Joe Gentile and Beccy Sullivan have been chosen as the recipients of the George Ireland and Dan Conroyd Awards, respectively, Loyola University Chicago Director of Athletics Dr. John Planek
Both individuals will be recognized for their contributions to Loyola Athletics at the annual Loyola Ramblers Golf Outing on Aug. 5 at Cog Hill in Lemont, according to a news release from the Loyola Athletic Department.
“Selfless individuals like Joe Gentile and Beccy Sullivan embody the Jesuit spirit of Loyola. They are truly people for others,” Planek said in the release. “It is a privilege to honor them and we are indebted to both Joe and Beccy for their contributions and dedication to Loyola.”
A 1946 Loyola graduate and benefactor of the University for a number of years, Gentile will receive the Ireland Award, which is presented annually to an alum of the university for his/her contributions to the athletics department. For many years, Gentile sponsored the television and radio broadcasts of Ramblers basketball games and was the main benefactor for the construction of the Gentile Center, the current home arena for Loyola basketball. In 1990, Gentile was named the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame Man of the Year and one year later earned the Founders Award, according to the news release.
Sullivan will be presented with the Conroyd Award, which is awarded each year to a Loyola staff member for outstanding service to the athletics department. Sullivan has served as the spirit program coordinator at Loyola for the last decade. A graduate of Loyola, Sullivan was also a member of the cheer team as an undergraduate student on the Lake Shore Campus, the news release states.
At the golf outing, Loyola will also induct four members of the school’s 1963 NCAA Champion men’s basketball team into the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame – Dan Connaughton (1961-65), Jim Reardon (1959-63), Rich Rochelle (1960-64) and Chuck Wood (1960-64), according to the release.
All four individuals came off the bench during that magical run to the NCAA title, which culminated with a 60-58 overtime victory versus two-time defending champion Cincinnati in the final, during the 1962-63 season. Five other players on that 1963 team, the starting five of John Egan, Jerry Harkness, Les Hunter, Ron Miller and Vic Rouse, as well as head coach George Ireland and then freshman coach Jerry Lyne, are already enshrined in the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame.
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