994-95 ... 12-16

1995-96 ... 7-20

1996-97 ... 10-16

Total ..... 36-72

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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