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Loyola AD to step down in June

Loyola University Maryland assistant vice president and director of athletics Jim Paquette announced on Friday that he will step down from his role to pursue new opportunities in collegiate athletics and higher education.

Paquette has been in the role at Loyola since 2010 and last June was named the Under Armour I-AAA Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors (NACDA).

“It’s been a privilege and an honor to work alongside so many talented and dedicated student-athletes, coaches and staff at Loyola University Maryland, and I’m extremely proud of our achievements,” Paquette said in a release by the school. “After careful thought and reflection, I have decided the timing is right to conclude my service at Loyola so I can more aggressively pursue new opportunities that are the best fit for my family and me and to allow for new leadership to be in place as the University implements its recently endorsed strategic plan.”

Paquette is currently the Third Vice President for the I-AAA Athletics Directors Association, a group of NCAA Division I schools without football. He is also the Chair of the Patriot League Committee on Athletic Administration after serving as the Vice Chair from 2014-2016.

Since Loyola became the Director of Athletics at Loyola in 2010, Loyola moved from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference into the Patriot League, a move that allowed all the school’s teams to compete in the same conference for the first time.

In the field of competition, the Greyhounds have achieved great success. The men’s lacrosse team won the program’s first National Championship and 19 total teams have appeared in different NCAA Championships in five different sports. The men’s basketball team went to the NCAA Tournament and appeared in the CIT and CBI. The women’s basketball program also earned a WNIT bid.

“During Jim’s time at Loyola, Greyhounds student-athletes have excelled both academically and in competition unlike ever before in Loyola’s history,” said Loyola executive vice president Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D. “Jim has left his mark on Loyola University Maryland, and we are grateful to him for his leadership.”

Loyola athletics fundraising under Paquette also greatly increased. The Greyhounds increased gifts by 706-percent from 2010 through 2015. This included exceeding a $12-million campaign goal more than a year early and increasing endowed scholarships from one to 18. Reitz Arena added LED courtside signage, a $3.2 million gift has led to the construction of the McClure Tennis Center at Ridley Athletic Complex, there has been a new indoor golf facility and new and renovated locker rooms, coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, sports medicine and strength and conditioning rooms and new fueling stations for all student-athletes.

In the classroom, Loyola student-athletes have ranked in the top-25 of the NCAA Graduation Success Rates every year of Paquette’s tenure. The program had a school record of 98-percent in 2016, which was No. 3 in Division I. The cumulative grade-point average of Loyola student-athletes has risen from 3.115 in 2010 to 3.302 by the end of the Fall 2016 semester. The number of student-athletes on the Dean List has increased by more than 25-percent under Paquette.

“It has been a blessing for my wife, Erin, sons James and Brian, and me to have been a part of the Loyola family for the past seven years,” Paquette said. “As we move on to this next phase of our lives, I wish nothing but the best for everyone at Loyola and am confident athletics will continue to thrive because of the sustained extraordinary efforts of student-athletes, coaches, and staff who care so deeply for the school.”

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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