Loyola Recalls Glory Days, Stars of Yore : University to Put Players, Coaches, Administrators Into Hall of Fame

Times Staff Writer

The glory days of Loyola football, from the 1930s to the early ‘50s, will be in the spotlight when Loyola Marymount University inducts nine former athletes and coaches and two Jesuit administrators into its Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ceremonies for the school’s second group of inductees will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Amfac hotel near the Westchester campus.

The honorees are former football coaches Tom Lieb and Jordan Olivar, former basketball coaches James Needles and Edwin McDonald, football players Maury Nipp and George Musaco, basketball players Luther Philyaw and Garnette Brown and baseball player Dean Jelmini.


The administrators being honored are the Rev. Alfred J. Kilp, moderator of athletics from 1956-63 and president of the West Coast Athletic Conference in 1960, and the Rev. Lorenzo Malone, moderator of athletics from 1947-56 as well as golf coach. Kilp, a 1930 Loyola graduate, is now the school’s moderator of alumni relations.

Lieb and Olivar were two of the most influential coaches and personalities in Loyola athletics. Lieb, top football assistant to Knute Rockne at Notre Dame in the 1920s, took over the Loyola football team in 1930 and also established an ice hockey program. He had a 47-33-4 football coaching record and his hockey teams won four straight Pacific Coast Intercollegiate League titles from 1935-38 with a record of 38-3-2.

Olivar coached the football team only from 1949-51, but the Lions won a school record 12 straight games. His 1950 team was one of the top-scoring squads in the nation, averaging 33 points per game and rolling to an 8-1 record behind Don Klosterman, Bob Boyd, Ernie Cheatam, Gene Brito and new inductees Nipp and Musaco. When Loyola dropped football after 1951, Olivar became head coach at Yale and won Ivy League crowns in 1956 and 1960.

Musaco, a fullback who lived up to his nickname of “Socko,” was an All-Coast player who was ninth in the nation in rushing as a junior in 1949 with 881 yards and 12 touchdowns. That total included 227 yards and 3 touchdowns against Arizona State. As a senior he ranked 17th in the nation with 866 yards and set an NCAA record with 45 rushes in one game, a mark that stood for a decade. Musaco also was the punter.

Nipp is probably the best lineman in Loyola history, despite being a relatively small 6-foot, 218-pound guard. After graduating in 1952 he started for several years for the Philadelphia Eagles. He has since served as president of the NFL Players Alumni Assn.

Needles served as head basketball coach from 1936-40 as well as assistant football coach in 1939. His 1937-38 basketball team ranks with Loyola’s best, winning the Southwestern AAU Basketball Tournament title and finishing with an 18-7 record. The team featured Pete Newell and Phil Woolpert, who went on to successful coaching careers. Needles coached the first U.S. Olympic basketball team that won the gold medal at Berlin in 1963.

McDonald, known as “Scotty,” played basketball for three seasons under Needles and became head coach in 1946, resurrecting the program after a lapse during World War II. In 1949 he led Loyola to a school-record 22 victories and was the first Loyola coach to take a team to the East Coast.

Brown played basketball for three seasons and blossomed into a star forward as a senior in 1956-57 when he averaged 20.3 points and 10.7 rebounds and set school records that still stand for free throws attempted (256) and made (186) in a season. He also set a WCAC record of 120 free throws made in league games, another mark that still stands.

Two decades later, Philyaw was an All-WCAC guard who ended four varsity seasons as the school’s second all-time scorer. As a junior and senior he earned all-conference honors, averaging 17.3 and 16.5 points. He graduated in 1976 with a career average of 15.2 and 1,581 career points, fourth on the school career list.

Jelmini, a 1973 graduate, earned all-district honors as an outfielder and played in the Angels minor league chain. As a senior he batted .381 and led the Lions to a WCAC title and an appearance in the NCAA regionals. Jelmini also earned Little All-American honors as a fullback on the school’s club football team, which won the national club title in 1969 when he rushed for 977 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Needles, McDonald, Lieb and Malone are being honored posthumously.

The Hall of Fame was instituted last year by Athletic Director Brian Quinn. The new additions join the original 31 inductees who were honored in 1986. Commemorative plaques are on display in the Founders Room in Gersten Pavilion.

People wanting to attend the dinner and ceremonies may call Carol Gilger at Loyola, 642-5136.