| Wins against Kentucky - 0 | Losses against Kentucky - 2 |
Alma Mater: Penn State 
Hometown: Beaver Falls, PA
Date Born: April 14, 1902
Date Died: January 1, 1975
Overall Record: 310-198 [22 Seasons]
|12/22/1954||La Salle at Kentucky||W||63 - 54||UKIT Championship|
|12/22/1953||La Salle at Kentucky||W||73 - 60||UKIT Championship|
Obituary - Philadelphia Inquirer (January 3, 1975)
Kenneth D. Loeffler, 72, La Salle Basketball Coach
by James Lintz
"He was the most brilliant coach I had in all my years at basketball," said former La Salle College and professional star Tom Gola of his former La Salle mentor Kenneth D. Loeffler.
Mr. Loeffler, 72, died Wednesday in his home a 38 W. River Road, Rumson N.J. During his six-year tenure at La Salle, he coached the Explorers to the national heights 20 years ago.
"A great, great coach - a fundamentalist and a disciplinarian," said a former rival, Alexander G. Severance, ex-Villanova basketball coach. "I think one of his greatest fortes was his discipline of the team."
Mr. Loeffler did indeed believe in discipline - and "togetherness" for his players, Gola agreed.
"His philosophy was that the team should be together, even if it mean being together in hating him," said Gola, former Philadelphia City Controller. "When I played for him, he never spoke to me. No guy could get to him alone. He played no favorites, and if you didn't do your job, you were out."
"He was of the old school," said Severance. "You never heard of him having difficulties with stars. He made the great ones fit into his pattern, and there was no question of his knowledge of the game. And he was a great guy to boot. We'll miss him."
Gola said he never "really got to know" his colorful, articulate and sometimes controversial coach until after Gola's La Salle College playing days were over in 1955. Then, said Gola, "he helped me with my first pro contract," and also lined up several college all-star tours which included Gola.
"After not talking with him for four years, he did everything he could at the end," Gola added. "I really loved that man. I think age hurt him or he'd still be in basketball."
Born in Beaver Falls, Pa., Mr. Loeffler graduated from Penn State University, where he played varsity basketball for three years. He then played four years as a professional in Pittsburgh, and after that, he coached basketball at Geneva College while attending the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a law degree in 1934.
Next, Mr. Loeffler coached basketball at Yale University for seven years, leaving in 1942 for Air Force service which lasted until 1945. Then came a brief stint as basketball coach at the University of Denver, followed by two years of coaching the St. Louis Bombers and he Providence Steamrollers of the old Basketball Association of America. In 1949, he came to La Salle and the glory days.
In his first La Salle season, the Explorers won 21 games and lost four, going to the National Invitation Tournament, but losing in the first round.
The Explorers of 1951-52 won the NIT title, and reached the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic trials.
The 1953-54 team, led by the all-time great Gola, won the NCAA championship. The Explorers were beaten in Gola's senior year in the NCAA final by San Francisco with Bill Russell.
La Salle also captured numerous Philadelphia titles during the Loeffler years. He left the year of Gola's graduation for he coaching job at Texas A&M, where he spent two years.
After leaving Texas A&M, Mr. Loeffler taught business law at Monmouth College, retired, and then served on the faculty of the University of Nevada at Reno until a few years ago.
Surviving are a son, Dr. Kenneth Loeffler 2d, and a sister, Mrs. Ruth Perry of Beaver Falls.
Funeral services will be private.
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