2020 Swammy Awards: US Coach of the Year, Ray Looze

To see all of the 2020 award winners, click here.

2020 U.S. Coach of the Year, Ray Looze, Indiana University

Editor’s note: this award is specifically given on the credit of accomplishments by athletes in senior, international, professional, and to a lesser extent collegiate, competition. That’s as differentiated from the ‘club coach of the year‘ Swammy, which is more heavily weighted to accomplishments of junior-aged swimmers. As with all of our regional coaching awards, to be eligible, a coach should be based primarily in the US, with accomplishments weighted heavily toward those of their American athletes (though not to the exclusion of US-based foreign athletes).

 

Ray Looze, head coach at Indiana Swim Club and Indiana University, had to drive as far as an hour to coach his swimmers in an indoor 2-lane pool while Indiana’s facilities were shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. Swimmers from the pro group including Lilly King, Annie Lazor, and Cody Miller made the trip, as documented on Miller’s YouTube channel.

Two of Looze’s swimmers, Lilly King and Mohamed Samy, won Swammy Awards in 2020–U.S. Female Swimmer of the Year and African Male Swimmer of the Year, respectively. Samy set 6 new Egyptian Records in the 2020 ISL season in events ranging from 50 meters to 400 meters.

King notched new American Records in the 50 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke, as well as became the 2nd-fastest American performer all-time in the 200 breaststroke. King’s times in the 50, 100, and 200 breaststroke also make her the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-fastest performer all-time, respectively, in each race. King, alongside Olivia Smoliga, Kelsi Dahlia, and Erika Brown broke the World Record in the 400 medley relay in the ISL Grand Final.

King finished the ISL season ranked 2nd among all swimmers in the MVP standings and left Budapest with $254,000 of prize money. Her consistency throughout the season earned her MVP of Match 1, the 2nd MVP of 8, the 3rd MVP of Match Semifinal #2, and the 2nd MVP again of the Grand Final. Further illustrating her domination of the breaststroke races, King finished the season with a total of 102.5 jackpot points, the 3rd-highest in the league.

Annie Lazor did not win as many races as King, but she did earn the distinction of becoming the first woman in the ISL to beat King in an individual event when she toppled her in the 200 breaststroke in Match 10. Lazor finished 2020 as the 10th-fastest performer all-time in the 100 breast and the 7th-fastest all-time in the 200 breast. At the Des Moines stop of the Pro Swim Series, Lazor posted a 1:06.54 in the 100 LCM breaststroke and a 2:21.67 in the 200 breaststroke to finish the year ranked 4th in the world in the 100 and 1st in the world in the 200. At the same meet, King put up a 1:05.74 in the 100 LCM breaststroke and a 2:22.95 in the 200 LCM breaststroke, finishing 2020 ranked 1st and 3rd in each event, respectively. Miller, meanwhile, finished the year ranked 12th in the 100 LCM breaststroke and 18th in the 200 LCM breaststroke.

Zach Apple did not get to swim in the ISL post-season, though he was one of the best relay swimmers in the league in 2020 and produced the 14th-fastest 100 freestyle split in a relay in history, clocking a 45.15. Apple was the 2nd-fastest 100 freestyle performer in the ISL in the 2020 season behind only Caeleb Dressel with a 45.74 flat-start time from ISL Match #2. Training partner Blake Pieroni finished 2020 ranked 8th in the world in the 100 freestyle. Pieroni and Apple also rank 14th and 15th, respectively, in the 200 freestyle.

Honorable Mention

In no particular order.

Previous Winners

In This Story

66
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

66 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dee septer
1 year ago

Unfortunately in a late developing story the award has decided to enter the transfer portal. More at eleven…

everyones talking
Reply to  Dee septer
1 year ago

comment of the year right there.

Guerra
Reply to  Dee septer
1 year ago

Transfers, or people quitting, at any school are a “YOU” problem, not a “COACH” (or in IU’s case, a “GOAT”) problem. In all the cases I’ve seen at Indiana, this is the case. When it doesn’t work out at any school, most of the time it involves who the athlete surrounds themself with and who they listen to. If you come to Indiana University and always keep GOAT Coach Ray Looze and his staff in your inner circle and don’t follow or listen to “false prophets”, you will get faster, gain confidence and achieve greatness inside and outside of the pool. You will also experience peace, tranquility and have clarity that most young people don’t have the opportunity to experience… Read more »

theswimmerinlane9
Reply to  Guerra
1 year ago

Kevin Weldon is amazing and indeed has so much wisdom when it comes to recruiting!!!

