For the first time this century, Dave Loos will have just one title beside his name… Austin Peay head basketball coach.
Loos stepped down as Athletics Director in early April, marking the end of 16 seasons where he served in a dual role as the University’s head basketball coach and athletics director—the two most demanding positions in the athletics department.
Now the dean of Ohio Valley Conference basketball coaches will concentrate solely on directing a program that has enjoyed unparalleled success under his 23 seasons of leadership while being the model of integrity.
Loos owns the mark for APSU's longest basketball coaching tenure-only 13 other Division I coaches have longer tenures at their respective schools-and is the program's all-time wins leader, surpassing Dave Aaron in 2006-07. To honor such achievement, then-outgoing president, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, at the behest of several longtime basketball supporters, named the basketball floor Dave Loos Court.
In addition, Loos was inducted into the Austin Peay Athletics Hall of Fame in Feb. 2008.
On Dec. 12, 2009, Loos became the league's all-time wins leader, passing Cal Luther (319) for most victories while coaching in the OVC. His achievement was honored with the establishment of the Dave Loos Scholarship, a graduate scholarship to be awarded to an aspiring coach.
Loos enters the season ranked 34th among active coaches for most victories.
Such success didn't happen by accident. Loos not only has elevated APSU's program to the pinnacle of OVC prominence, but has done it as well with the dignity and class so reflective of the reputation he built as an athlete and as a high school/college coach.
He is only the second APSU coach to lead the Govs to an OVC regular-season and NCAA Division I tournament berth. His APSU teams have advanced at least to the OVC tourney semifinals in 13 of the last 18 years. That has sustained his reputation of elevating his club's play during February-March.
More impressively the Governors have sported nearly a 60 percent winning percentage since the turn of the century, including six 20-win seasons and four OVC regular-season titles. In fact, the Govs own a 148-78 OVC record (65 percent) in the new millennium, including six straight double-digit win seasons.
That underscores a Governors program that has possessed a .500 or better OVC record in 17 of the last 18 seasons.
That has resulted in Austin Peay winning the OVC tournament and gaining an NCAA tourney berth in 1996; APSU capturing a 1997 league co-championship-the first since 1977; shocking the league by winning both a regular-season co-championship and tourney title in 2003; posting an unprecedented 16-0 OVC campaign in 2004; winning the 2006-07 OVC regular-season title by a convincing three games and repeating it in 2007-08 while advancing to the NCAA tournament. Loos is the only APSU coach to earn multiple OVC Coach of the Year honors, in 1990-91, 1996-97, 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2006-07.
In addition, the Governors, who have been in three NCAA tournaments under Loos, have appeared in post-season tournaments in four of the last five years, including the College Basketball Invitational a year ago.
As a result, Loos has achieved one of his program's goals when he took over in 1990-91-the Governors reclaiming their spot among the OVC elite and annually competing for the title.
Loos became Austin Peay's 11th head men's basketball coach on July 14, 1990. The likeable veteran coach has proven to be a "perfect fit" for the APSU program.
In his initial season, not only did his Govs produce a winning (15-14) season after a previous 10-19 campaign, they displayed an exciting style as well.
He became only the third Austin Peay coach to earn OVC Coach of the Year, the first to be recognized in his first Govs' season.
He then began building his own program with young men who reflected their coach both on and off the court and represented the University with great class.
The Govs struggled record-wise (11-17 and 7-20) the next two seasons as Loos was reinventing the soul of the program. The young 1993-94 team began 0-7 but finished strongly at 11-16. Picked to finish eighth in preseason polls, the Govs battled for the title much of the season, finally settling for third.
Since then APSU has developed a rich tradition of excellence.
In 1994-95, the Govs finished the regular-season at 12-15 but pulled two upsets in the OVC tournament before falling to Murray State when star forward Bubba Wells suffered a leg injury that later turned out to be a surgery-necessitating right leg stress fracture.
In 1995-96, the Governors again peaked late. In February, the Govs fashioned an 8-2 record, including six straight victories. APSU entered the NCAA tourney with a four-game win streak before losing to Georgia Tech.
A year later, the Governors finished 17-14 overall-with All-America forward Wells missing the season's first 12 games-but won six of their final eight games, including a four-game winning streak that helped clinch a regular-season OVC co-championship.
In 1997-98, the Govs, despite a rebuilding season, ended the season with a surprising 17-11 record and a fourth-place OVC finish.
