UNO Athletics hires Jeff Lorio as men’s golf Head Coach

UNO Athletics

The University of New Orleans added some home-grown talent to the staff as Louisiana-native Jeff Lorio was named head coach of the Privateers golf program, UNO Director of Athletics Derek Morel announced Friday.

Lorio joins the Privateer program after spending the last three years across town at Loyola University, including the last two as the head coach of both the Wolfpacks’ men’s and women’s golf teams. He takes over a New Orleans program that has made tremendous strides over the last half decade and posted its best finish at the 2016 Southland Conference Championship since joining the league prior to the 2013-14 season. Lorio replaces long-time Privateers head coach Chris McCarter, who announced his retirement in June.

“We are pleased to welcome Jeff Lorio to the Privateers Athletics family,” Morel said. “I am confident Jeff will elevate our program and continue to build on the foundation for success. His experience as a college coach and Division I golf student-athlete, combined with his relationships in south Louisiana and passion for recruiting, make him uniquely qualified to lead our golf program.”

After serving as Loyola’s assistant coach in 2013-14, Lorio helped guide the Wolfpack teams to one tournament victory and a combined four runner-up finishes in his two seasons as head coach. Along the way, Daria Delfino claimed medalist honors as she won the Freed-Hardeman Invitational from Oct. 12-13, 2015. Both teams showed improvement under his direction as Lorio helped the women’s team jump from 36th nationally in the GolfStat.com standings in 2014-15 to 33rd last season while the men’s program rose from 126 to 83 during that same time.

Julchen Narwark claimed All-Southern States Athletic Conference honors both seasons under Lorio’s tutelage and a pair of student-athletes – Sarah Anne Smurlick in 2015 Alexis Hazard in 2016 – claimed Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition. In addition to success on the course, Lorio’s teams have been spectacular in the classroom as well as Loyola student-athletes earned SSAC All-Academic recognition a combined 12 times since the 2014-15 campaign.

His recruiting efforts were a major reason for the Wolfpacks’ steady increase in productivity as Lorio landed student-athletes from 13 states and four foreign countries. Those recruits helped Loyola rank nationally among NAIA programs as the 2015-16 rookies ranked seventh by GolfStat.com on the women’s side and eighth on the men’s.

In his lone season as an assistant, Lorio helped the Wolfpack women win the Emmanuel Invitational, finish runner-up at the Carey College Classic and SSAC Championship, and posted a 20th-place showing at the NAIA National Championship. He also helped recruit a women’s class that ranked fifth in the nation by Golfstat.com.

“I would like to thank the UNO administration, Derek Morel and the search committee for this opportunity,” Lorio said. “I am honored and very grateful to become part of the University of New Orleans family and to serve as head golf coach. It is truly special to be able to coach the only NCAA Division I men’s golf program in the city in which I was raised. Coach McCarter built a great program with some rich tradition here at UNO and I am looking forward to building on the team’s previous successes and leading a program in which the University and the community can be proud of.”

Prior to his time at Loyola, Lorio was an assistant golf professional at Metairie Country Club from 1999-2001, the general manager for Southern Pizza Incorporated from 2001-02 and a sales manager for Lucky Coin Machine Company from 2002-13. During that time, he was busy on the links himself as Lorio boasts an extensive competitive playing record that includes Junior, Division I, amateur and professional competition.

After capturing the Louisiana High School Athletic Golf Championship in 1994, Lorio began his collegiate career at the University of Louisiana at Monroe before finishing his eligibility and earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in human resource management from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

In 2000 and 2008, Lorio competed in the Louisiana Cup, which pits the top amateurs in the state against the top professionals. He won the event as both an amateur and a professional. In 2010, Lorio qualified for the United States Mid-Amateur Championship at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, New York. Golf Week ranked Lorio in the Top 800 in the United States and Top 1,650 in the world among amateur players in 2012.

A native of Luling, Louisiana, Lorio completed his bachelor’s degree in human resource management from UL-Lafayette in 1999. He is married to the former Franchesca Boudreaux of Luling and the couple has one daughter, Vivian (3).