| Wins against Kentucky - 2 | Losses against Kentucky - 3 |
Alma Mater: Notre Dame  (*)
Hometown: Prairie du Chien, WI
Date Born: June 15, 1913
Date Died: September 14, 2001
Overall Record: 321-255 [24 Seasons]
|3/14/1964||Kentucky vs. Loyola (Chicago)||L||91 - 100||NCAA Mideast Regional [Consolation] (at Minneapolis, MN)|
|2/15/1958||Kentucky at Loyola (Chicago)||L||56 - 57||-|
|12/30/1957||Loyola (Chicago) at Kentucky||W||75 - 42||-|
|2/15/1957||Kentucky at Loyola (Chicago)||W||115 - 65||-|
|1/7/1957||Loyola (Chicago) at Kentucky||W||81 - 62||-|
Obituary - Loyola Phoenix (September 19, 2001)
Loyola loses former coach: George M. Ireland passes away at the age of 88
by Joseph Salituro, Assistant Sports Editor
Loyola lost one of its own Friday, Sept. 14, when basketball coaching great George Ireland died at the age of 88. Ireland coached Loyola to the 1963 NCAA National Championship. He had been in failing health for years and passed away at his daughter's house in Addison, Ill.
Ireland's basketball legacy started when he was a player at the University of Notre Dame, where he was an All-American in 1934-'35. His 1936 team was named the Helms Foundation National Champion. Ireland was in good company on this team, which included future Notre Dame coach John Jordan, future Notre Dame athletic director Moose Krause and future DePaul coaching great Ray Meyer.
From 1936 until 1951, Ireland coached at Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Ill. He compiled a record of 262-87 before he left to take the helm at Loyola, succeeding former teammate Jordan. Ireland coached at Loyola from 1951 until 1975. His best years came in the early 1960s when he had four 20-win seasons in five years.
The 1963 season culminated in an NCAA National Championship. Loyola remains the only school in Illinois history to have won this coveted title. That season was a magical one for the Ramblers. They finished the regular season with a record of 23-2 and led the nation in scoring with Ireland's fast-break style of offense and full-court press on defense. However, Loyola still headed into the NCAA Tournament as an unknown.
"Nobody really knew where the school was," announcer Johnny "Red" Kerr said at the time. "But the team kept on winning. People started to say, 'I think it is that school in Chicago, down by the train tracks.'"
After throttling Tennessee Tech in the first round 114-42, people started to take notice. Loyola eventually beat Big Ten champion Illinois 79-64 to move into the Final Four. Loyola reached the championship game by dismantling ACC Champion Duke 94-75. This set up a showdown with the defending national champion Cincinnati. Trailing by 15 with 10 minutes to go in the game, Ireland's team mounted one of the greatest comebacks in the tournament's history. The Ramblers forced overtime and then went on to win on a tip by Vic Rouse at the buzzer.
This climaxed Ireland's Loyola coaching career, one which included 321 victories and 255 losses, for a career winning percentage of .557. All of these stand as Loyola records. He was a fiery coach with a great heart.
"I was tough on my players," Ireland once said, "but they respected that. They called me 'the Man.'"
Ireland was indeed 'the Man.' He was the one who raised the Loyola basketball team from mediocrity to a national championship. Even in his later years, Ireland could not escape from the game he loved. He volunteered to coach mentally handicapped youths at the Center for Enriched Living in Skokie, Ill.
Ireland is survived by his two daughters, Kathy and Judy, his son, Michael, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
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