Loyola Magazine

Magis on the court

New head men’s basketball coach brings Jesuit approach to the game

When Tavaras Hardy arrived at Loyola last spring, the head men’s basketball coach brought with him a passion for Jesuit education that he tries to infuse into his coaching.

“The Jesuit principles—the care for the whole person, and the emphasis on liberal arts and getting a well-rounded experience—shape the way I like to coach the game and play the game,” he said. “I don’t believe in positions and putting players in a bubble. I want everyone to be able to do everything. With that freedom, comes the responsibility to work on everything.”

As a student at Northwestern University, Hardy was an All-Big Ten player. Prior to joining Loyola, he spent two seasons on the staff at Georgia Tech, where he led two nationally ranked recruiting classes. In 2016-17, Hardy and the Yellow Jackets reached the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament.

Hardy in a grey suit smiling on the court during a game.

“During my first year at Loyola, we are focused on foundation,” said Hardy, the 21st head men’s basketball coach at Loyola. “When I came in there was already a good foundation set, but we are taking it one game at a time. One thing fans can expect from us is that we are going to play hard and work together. This is going to be a fun year of growth and learning.”

Hardy has coached in the Big Ten, Big East, and Atlantic Coast Conferences. At Northwestern, Hardy was named a three-time most valuable player and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 2002.

“I’ve been holding the players accountable to the attention to detail that is necessary to build upon our foundation. We can’t get ahead of ourselves and rush the process, we must take it step by step and be patient,” he said.

Forbes Court at Reitz Arena has been full of energy and excitement for this historic season, with a new coach on the court.

“The Loyola community has the opportunity to watch us build something from the ground up,” Hardy said. “As a team we feed off the energy of the crowd and we hope it will lead to victories.”

Photo courtesy of Loyola Athletics.