Red and White stripes
1 year ago

Maybe this is the year that Ray learns his athletes names and talks to them?

NM Coach
1 year ago

Ray is the ONE National/International level coach that gives unrestricted access to his program! Always makes himself available…if Coleman wanted to do a 2 week practice & pancakes video of the IU program…Ray would let him!

Congratulations Ray!

HueD
Reply to  NM Coach
1 year ago

So what. That doesn’t mean he treats his athletes or staff well, nor does it mean he should be coach of the year.

bubbles
1 year ago

As an IU alum that swam for Ray Looze, I am disappointed in this decision. Ray doesn’t coach Blake or Zach. Nor do I think he deserves to continually ride off of Lilly’s talent.

Jerry bleakly
1 year ago

I don’t understand how you can apparently be the “best coach of the year” but have like 9 people transfer out of Indiana in the offseason. I wouldn’t leave somewhere with the best coach.
Also they came third at B1G, that bad with all the talent at Indiana.

Mikeh
Reply to  Jerry bleakly
1 year ago

9 people?! Good grief that seems like a lot.

swimfan210_
1 year ago

Great season for the IU pro group. If something is “up” with the college program, at least the pro group had great post-quarantine showings. Oh and no dolphin kick DQs as far as I can remember.

Guerra, I feel real good for you today.

Truth
Reply to  swimfan210_
1 year ago

Nothing is up with the college program. IU is doing great.

You want a train wreck then jump on slick stickels bullet train to ruin in Alabama.

Jerry bleakly
Reply to  Truth
1 year ago

Then why did 11 people transfer out and there worst ever performance at B1G’s. I wouldn’t say that is great

Admin
Reply to  Jerry bleakly
1 year ago

2020 was not the team’s ‘worst ever’ performance at B1G’s but any measurable statistic. Both the men and women finished 3rd. Indiana men were 5th in 2009 and 2010, 4th in 2007, 4th in 2004 7th in 2002 (incidentally, the year before they hired Ray Looze), 6th in 2001, 4th in 2000, 5th in 1999, 5th in 1998, 4th in 1996, 4th in 1995, 6th in 1994, 5th in 1993, 5th in 1990…(there are more before that, but I think that’s enough to make the point).

The Indiana women were 4th in 2006, 6th in 2000, 8th in 1998, 8th in 1997, 6th in 1996, 9th in 1995, 8th in 1994, 8th in 1993, 8th in 1992, 10th (last) in… Read more »

Guerra
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Thank you, Braden! I was waiting for your stats before I posted on this. Some of these trolls have a philosophy of never letting the FACTS get in the way of a good narrative…

Guerra
1 year ago

IiI

Last edited 1 year ago by Guerra
Country Oldtimer
1 year ago

Ray outworks every other coach in America. He is super successful because he commits both time and energy into the program and expects the same from all the coaches and swimmers.

HueD
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
1 year ago

Please.

Guerra
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
1 year ago

I totally agree with what you wrote. I told Ray and Kandis when they got to town to rescue and salvage our distressed and broken program in 2003, that, “Bloomington is a tiny speck on the map, but if you love Indiana University, it will love you back and take you to places and to heights that you never dreamed of going to.” Nobody embodies that statement more than GOAT Coach Ray Looze. To know the man is to love the man…

Last edited 1 year ago by Guerra
Guerra
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
1 year ago

I totally agree with what you wrote. I told Ray and Kandis when they got to town to rescue and salvage our distressed and broken program in 2003, that, “Bloomington is a tiny speck on the map, but if you love Indiana University, it will love you back and take you to places and to heights that you never dreamed of going to.” Nobody embodies that statement more than GOAT Coach Ray Looze. To know the man is to love the man…

NM Coach
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
1 year ago

Ray DOES outwork other coaches! It was the same work ethic he had as an athlete and you are right…he DOES expect the same out of the other coaches on the staff!

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

Read More »