New Loyola Maryland Head Coach G.G. Smith
April 12, 2013
BALTIMORE – Orlando “G.G.” Smith, four-year letterman at Georgia from 1996-99, has been named the head men’s basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland, the school’s president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., announced Friday
Smith had been an assistant at Loyola for the past six seasons under former coach Jimmy Patsos, who was named head coach at Siena College last week.
“At Loyola, we take great pride in a Greyhounds athletics program where our students’ achievements and contributions in the classroom and in the community are as remarkable as their accomplishments in competition,” Fr. Linnane said. “G.G. Smith shares this commitment, and I know he will build on our program’s recent successes to bring even greater excitement and spirit to Loyola basketball and our university.”
Smith, 36, is the 20th head coach in Loyola history and takes the reins of a program that won 62 games over the last three seasons and reached the postseason in each of the last two.
“It is an honor to be asked to continue building on what Loyola men’s basketball has accomplished,” Smith said. “Loyola is a wonderful school that has been a great home for the last six years, and I look forward to leading the program going forward. I would like to thank Father Linnane, (executive vice president) Susan Donovan, (vice president) Marc Camille and (assistant vice president and director of athletics) Jim Paquette for their support and commitment to Loyola basketball and me.”
Smith was a three-year starter at guard at the University of Georgia where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1999, and he later received his master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He's the eldest of three sons of Orlando "Tubby" Smith, who coached the Bulldogs in the 1996-97 seasons.
“G.G. is the right person to lead our men’s basketball program as Loyola transitions to the Patriot League next season,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics. “His knowledge of basketball, care for our student-athletes and desire to develop them as leaders has been evident in his time at Loyola, and we are excited that G.G. will build on the success Loyola basketball has achieved in recent years.”
As a member of the Loyola coaching staff, Smith helped guide the Greyhounds to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 when Loyola won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title in 2012. That season, the Greyhounds won a school Division I record 24 games and also were successful in a school-best 13 conference games.
“G.G. was a huge part of our success,” Patsos said of his former assistant. “G.G. is not only a tremendous coach, but he is a better person. His knowledge of the game is outstanding, and I believe that he will be a great leader of the program going forward.”
During his time at Loyola, Smith has handled many on-court coaching and scouting responsibilities for the Greyhounds. In the last two seasons, Loyola posted its first two Division I 20-win seasons, and this year’s trip to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament Quarterfinals marked the first back-to-back postseason appearances since 1951-1953.
Smith has been instrumental in the development of Loyola guard Dylon Cormier, a back-to-back All-MAAC performer who earned First Team honors in 2012-2013 when he averaged 16.4 points per game. In his six years at Loyola, Smith has coached 10 All-MAAC performers, four members of the league’s All-Rookie Team, four MAAC Sixth Players of the Year and a Rookie of the Year.
Prior to joining the staff at Loyola prior to the 2007-2008 season, Smith was an assistant at nearby Johns Hopkins University in 2006-2007, helping the Blue Jays to a 24-5 record and berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
He spent two seasons, 2004-2006, at Armstrong Atlantic State University. The Pirates finished 23-8 in 2005-2006 and earned a No. 2 seed in that season’s NCAA Division II Tournament. Smith was an assistant at Tennessee Tech University in 2002-2003 when the Eagles went 21-10 and were the runners-up in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
After graduating from Georgia, Smith was an assistant coach for a year at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic High School before spending two years, 2000-2002, as a graduate assistant coach at the Kentucky. The Wildcats advanced to a Sweet Sixteen and won an Southeastern Conference regular-season title in his time there.
Smith earned his bachelor of science in health and physical education from Georgia in 1999. He was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs as a point guard. He earned All-SEC Third Team honors and helped Georgia advance to the NCAA Tournament twice, including to the 1996 Sweet Sixteen.
He graduated as the program’s all-time leader in games played (129) and 3-pointers in a game (nine). He still ranks fourth on the school's all-time assists and is 27th in scoring with 1,131 points. Smith is one of just three Bulldog 1,000-point scorers to have made more 3-point field goals than 2-pointers; Levi Stukes and Dustin Ware are the others.
Smith then earned his master’s degree in education in sports management from Kentucky in 2002.
Smith, and his wife, Lorie, have a young daughter, Jayna.