Loyola has a long history of outstanding broadcasters.
The first highly-identified broadcaster involved with Loyola sports was Red Rush, the play-by-play announcer for the Loyola Ramblers in the early 1960s. The Southern California native went on to become one of the announcers for the Kansas City A’s, Chicago White Sox, and later the Oakland A’s. He earned a World Series ring as the A’s announcer in the early 1970s. Rush’s signature line for Loyola basketball sponsor Gonnella Bread—“Gonnella—It’s swella, fella!”– became a household catchphrase in the Chicago area as familiar as the Empire Carpet jingle.
Lenny Sachs was the first professional coach of Loyola basketball, guiding the Ramblers in the program’s infancy, and eventually as Loyola Athletic Director. He won a lot of games. And he is, indeed, in the National Basketball Hall of Fame. But as Paul Harvey might say, there is so much more to the story.
Sachs was a prolific athlete at Chicago’s Schurz High School, and earned 11 varsity letters before he graduated in 1914. He joined the U.S. Navy during World War I, and was named honorable mention on the all-service football team in 1918. Returning to Chicago in 1919, Sachs attended the American College of Physical Education near Diversey and Sheffield. To work his way through college, he coached basketball at Wendell Phillips High School from 1919-1921, and at Marshall High School from 1921-1923. He led Marshall to the city’s basketball title in 1922.