Leonard D. Sachs

Leonard Sachs’s secret to winning was to take a team with average talent and mold it into a cohesive unit that could perfect a particular brand of basketball. A well-rounded athlete, Sachs earned eleven varsity letters in high school, played professional football, and then applied his athletic training to coaching. He led Loyola University from 1923 to 1942. In 19 seasons, Sachs compiled an impressive record, including a 31-game winning streak from 1928 to 1930. Sachs, who was a strong advocate of big man basketball, developed a fast-breaking offense and a stingy 2-2-1 zone defense that enabled the bigger players to goaltend. This technique, although effective, was eventually prohibited prior to the 1937-38 season. While at Loyola, in 1923, Sachs was instrumental in organizing and hosting the National Catholic Interscholastic Tournament, the parochial version of the University of Chicago’s annual tournament for public high schools.