OFFICIAL: Loyola University Maryland Names Tavaras Hardy Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Photo Courtesy Loyola Athletics

Tavaras Hardy has been named the 21st head men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland, Donna M. Woodruff, the Greyhounds’ assistant vice president and director of athletics, announced today.

A noted recruiter, Hardy has served on coaching staffs in the Big Ten, Big East and Atlantic Coast Conferences over the last 12 seasons.

Hardy, 38, was an All-Big Ten player at Northwestern University as a collegian, and he has spent the last two seasons on the staff at Georgia Tech, where he spearheaded two nationally ranked recruiting classes. In 2016-17, Hardy and the Yellow Jackets reached the championship game of the NIT.

He will be formally introduced to the Loyola community with a press conference and reception on Wednesday, April 4. Check for further details when they become available.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tavaras Hardy to the Greyhound family as our men’s basketball coach,” said Woodruff.  “During a thorough and exhaustive search process, he clearly demonstrated himself to be a talented coach with the knowledge and experience to not only build our men’s basketball program into a perennial contender within the Patriot League, but one who will help us prepare the young men in his program for life after basketball as both scholars and citizens. Loyola Men’s Basketball is in great hands with Tavaras moving forward.”

This year’s freshman crop at Georgia Tech included two starters for the Yellow Jackets; he helped mentor point guard Jose Alvarado, a native of New York City who averaged 12.1 points per game in his first season in Atlanta.

“I want to thank Fr. Linnane, Dr. Rob Kelly, Donna Woodruff and the entire search committee for both identifying me and giving me the opportunity to become the head men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland,” Hardy said. “What excites me most about Loyola is the opportunity to fully integrate the core principles of the Ignatian Way into building a highly successful men’s basketball program.

“Our success will be defined not only on the court, but by our impact on the lives of our student-athletes, the university community, our fans, our city and our future generation. I am looking forward to getting in the gym with our guys, learning their games and establishing the culture of work ethic that will produce championship level basketball.”

Georgia Tech was among the ACC’s best defensive teams in 2017-18, holding opponents to 67.8 points per game. The Yellow Jackets also finished 11th nationally in blocked shots per game and in the top-90 in steals per game.

Prior to joining the Ramblin’ Wreck staff, Hardy was an assistant coach from 2013-16 at Georgetown University. In the nation’s capital, Hardy worked primarily with the Hoyas’ wings and post players, and he helped bring in two recruiting classes that were ranked among the nation’s top-20.

Hardy helped tutor Jessie Govan to Big East All-Freshman honors in 2015-16 and a pair of Hoyas players — Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak — to the same recognition in 2014-15.

“As a university committed to the education of the whole person — mind, body and spirit — Loyola University Maryland is proud of our student-athletes who excel both athletically and academically, including on the basketball court,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president. “We are delighted to welcome Tavaras as our head coach of the men’s basketball team. I look forward to watching him build on Loyola’s strong athletics history and lead our Greyhounds to success.”

Hardy joined the Georgetown staff after spending seven seasons on the sidelines at his alma mater from 2007-13. He helped the Wildcats earn four-consecutive postseason bids and record consecutive 20-win seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11, a first-time feat in Northwestern history. Hardy was Northwestern’s associate head coach his last two years.

He was key in the development of Northwestern’s John Shurna during his record-breaking career for the Wildcats. Shurna was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, earning first-team recognition as a senior in 2011-12 when he led the conference in scoring and became Northwestern’s all-time leader in points.

Additionally, Drew Crawford was the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a two-time All-Big Ten selection.

Hardy was a head coach for the Illinois Defenders boys basketball program for three years before moving into the college ranks in 2007. Among the Defenders’ accomplishments, Hardy’s under-16 team won the 2005 Las Vegas Main Event Tournament with a 7-0 record. While he coached the Defenders, he worked in wealth management for JPMorgan Chase and Co.

The Joliet, Illinois, native was a standout high school player at Providence Catholic High School where he was inducted to the school’s hall of fame in 2014. Hardy then became a four-year letterwinner and three-time Most Valuable Player at Northwestern from 1998-2002. He was an All-Big Ten honoree as a senior, and he still ranks in the Wildcats’ career top-10 in blocked shots (101), games played (118) and games started (113).

Hardy led the Wildcats in blocked shots and rebounding for three-straight seasons from 2000-02 and field-goal percentage his last two years. After concluding his career at Northwestern, Hardy played professionally for Namika Lahti in Finland.

He graduated from Northwestern in 2002 with a bachelor of arts in political science.

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