Rambler frontman will preview tomorrow night's game with No. 3 Wichita State
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Five-day event hosted by Santa Clara University
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An eight-year head coaching veteran, Porter Moser is in his second season as the head coach at Loyola University Chicago. A native of Naperville, Ill., and a graduate of Benet Academy, Moser most recently served as the associate head coach at Saint Louis University under legendary head coach Rick Majerus. Known as a tireless recruiter and a master game tactician, Moser has coached numerous all-conference players in his coaching career.
A firm believer in building a program and not a team, Moser, in his first season at Loyola, made great strides in laying a foundation for future success. Last season, the undermanned Ramblers suffered 11 losses by 10 points or less, including eight by seven points or less. Moser used his recruiting acumen to land a well-thought-of crop, that includes Nick Osborne, Jeff "Keke" White, Matt O'Leary, Devon Turk, Jeremy King, Tanner Williams, Kody Williams and Loyola's first Chicago Public League player since 2004, Milton Doyle, for the 2012-13 season.
Under Moser's tutelage last season, forward Ben Averkamp took the next step in his progression by emerging into one of the elite players in the Horizon League. Averkamp earned Second Team All-Horizon League accolades in 2011-12 to become Loyola's first all-league selection since Blake Schilb in 2006-07. Last winter, Averkamp was one of only two players to rank among the top five in the Horizon League in both scoring (15.4) and rebounding (7.1) and he enters his senior campaign needing only 11 points and 27 rebounds to become just the 19th player in school history to top 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career.
However, Averkamp wasn't the only Rambler to thrive under Moser's leadership, as Walt Gibler registered personal-best averages of 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. He wrapped up his career as one of the most prolific scorers and rebounders ever to don the Maroon and Gold, and became the 18th player in Loyola annals to total 1,000 points and 500 boards, before signing a professional contract in August to play in Germany.
In addition to their accomplishments on the court, Averkamp and Gibler were also lauded for their excellence in the classroom, with each being named to the I-AAA Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete Team, the Horizon League Men's Basketball All-Academic Team and the National Jesuit Men's Basketball All-Academic Team. Averkamp also picked up Capital One First Team Academic All-District V recognition and a total of three Ramblers were named to the Horizon League Spring Academic Honor Roll. Gibler was also recognized by the Horizon League by earning the most prestigious award it hands out each year, the Cecil N. Coleman Medal of Honor. Awarded to a male and female student-athlete in the conference who best exemplifies the high purpose and character of the league and its membership, the Coleman Award had previously been won by a Rambler men's basketball player just one other time, by Jason Telford in 2004, before Gibler garnered the hardware in 2012.
Named one of the top 50 assistant coaches in the country by Basketball Times in 2009, Moser was named associate head coach after spending one season as an assistant coach at Saint Louis. While with the Billikens, he helped SLU to a 69-61 overall record during his four years on the staff and the 2009-10 team posted a 23-13 overall record and reached the finals of the College Basketball Invitational before falling to Virginia Commonwealth University.
"Coach Moser rose to the top of a large and highly competitive pool of candidates due to his student-athlete and coaching experiences at Jesuit institutions; his reputation as a recruiter, particularly in Chicago and the Midwest; his past experiences building basketball programs; his impeccable integrity; and the vision he was able to articulate for the Rambler men's basketball program," Loyola Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said. "Porter lives the Jesuit mission of being a person for others in his unwavering dedication and commitment to his student-athletes. He brings an unparalleled integrity, passion, and energy to the men's basketball program."
Prior to his stint at Saint Louis, Moser was the head coach at Illinois State for four years before leaving behind a championship caliber team. After the 2003-04 squad notched a 10-19 record, Moser engineered a seven-game improvement in the win column in his second season as head coach as the Redbirds went 17-13 in 2004-05 despite being picked to finish last in the league in the preseason poll. Moser's recruiting acumen helped land a talent-laden class in his final season at Illinois State, and that group was a critical component to three NIT berths in a three-year stretch from 2008-10.
At Illinois State, Moser coached three All-Missouri Valley Conference selections and produced one Academic All-America selection (Neil Plank in 2006).
Moser's first head coaching opportunity came at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, and in three short seasons there, he steered the Trojans to a 54-34 overall record. The architect of the greatest turnaround in Sun Belt Conference history, Moser turned a 4-24 team into an 18-11 outfit in just one year.
When Moser took over the reins of the UALR program, the Trojans ranked last in several defensive categories in the Sun Belt Conference, but after that first season, finished tops in the league in field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense, and second in scoring defense.
He began his coaching career in 1990-91 as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Creighton University, then spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M University before moving to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for one season. While at A&M, Moser helped the Aggies reach the 1994 NIT for their first postseason appearance in seven years. After that brief stay at Milwaukee, Moser returned to Texas A&M for two more seasons on the Aggies' bench, then served as an assistant coach under both Wimp Sanderson and Sidney Moncrief at UALR for two years.
As a player at Creighton, Moser was a two-year starter and helped the Bluejays to the 1989 Missouri Valley Conference title. He graduated in 1990 with a degree in business management.
At Benet Academy, Moser was a three-year varsity starter and was named the conference player of the year as a senior. The all-state selection was also instrumental in Benet's state record 102-game home winning streak.