Loyola's Hicks fired in wake of 1-27 season

Coach's 4 seasons of 16-97 included a 31-game skid

March 09, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

When they threw a party Jan. 29 at Loyola College to celebrate what turned out to be the team's lone victory in a dismal 1-27 season, coach Scott Hicks probably understood that his days were numbered as basketball coach.

Greyhounds athletic director Joe Boylan made Hicks' departure official yesterday, announcing that his contract would not be renewed after his bleak 16-97 record over four seasons.

Boylan made the expected announcement after meeting with the coaches and players yesterday morning and described the entire team as "beaten down" by the 31-game losing streak over two seasons.

"Unless you've been through something like that, you can't understand how it feels," Boylan said. "It becomes a part of who you are."

Hicks could not be reached to comment.

Loyola ended the 31-game streak that drew national attention on Jan. 29, defeating Marist College, 63-57, before 2,311 fans, the largest crowd of the season.

"Despite the euphoria of that night, we were 1-27," Boylan said. "Scott Hicks and his staff have handled themselves with great dignity over the past four years at Loyola. Lack of success on the court, however, has led to the college's decision not to renew his contract."

The 31 straight losses were two short of tying the all-time NCAA record of 33 consecutive losses held by Grambling.

Now, Boylan begins a new search for a coach to turn around the program.

"This is a critical hire for the school and the students," he said. "We need to get a break. We need to bring in someone who really wants to be here, someone who really wants this job, regardless of the obstacles."

Boylan continued: "If the weight room is underwater, they will go outside and lift. Instead of us selling a new coach on the job, they need to sell themselves for the job."

Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos, a finalist for the job when Hicks was hired, is thought to be an early candidate for the position.

All-ACC teams

The Associated Press' all-ACC men's basketball team for 2003-04, as voted on by 93 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. (First-team votes in parentheses; points tallied on a 3-2-1 system).

First team

Player, School Points

Rashad McCants, North Carolina (91) 277

Julius Hodge, N.C. State (90) 276

Tim Pickett, Florida State (77) 264

Chris Duhon, Duke (72) 252

Justin Gray, Wake Forest (56) 236

Second team

J.J. Redick, Duke (44) 220

B.J. Elder, Georgia Tech (21) 197

Marcus Melvin, N.C. State (1) 157

Sean May, North Carolina (2) 140

Shelden Williams, Duke (6) 125

Third team

Chris Paul, Wake Forest 124

Raymond Felton, North Carolina (2) 115

Luol Deng, Duke (2) 111

John Gilchrist, Maryland 78

Jarrett Jack, Georgia Tech (1) 69

Honorable mention (15 or more points): Elton Brown, Virginia, 49; Daniel Ewing, Duke, 19; Devin Smith, Virginia, 17.

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