In 1998-99, the young Govs finished in a third-place OVC tie, although the 11-16 mark ended the string of winning seasons at three.
A year later, the Govs ended 18-11. The 18 wins, at the time, represented the most regular-season wins by the Govs since 1976-77.
APSU topped that mark in 1999-00 with a 22-10 record-the Govs' first 20-win mark since 1986-87.
It was a 14-18 mark in 2001-02 as the Governors possessed only one senior. That returning group completely turned around those losing fortunes in 2002-03. In going 23-8, the Govs won 15 of their last 16 regular-season games to win a share of the OVC title, the OVC tourney championship and a trip to the NCAA tourney. The 23 wins represented the third most in school history.
But the 2003-04 season saw the Govs make a remarkable run through the OVC, becoming only the fourth team in league history to go unbeaten in conference play. The Govs were just one of three teams in the country to finish league play without a loss.
Despite losing four senior starters, the Govs were in the 2005 OVC regular-season race until the final weekend and stunned Samford and top-seed Tennessee Tech in the OVC tourney before narrowly losing to Eastern Kentucky in the title tilt. The Govs finished 9-7 in the OVC. APSU owned an 11-9 league mark in 2006 with a 17-14 overall mark with a young team.
In 2006-07, the Governors, despite having no seniors on the roster, overcame a slow start to finish at 21-12 overall, the third 20-win season during Loos's tenure. More importantly, the Govs ran away with the OVC crown, going 16-4.
The 2007-08 season was even more remarkable. The odds-on choice to repeat as league champions, the Governors battle a much-improved league, yet finished with an identical 16-4 record and won the regular season by the same three-game margin. It was only the second time in OVC history that a team posted back-to-back 16-win seasons.
The Govs' 24-11 overall record also tied the APSU mark for single-season wins, both overall and as a Division I program.
Beginning in 2008, the Governors went 19-14 (2008-09), 17-15 (2009-10) and 20-14 (2010-11) in the next three seasons.A 12-20 injury-plagued 2011-12 season was followed by a 8-23 mark a year ago. In addition to participating in the CBI three seasons ago, the Govs appears in the 2009 CollegeInsider.com post-season tourney. .
Loos has earned respect from peers for his coaching ability and the manner he directs the program, reflective in the fact he now is the only coach in OVC history to have as many as five "Coach of the Year" honors.
Loos came to APSU after four seasons as Memphis' top assistant. He joined Larry Finch in 1986 and helped direct his alma mater to an 85-43 record, including two NCAA tourney appearances and a Metro Conference tourney title during his tenure.
Prior to joining Memphis State, Loos enjoyed four successful head-coaching seasons at Christian Brothers College in Memphis. He took over that program in 1982-83, and after an initial 16-14 season, recorded three straight 20-win campaigns. In 1985, CBC captured its first Volunteer State Athletic Conference crown, the VSAC tourney title and second place in the National Catholic Tournament.
For his efforts, he earned VSAC, NAIA District 24 and NAIA Area V Coach of the Year honors. He also was named the National Catholic Tournament Outstanding Coach.
Loos' move to CBC came after spending eight seasons as head coach at his prep alma mater, Mehlville High School in St. Louis. Taking over a program that previously had endured 11 straight losing seasons, Loos led his team to five winning campaigns, including a state tourney berth. He left the school as its winningest coach.
The Missouri native played both basketball and baseball during his college days at Memphis State, where he was inducted into its athletic Hall of Fame in September 2002. Loos was the starting point guard for the 1968-69 Tigers, leading the team in minutes played. He also was an all-conference shortstop for the Tigers baseball team.
Upon completing his eligibility, he remained at Memphis as an assistant in 1970. Following his graduation (1970), he officially began his coaching career as an assistant basketball and head baseball coach at CBC.
He and his wife, Phyllis, have four children, David,who broadcasts Govs and Lady Govs sports and owns two local radio stations; Todd, who is in the music business; Brad, a former Gov who is associate head basketball coach at Central Missouri, and Nicole Peterson, a former dance team member who now is the APSU alumni director and serves as Pom Squad advisor.
They also have eight grandchildren: William Daniel, Olivia Joy and Katie Grace, children of David and Pam Loos; Brady Jonathan and Rhyan Bailey, children of Brad and Jennifer Loos; Paxton David and Hudson Grant, sons of Jake and Nikki Peterson, and Townes Henry Valentine, son of Todd and Jamie Valentine.
The Dave Loos File