01/03/2018

Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2018 Hall of Fame will honor the 2002 Loyola women's volleyball team and Ryan Brock, men's basketball 2008-11 as the newest inductees on January 20, 2018. More event information can be found here.

2002 Loyola's women's volleyball team

Everyone knows the rule: The sequel isn't usually as strong as the original. 

But that wasn't the case with the 2002 Loyola Wolf Pack women's volleyball team, which proved to be every bit as potent as the previous year's edition. 

The '02 squad's challenge was to improve on the accomplishments of an '01 team that won the first regional championship in program history and set a school record for most wins in a season while going 33-12 and bowing out in the first round of the national tournament. 

There was optimism it could happen under the leadership of three-time coach of the year Greg Castillo and star player Maggie Schaefer, who had set a single-season record for kills and had been the conference's player of the year in 2001. 

But optimism doesn't always translate into reality. Except in this case, it did, thanks to Castillo, Schaefer and the rest of the Wolf Pack. 

The '02 Wolf Pack set a school record for most consecutive wins with 16. 

It won a second consecutive regional championship after going undefeated in conference play and winning a fourth-straight conference title. Loyola defeated Jesuit rival Spring Hill in both the regional and conference championship matches. 

Then, during the school's second-straight trip to the national tournament, the Wolf Pack won the program's first national tournament match, upsetting 21st-ranked St. Francis. 

The only mark the 31-11 team in '02 couldn't improve upon was its predecessor's 33 wins. But no one cared as Castillo won the conference coach of the year crown a fourth time and Schaefer earned a second nod as consecutive conference player of the year. 

Castillo also earned recognition as coach of the year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, which also took the coaches of larger schools like LSU, UNO and Tulane into consideration. Schaefer -- who set a single-season record for digs in 2002 as a senior -- landed on the LSWA's First All-Louisiana Team, before going on to set program career records for kills, digs, total attacks and hitting percentage. 

Both now are members of the Wolf Pack Athletics Hall of Fame. Yet they were far from the only contributors on the legendary '02 Wolf Pack team. 

Others included junior Amanda Gillard, junior Suzi Ruiz and sophomore Shannon LaHaie. Each of those three earned all-conference honors, and Gillard etched herself into Loyola athletics history with 15 kills and the game-clinching spike in the victory over Spring Hill that sent the Wolf Pack to its second national tournament. 

And the team also counted on a freshman named Kelly Fridge -- who, like Schaefer and Castillo, would later earn induction into the Hall of Fame after proving herself to be one of the program's best players ever. 

The 2002 Loyola women's volleyball team closed out one of the most dominant ever experienced by a school athletics program. Schaefer graduated, Castillo moved on to other jobs, and five years passed before Loyola won another conference championship in women's volleyball. 

Roster: (Name Pos. Yr.)

  1. Stacie Jirovec M So.
  2. Krista Danos DS Sr.
  3. Amanda Gillard OH Jr.
  4. Suzi Ruiz S Jr.
  5. Melissa Showalter RS/OH Jr.
  6. Lauren Landry M So.
  7. Andrea Leonard M Fr.
  8. Laurie Cacioppo S/OH So.
  9. Kelly Fridge DS Fr.
  10. April Barrios OH So.
  11. Lindsey Kabbes M Fr.
  12. Monica Charlton M So.
  13. Maggie Schaefer OH Sr.
  14. Shannon LaHaie M So.
  15. Ashley Cobette OH So.

Ryan Brock, men's basketball, 2008-11

Some on the campus of Loyola University New Orleans did a double take when they learned Ryan Brock was coming to play men's basketball for the Wolf Pack. 

The last time many in town had heard of him, he had signed to play for the University of New Orleans, after a career at Brother Martin High School where he helped the Crusaders win two state championships. 

There was debate during his prep career whether he or teammate D.J. Augustin, who'd later play in the NBA, was Brother Martin's more feared player. In fact, to capture the first of their titles with Brother Martin, the Brock-era Crusaders turned to him -- and not Augustin -- to hit a game-winning, three-point shot in the final seconds of the 2004 championship game to vanquish St. Augustine by one point. 

But Brock's career did not go as planned at UNO. After redshirting his first season, he missed most of his second year after breaking his hand during practice. He withdrew from UNO, enrolled at Delgado Community College to stay on track academically, and looked for a place where he could continue growing both in the classroom and on the hardwood. 

He settled on Loyola in 2008, personally reaching out to then-coach Michael Giorlando and successfully asking to be considered for a spot on the Wolf Pack's roster. 

For Giorlando, bringing Brock aboard was a no-brainer. Loyola had just lost Luke Zumo, one of the best scorers in program history and now a member of the Wolf Pack Athletics Hall of Fame, to graduation. Brock had more than enough talent to leave his own mark at Loyola. 

And leave a mark he did. 

After averaging more than 21 points per game in 81 outings for Loyola, Brock is the third all-time scorer in school history, ranking above Hall of Fame members Ty Marioneaux, Zumo, Charley Powell, Yussef Jasmine and Ed Galvin. 

He owns three of the school's top 7 single-season scoring totals, which is remarkable because he only played three seasons at Loyola. He led Loyola's conference in scoring in each of his seasons and was twice a top 10 scorer nationwide. 

But Brock didn't just contribute with baskets as Loyola went 48-42 overall and 31-25 in conference play while he suited up for the Wolf Pack. 

He posted the fifth-most steals (141) and seventh-most assists (231) in school history, making him top 10 in three of the program's most important statistical categories while also demonstrating his versatility on the floor. 

The rest of the country noticed. Brock earned an All-American honorable mention his first year, an All-American Third Team selection in his second year and an All-American Second Team selection in his third year. 

In his final campaign with the Wolf Pack, he led the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals, and he was crowned the best player in the Southern States Athletics Conference's West Division that year. 

The prestigious Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame recognized him as that year's outstanding male amateur athlete, and he landed on the All-Louisiana First Team, beating out players at larger schools such as LSU and Tulane for the honor. 

After his career at Loyola, Brock played professionally in Qatar, averaging nearly 20 points during his time there. 

He was later an assistant under Loyola men's basketball coach Stacy Hollowell, serving on a staff that guided the 2016-2017 Wolf Pack to its first national tournament appearance of any kind since 1995. 

 

By Ramon Antonio Vargas, Hall of Fame historian

 

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