Loyer's future on hold
Once Huggins' right-hand man

Saturday, May 9, 1998

Former assistant John Loyer holds back an angry Bob Huggins in February, 1997.
(Steven M. Herppich photo)
| ZOOM |
John Loyer was the primary strategist and right-hand man for UC coach Bob Huggins before being placed on paid leave last summer.

UC decided that Loyer should not participate in recruiting activities while the school's investigation of the Charles Williams case continued. Loyer first was accused of giving Williams an automobile ride from a junior college campus in Los Angeles to his home nearby, which could be viewed as a violation of NCAA rules.

New allegations Friday included what UC termed "unethical conduct" against Loyer for "his knowing involvement in violations of NCAA rules and his subsequent provision of misleading information when questioned by the university."

Loyer, 33, played point guard for Huggins at Akron in the mid-1980s, then was an assistant coach under Huggins there for two years. When Huggins took the UC job in March 1989, he brought Loyer along as the "restricted earnings" assistant, meaning Loyer's salary was limited by NCAA policy.

Loyer, despite his youth, was a commanding figure at practices and coached UC's guards. His proteges included Nick Van Exel, now with the Los Angeles Lakers.

During UC's Final Four season of 1991-92, Loyer replaced Huggins for one game -- Huggins was suspended for a confrontation with an official -- and guided UC to a 70-59 victory over Marquette.

Huggins depended on his wife, June, to steer his daily life and on Loyer to keep the basketball program functioning, former UC player Tarrance Gibson said.

"Without Coach Loyer and his wife, Coach (Huggins) would be lost," Gibson said in 1994.

Loyer, who coordinated Huggins' annual basketball camp at UC, was considered a head-coach-in-waiting. He moved up for the 1994-95 season from his restricted earnings post, taking the vacancy created when former UC assistant Steve Moeller moved into administration. In March 1995, Loyer was interviewed for the head coaching job at Akron but did not get the job.

Loyer's career was derailed in 1997 when he was named in five NCAA violations regarding UC. He was placed on paid leave pending resolution of the case.

As questions mount, where is Huggins? Tim Sullivan column, May 9, 1998
Violations story list