Sister Jean, Now 102, Returns to March Madness

We've made the team chaplain for Loyola-Chicago an honorary Southerner.

Sister Jean Loyola
Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Today, America's favorite nun was back where she belongs: sitting court-side at the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the team chaplain for Loyola-Chicago, catapulted to fame during the Ramblers' surprising run to the Final Four back in 2018. The then 98-year-old attended every game, celebrating her team's back-to-back upset wins from her wheelchair.

On Wednesday, 102-year-old Sister Jean arrived in Pittsburgh to cheer on Loyola once again. She was there this afternoon, wearing her letter jacket and signature maroon-and-yellow scarf, as her tenth-seeded boys took on seventh-seeded Ohio State.

Sister Jean shared her scouting report on the Buckeyes when she prayed with the team before their final pre-game warmup. She also delivered one of her signature pep talks.

"I always tell them this, I tell them they have to play with their mind and their heart and their hands and their feet," she told USA Today. "They say, 'Sister Jean, why our feet?' Because you have to get those fast breaks and just go!"

She was confident in her team this year—so confident, she had them making the Elite Eight. Unfortunately, Loyola lost to Ohio 41 - 54.

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Sister Jean, who has served as the team's chaplain since 1994, addressed her unlikely celebrity in an interview with the Chicago Tribune this week.

"People said to me, 'Is this going to your head?' No, it's not going to my head. I just try all the time to make people happy, to be happy myself. And if I make people happy and it's good for my congregation what I do, and good for Loyola what I do, I'll do it," she told the newspaper. "I have a lot of fun doing what I do, and that makes me happy."

You certainly make us happy, Sister Jean!

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