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A Legend with a Heart of Maroon and Gold

John A. O'Loughlin '59, affectionately called “Coach O,” has retired after 60 years as a beloved teacher and coach at Loyola Academy.  
John's love for Loyola began while attending as a student and athlete, playing on the varsity baseball and basketball teams from 1957 to 1959. After LA, John obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1963, followed by his Master of Arts degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1967. That same year, John returned to his alma mater to begin his distinguished teaching and coaching career.

As the most decorated baseball coach in Loyola Academy's 115-year history, John has collected 364 victories over 27 seasons. He also led our Ramblers to 63 basketball victories as head coach over five years. These accomplishments are undoubtedly impressive, yet the unwavering respect and loyalty he has both consistently given and received while winning is what positions him among the greatest of all time.

John's accolades were also vast and include his Catholic League (1982) and Loyola Academy Athletic (1990) Hall of Fame inductions, and being named both the Lawless Award winner as the Catholic League Coach of the Year, as well as the Loyola Academy's Educator of the Year in 1999.

Even after spending a lifetime in the bustling and evolving halls of the Academy, John has remained passionate and steadfast in his belief in the mission of Loyola. For John, teaching and coaching at LA was never a job but rather a joy.

On the last day of May, the faculty and staff gathered in the Chapel on Loyola’s Wilmette campus to celebrate those marking notable years of service, including our amazing 60 years with Coach O. Read the full story.

Loyola Academy Principal Tim Devine '88 recounted how John has profoundly influenced the lives of so many Ramblers and their families for decades, not only during their time at Loyola but long after. He shared, “A fixture at practices and games, John keeps in touch with former students and players, calling them, writing them notes, continuing to mentor them, and being a substantial part of their lives well into adulthood.” In addition to his 60 years of service award, it was with immense gratitude that Principal Devine and Loyola Academy President Rev. Gregory J. Ostdiek, SJ, bestowed upon John the Ignatian Medal. 

Regardless of his many victories, accolades, and awards, John always conducted himself with humility and grace. How can you adequately thank someone who has left such a lasting impression on the generations of Ramblers that have been fortunate enough to know him? Fittingly, fellow Social Studies Teacher Mike Barry closed the celebration by presenting John with a beautiful compilation of personal notes from friends, faculty, and staff, sending him forth to enjoy his well-deserved retirement with a lifetime of memories. 

To the world, you are John O'Loughlin, a man who has enjoyed an impressive and fulfilling career, but to Loyola Academy students, teams, staff, fellow coaches and teachers, parents, and families, you, John, are the world. We are blessed to have learned from you and forever grateful for the moments we have shared with you. Thank you for living your life as a true man for others–a Rambler through and through.

While our halls will never be the same without him, a legend with a heart of maroon and gold, he will forever remain. Loyola Academy will always be his home. Once a Rambler, Always a Rambler. 
    • John O'Loughlin '59 60 Years of Service

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