There's a new face on the sideline at Loyola University.
Tavaras Hardy is officially on the job as the Greyhounds men's basketball coach. ABC2's Shawn Stepner sat down with the new bench boss on Thursday.
After spending over a decade as an assistant coach Tavaras Hardy thinks the time is right for his first head-coaching gig.
"I wanted to make sure that when it was time that I was ready," said Hardy. "Loyola is the right institutional fit for me. Really excited about this opportunity and what Loyola brings to the table."
Hardy, 38, comes to Loyola after serving as an assistant with Georgia Tech for the past two seasons. He was an All-Big Ten player at Northwestern in the late 90's/early 2000's. After that he was an assistant on the Wildcats coaching staff.
What he did there he wants to do here.
"When I got the job Northwestern had been in three postseasons in the history of the program. We were able to build it up and go to four straight postseasons. So, I have experience with a program that the expectations weren't always there and building it higher."
Hardy also has three years as an assistant at Georgetown under his belt. He wants to use his local contacts in recruiting.
"(I) spent three years in the DMV, established some great relationships out here. There's a lot of great basketball being played," he added.
He takes over a team that went 9-12 last season under then head coach G.G. Smith. But he sees potential.
"The cupboard is not bare. We just got to make sure we're here ready to help take them to the next level. We want to win. We want to hit the ground running," said Hardy. "We're going to play an exciting style of basketball. That's very important to me."
As is improving Loyola's brand on the Baltimore college hoops landscape.
"Baltimore is known as a great basketball city, a great sports town in general. A lot of great ballplayers have come out of here. I know there are a lot of great players here so everyone is going to come into the city and try and recruit. We want to show them that we're a great option as well."