By Conor Gaffney
A 45-year Loyola staff member, Mr. Stephen Grady ‘63 currently works as a member of Loyola’s counseling department and focuses specifically on assisting student-athletes.
While working for his father’s business in 1970, Grady learned that Loyola was in need of an assistant football coach and applied for the position. He was accepted the same year and quickly developed a love for coaching.
Grady, who graduated from the University of Southern California’s business school, enjoyed coaching so much that he decided to leave the business world to pursue a career in high school coaching and teaching. He then returned to USC, where he enrolled in part-time classes and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science and a Life Secondary Teaching Credential.
Grady officially joined the Loyola faculty in 1972 as a driver’s education teacher. He continued to help the football team as an assistant coach and in 1976 was named the head coach of Loyola’s varsity football team, a position he would hold for the next 28 years.
During Grady’s time as the head football coach, Cub football experienced numerous counts of success, including two CIF Division I championships in 1990 and 2003 as well as 45 CIF AAAA/Big Five Conference/Division I playoff wins. Additionally, Grady earned the 2003 State Coach-of-the-Year award. He was also inducted into the CIF Southern Section’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Grady retired from the head coach position in 2004; however, he continued to help the football team, especially during the 2007, 2009 and 2011 seasons.
Grady, still longing to remain involved in the Loyola community, joined the Counseling Department in 2005 as an additional resource to help student-athletes maintain their grades.
“I didn’t want to just teach PE; I wanted to do something else….Our counselors are so busy, and they are not able to jump on an athlete who is not doing his homework or something along those lines, and I realized from my time as a coach how much extracurricular time our guys put in,” Grady said.
Grady said that the transition from coaching to counseling was smooth, especially because he was accustomed to working with high school students: “I had worked with youth in sports for so many years that I think I had an understanding of what an athlete thinks about.”
In addition to helping student-athletes, Grady also assists other counselors, such as Mr. Denison, Mr. Gallagher, and Mrs. Han, with handling their freshmen and sophomore students.
Grady also has tremendous respect for his colleagues in the counseling department: “I have great esteem for the counselors that are here and the job that they do…. They are always open to listening to what I have to say, so I really feel comfortable even though I am really not a true college counselor.”