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

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Whoa
18 days ago

This comment section should be orderly and respectful….

Kitajima Fan
Reply to  Whoa
18 days ago

I can’t wait

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Whoa
18 days ago

a little too respectful from one particular user

Bimgus
Reply to  Whoa
18 days ago

I don’t get it, what’s the controversy with Ray Looze? I’ve seen some really pushy people in the comment section about him but I don’t get why, can someone fill me in?

Guerra
Reply to  Bimgus
18 days ago

The only controversy is The GOAT, Ray Looze’s, greatness and the jealousy from the trolls on this site that want to bash him and the Indiana program. Let me fill you in on the history of the Indiana program and GOAT Coach Ray Looze… In the beginning, God created Bloomington, Indiana. In the middle of Bloomington, he put Indiana University. God said, “this is beautiful and good.” He then blessed IU with a swim team and said, “this program will achieve greatness and I will always be with them.” God gave IU a legendary “Doc” as a swim coach and a man that swam faster than people run by the name of “Spitz”. Spitz would move the heavens and the earth in… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Guerra
Khachaturian
Reply to  Guerra
18 days ago

Dude you wrote a whole essay

Swimmah
Reply to  Guerra
18 days ago

This is incredible.

eagleswim
Reply to  Guerra
18 days ago

this was great and had me smiling the whole way before finally bursting out a laugh at “fertile paint ball fields of Crown Point, Indiana.” I know you would have some gems in this comment section, and you did not disappoint!

everyones talking
Reply to  eagleswim
17 days ago

yea except Pieroni isn’t from Crown Point …

Admin
Reply to  everyones talking
17 days ago

According to all of his official bios, he was born in Crown Point.

everyones talking
Reply to  Braden Keith
17 days ago

maybe he tore up the paintball fields in chesterton.

Pete
Reply to  Guerra
18 days ago

Uh…Mel, Coleman, Braden, and the SwimSwam powers that be–one award that is absolutely indisputable: Swammy 2020 Hype Man of the year: GUERRA.

Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  Pete
18 days ago

….I agree. Can’t speak for Coleman or Braden….

DDias
Reply to  Pete
18 days ago

Guerra means WAR in Italian,Portuguese and Spanish…

Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  Guerra
18 days ago

I think that comment should’ve been an editorial post… Even if you aren’t an IU fan, you have to respect the love….

Admin
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
18 days ago

Mel I’m putting you on commenting timeout for that.

swimfan210_
Reply to  Guerra
18 days ago

#1 Swimswam comment of all time? Y’all can hate Guerra and IU but you have got to admit that this is literally amazing.

Swimnerd
Reply to  Guerra
16 days ago

You forgot about the part where Mike Westphal got arrested

moddiddle
Reply to  Bimgus
17 days ago

Maybe I’m too new here, but I too want to know. Why is there so much negativity towards Looze, Mckeever, Marsh, Stickels, Bottom, Salo, Meehan, Bowman, Desorbo, Hawke, Busch and so many more?

SuperSwimmer 2000
Reply to  moddiddle
17 days ago

Welcome to the Internet. You must be new here.

Mrs. Swimming
18 days ago

Big day for Guerra lol

50M Pools Rule
18 days ago

SwimSwam knows how to drive those engagement stats! 😉

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 …

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