It took less than a year for Jimmy Patsos to reenergize Siena's men's basketball program and invigorate its fanbase.
Patsos took over as Siena's 16th head coach on April 3, 2013, and promptly orchestrated a 12-win improvement that tied for the second greatest in all of Division I, and culminated in the first Division I national postseason tournament championship in program history.
The upstart Saints posted their 19th 20-win season in Patsos' first year and earned a bye into the quarterfinals of the MAAC championships after being picked 10th (of 11) in the conference's preseason coaches' poll.
Siena accepted an invitation to participate in the 16-team College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and caught fire. The improbable run to the CBI title included victories over Penn State and Illinois State. The Saints knocked off Fresno State in the nationally televised best-of-three Championship Series, capturing game one in California and the decisive third game in the Alumni Recreation Center on campus.
Patsos' first recruiting class at Siena included MAAC All-Rookie selections Marquis Wright and Lavon Long. It marked the first time Siena has had multiple players named to the league's All-Rookie team.
Patsos was equally effective developing the talent in the program. Rob Poole was named to the MAAC Third Team after leading the Saints with 14.6 points per game and connecting on 71 three-point field goals. Brett Bisping enjoyed one of the great turnarounds in Division I, registering 11.5 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game after tallying just 3.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest as a freshman. Bisping was the runaway choice as MVP of the CBI, averaging a team-best 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in Siena's six games.
Patsos came to Siena after nine transformative years at Loyola University Maryland.
Patsos led Loyola to a school-record 24 wins and a MAAC Championship in 2011-12. In 2012-13, the Greyhounds went 23-12 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). It is the first back-to-back 20-win seasons in Loyola's Division I history.
Patsos posted a 145-135 (.518) record at Loyola, including a 47-21 (.691) mark in his last two years. The 2012 NCAA Tournament Second Round loss to Ohio State marked Loyola's first trip to the Big Dance in 18 years.
In June of 2013, Loyola men's basketball received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for posting an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the top-10% of all Division I programs. The award considered APR scores from the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12, all teams Patsos coached.
Patsos was just the third coach in Loyola history to reach 100 wins, joining Emil "Lefty" Reitz and Nap Doherty. In doing so, he became just the second coach nationally in the last 20 years to take over a program that had won zero or one game the year prior and go on to win more than 100 games (Steve Cleveland - BYU, 1997-05).
Patsos was named MAAC Coach of the Year and the Skip Prosser National Man of the Year by College Insider in 2012, the later a nod to his work on and off the court. He was a finalist for the Prosser award again in 2013.
Patsos and his staff injected immediate energy into the Loyola program and generated legions of followers through the Greyhounds' fast-paced, pressing style of play. In 2012, Loyola hosted the first back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena in the venue's history.
Patsos arrived at Loyola from the University of Maryland, where as an assistant to Gary Williams for 13 seasons he helped guide the Terrapins to 11 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including seven Sweet Sixteen appearances, consecutive trips to the Final Four (2001 and 2002) and the 2002 National Championship.
He began his coaching career as the assistant at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. He helped Carroll to a 21-8 record and a national ranking of No. 6 during his first season before the team lost to famed DeMatha Catholic in the city playoffs. Patsos was involved in the maturation of Charles Harrison (Wake Forest) and Lawrence Moten (Syracuse), both of whom became collegiate stars.
A three-year varsity letter winner at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Patsos played for the late Jack Bruen, who later led Colgate University to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament appearances in the 1990s.
A native of Boston, Patsos earned his Bachelor's Degree in history from Catholic in 1989.
In 2011, Patsos married the former Michele Schmidt.
Jimmy Patsos Year-by-Year
*MAAC Championship, NCAA Tournament Second Round