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Loyola names Coach Hernandez as athletic director

Loyola press release - September 17, 1999

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans President the Rev. Bernard P. Knoth, S.J., announced today the appointment of Jerry Hernandez as athletic director.

As athletic director, Hernandez will oversee all aspects of Loyola’s Intercollegiate Athletic Program including its direction, development, scheduling, facilities and financial management, public relations and fundraising. The Wolfpack teams compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics- Division I and within the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Loyola students made history in 1991 by voting to bring back intercollegiate athletics. During that same year, the athletic program’s rebirth began with men’s baseball and basketball. Today, the Loyola Wolfpack consists of nine varsity sports including men and women’s cross country, track, and basketball; men’s baseball; and women’s volleyball and soccer.

Coach Hernandez, as he is known throughout the New Orleans community, has been the assistant athletic director and head basketball coach at Loyola since 1991. As assistant athletic director he was instrumental in resurrecting Loyola’s athletic program and creating the annual Loyola Hall of Fame ceremony.

As head basketball coach, he led the men’s basketball team to post season playoffs in three of its eight seasons, including the Southwest Region Championship and the NAIA National Tournament. He was named coach of the year in 1995 by the NAIA-Southwest Region.

Hernandez held positions as a high school English teacher and basketball coach at Archbishop Shaw High School, Jesuit High School, De LaSalle High School and St. Martin High School.

As a community leader, Hernandez has given his time and talent in conducting free basketball clinics for Fellowship Boys Foundation, as well as for schools, playgrounds and recreation departments throughout the Greater New Orleans area.

Hernandez earned a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a master’s degree in education from the University of New Orleans. He was in the United States Marine Corps from 1967-70, including service in Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Navy Commendation with Combat V awards.

In making the announcement, Fr. Knoth said, "During his tenure at Loyola, Coach Hernandez has shown a tremendous degree of commitment and dedication to the development, growth and success of the university’s athletic program. As we continue building the athletic program, I am confident that Coach Hernandez’s leadership will guide our talented student athletes and enrich their experiences in collegiate sports."

Upon accepting his appointment, Hernandez said, "I am excited to be able to lead the Wolfpack athletic program, since I’ve been with it since its inception. I am going to work hard to make this organization a manifestation of the principles and ideals of Loyola University New Orleans and the Jesuit tradition."