(New Orleans, La.) Director of Athletics and Wellness and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dr. Michael Giorlando announced his retirement from Loyola University New Orleans today to pursue a professional opportunity in dentistry.
Associate Athletic Director Brett Simpson will be promoted to Director of Athletics and Wellness, while Assistant Basketball Coach Stacy Hollowell will be named Head Men’s Basketball Coach. The changes will be effective August 1 as stated by Loyola’s Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. M.L. “Cissy” Petty.
“On behalf of the Loyola community, I want to thank Mike for his leadership and service to the university for the past 10 years. Wolf Pack athletics has grown from eight teams and roughly 75 student athletes to 14 teams and over 150 student athletes during his tenure. Our men and women have experienced tremendous success in competition and in the classroom. We wish Mike and his family nothing but the best in this new opportunity,” stated Petty.
Since taking the reins in 2004, Giorlando guided the men’s basketball program to success on and off the court. Most notably, the 2011-12 team finished the season with a 20-10 record and a 11-7 mark in the Southern States Athletic Conference to capture the West Division title. It was the first time that the Wolf Pack had won 20 games since the 1947-48 season. The team was also honored as a NAIA Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Team. The 2008-09 Wolf Pack squad finished with a record of 19-11, and also had a program best 12 wins in conference. For his success in the 08-09 campaign, Giorlando was honored by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches by being named Small College Coach of the Year.
During his 10 years at Loyola, the department has seen an increase in revenue of development programs for the athletic teams. This, along with the academic accomplishments of the Loyola athletes, did not go unnoticed, as Giorlando was named Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2006 and 2009.
"I would like to personally thank the Loyola administration, community and alumni, especially Fr. Kevin Wildes and Dr. Cissy Petty, for the opportunity to have served as the Loyola head men’s basketball coach and director for the past 10 years. It has been my honor and privilege to have worked at a place as special as Loyola with a great supporting faculty and staff. I am deeply grateful for the chance to have been around so many outstanding student athletes, coaches, and support staff who worked tirelessly for our department and men’s basketball program,” said Giorlando.
Simpson takes over as the Director of Athletics and Wellness after recently completing his ninth year as Associate Athletic Director where his responsibilities included coordinating the day to day operations of intercollegiate athletics. The New Orleans native served as Assistant Athletic Director from 1999-2005 where he was primarily responsible for media relations, marketing and promotions for the department. From 1996-1999, Simpson was assistant baseball coach (a position he held until 2011) and sports information intern. Simpson earned his bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations from Loyola in 1996 and later received his master’s of business administration from the university in 2003. This will be his eighteenth year working for the University.
“I want to thank Fr. Wildes, Dr. Petty, and the entire Loyola community for their faith and trust in being named Director of Athletics and Wellness at Loyola. It is humbling to follow a great friend and mentor in Coach Giorlando. Our department has grown tremendously in the 10 years that he spent with the Wolf Pack. I look forward to building upon the successes that we shared under his leadership,” commented Simpson.
A graduate of St. Edward’s University, Hollowell recently completed his fourth year as an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack. He was instrumental in one of the most successful campaigns in Loyola history as the 2011-12 team finished the year with a 20-10 record and the Southern States Athletic Conference West Division title. The 20 wins were the most in a season since the 1947-48 team finished 21-9.
Prior to arriving at Loyola, Hollowell had extensive international experience serving as a head coach for the Qatar Youth National Team, LCC International University in Lithuania, and the Manama Sports Club in Bahrain. He served as an assistant for the Qatar National Team and as an advanced scout for the Chinese National Team that won the gold medal in the 2006 Asian Games. The Mandeville, La. native was a volunteer assistant at Western Kentucky in 2000-01 and an assistant coach at St. Edwards in 2001-02 prior to working overseas.
“I’d like to thank Fr. Kevin Wildes, Dr. Petty, and Brett Simpson for having faith in me to lead the men’s basketball program. I am truly honored and humbled by the opportunity. Our team will work tirelessly to reflect the mission of Loyola University New Orleans and to further the standard of excellence that Coach Giorlando worked so diligently to establish,” said Hollowell.
The Wolf Pack competes in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference.