Forget the big name schools who will be there, the most talked about team in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament Final Four has to be the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. From clutch wins to the storyline of two players who have been teammates since third grade to the legend of their beloved 98-year-old team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt (she’s even getting her own bobblehead doll!!), the media just can’t get enough of the fourth 11th-seeded team to make the Final Four. And rightly so. The Ramblers are an incredible story.
But the figure in the story that hasn’t gotten the attention he deserves is Loyola coach Porter Moser. Since 2011 when he took over as coach, he’s affected a culture change throughout the organization that has led to the Rambler’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 1985. It was evident from the first time I watched this team in November through last weekend that Moser loves his players and that he’s taught them to love and trust each other.
As I’ve looked at this team, two things stand out most about Coach Moser and the Ramblers.