Louisiana wrestlers have a home at Loras College
August 16th, 2019 | Written by: Editor



LORASIANA!  It is a phrase that has become commonly used in Dubuque, Iowa at Loras College.  Even though almost 1,000 miles apart there is a strong connection between Loras College and Louisiana.  The Loras roster is made up with wrestlers from all over the country including Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Jersey, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado and California.  But it is hard to not notice the Louisiana presence in the wrestling room and on campus.  From the head coach down to the athletes on the team, Louisiana has made itself known at Loras College and Loras has become a place for many Louisiana wrestlers to call home.  

Loras Head Coach

T.J. Miller, former head coach at Holy Cross High School

“I spent five years in Louisiana coaching at Holy Cross School.  I found out pretty quickly during that time that there was some really good talent that wasn’t getting recruited heavily.  I started giving names to my father who was coaching at the time.  Some were my athletes and some were guys that caught my eye on other teams.  A lot of those guys went on to do some really good things at the next level, so when my opportunity came at Loras I started recruiting athletes from Louisiana immediately.  I got really lucky with Quin Gilliam coming up as I was moving back to Iowa.  From there, it pretty much became a snowball effect - Guy Patron Jr. and Keegan Gilligan came the following year.  Jon Orillion was probably the coach that I was closest with during my time down there.  I use to bring guys over to Rummel and he would do the same to Holy Cross, and we just pretty much clicked right away.  I knew he had a lot to give so we found a way to get him up north and it’s been great ever since.  Dexter Bass was a state champion for Holy Cross during my time there and it just worked out somehow that Loras had an internship opening, which pretty much lead into full-time employment for him in Athletic Communications. The last few Thanksgivings my wife and I had everyone over to the house for dinner because a lot of them couldn’t go home.  I think that’s where we coined the phrase “Lorasiana.”  I think Louisiana natives love Loras and Dubuque for a variety of reasons. One, Loras is an amazing place to go to school, and to not just grow in wrestling but in all aspects of life.   Two, there is no town like Dubuque in the state of Iowa.  Last, I think it’s important for these guys to have coaches and teammates that understand and know where they come from.”

Loras Assistant Coach

Jon Orillion, former head coach at Archbishop Rummel High School

“Coaching at the college level was something I always wanted to do.  I formed a friendship with T.J. while he was in Louisiana.  So, when he called and asked if I wanted to coach, I had to take it seriously and check it out.  The first time I visited I fell in love with the city of Dubuque, the people surrounding and supporting the program, and Loras College right away.  I take a lot of pride in being from Louisiana.  So, it makes me very proud to see so many Louisiana faces in the room every year being successful at Loras.”

Keegan Gilligan, Nathan Pitts, Richard Hunter,
Quin Gilliam, Guy Patron and Jon Orillion
Coaches Jon Orillion and T.J. Miller during a match T.J. Miller, Jon Orillion and
Guy Patron. Jr. in the coaches corner.

Former Louisiana Wrestlers at Loras College

Assistant Director of Athletic Communications

Dexter Bass, Louisiana State Champion at Holy Cross High School

“Loras finds the light in people by faith and opportunity.  Loras is a small college that allows students, faculty and staff to build long-lasting relationships within the community.  I accepted an internship that allowed me to venture to six new states and 16 new cities.  Shortly after my internship I was offered a full-time position in the Sports Information Department that was hard to turn down.”

Loras College Wrestlers

Quinn Gilliam ’19, Louisiana state champion at C.E. Byrd High School with a Marketing Degree from Loras College. 2x national qualifier for Loras College.

“Wrestling always took a back seat to football, or even quiz bowl for that matter, while I was in high school.  So, it was nice to compete somewhere and truly feel appreciated.

Keegan Gilligan, 3x Louisiana state placer at Airline High School.

“It is hard not to get better at Loras!  Coaches, along with my teammates, are always at my disposal to help us get better.  It’s a great family environment.”

Guy Patron Jr., 3x Louisiana state finalist and State champion at Jesuit High School.  National finalist and 3x All-American for Loras College.

“I chose Loras because of the great family-like community, and the drive that everyone has to succeed here.  It’s a good place for Louisiana wrestlers to come and grow in the sport, and as a person, along with acquiring new skill sets.”

Richard Hunter, 3x Louisiana State Champion at Brusly High School

“Being in this room has taught me so much.  Our coaching staff is dedicated to our program and strives to make sure we all can reach our goals.  There is a reason we all say 'Lorasiana.'”

Nathan Pitts, 2x Louisiana State Champ at Parkway High School

“Loras is a great place for Louisiana wrestlers.  Some of the coaching staff is from Louisiana,  and it’s really easy to connect with them.  There’s a lot of Louisiana wrestlers on the team, and it makes for a diverse and cultured team that’s fun to wrestle for.”

Peyton Bass, 2x Louisiana State Finalist at Airline High School

“I chose Loras because of the intensity surrounding the program and the strong family bond I felt while visiting the campus.”

Brandon Turner, 3x Louisiana State Champ at South Plaquemines High School

After serving in the National Guard Turner is now enrolled at Loras and will compete on their wrestling team.

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