University of Louisville head coach Arthur Albiero and Indiana University head coach Ray Looze have been named the U.S. head coaches for this summer’s Pan Pac Championships that will take place from August 9th-13th in Tokyo, Japan. Albiero will lead the women’s team while Looze will lead the men’s team. Both coaches had both their men’s and women’s collegiate teams place in the top 9 at the 2018 NCAA Championships.
This is Albiero’s biggest U.S. appointment yet after serving as the head coach for the 2016 World Short Course Championships and an assistant for the 2017 World Championships. He also has served on 3 World Championship staffs and the 2012 Olympic staff for Portugal. His women’s team finished 5th at the 2018 NCAA Championships, making the team one of only 4 (along with Cal, Stanford, and Texas A&M) to finish in the top 8 at that meet in each of the last 4 seasons. He’s likely to have at least two members of Team USA this summer: America’s reigning top butterflier Kelsi Worrell, and one of the country’s fastest-rising stars, five-time World Champion Mallory Comerford. He’s also the coach of National Team members Andrea Cottrell and Zach Harting.
Albiero’s prior U.S. appointments:
- 2017 World Championships – women’s assistant coach
- 2016 World Short Course Championships – head coach
- 2016 USA College Challenge – head coach
- 2015 Pan American Games – assistant coach
Looze’s men’s and women’s teams are both exploding on the collegaite scene, including his men’s team, who had a chance at pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Championship history this year all the way until the meet’s last few events. His collegiate and pro teams at Indiana include Olympic gold medalists Lilly King, Cody Miller, and Blake Pieroni, along with U.S. National Team members Ian Finnerty and Zane Grothe. Grothe, part of one of the biggest pro groups in the country, broke the American Records in the 500 and 1650 yard freestyles in December.
Looze’s appointment is his 6 as a U.S. National Team coach. His other appointments:
- 2017 World Championships – women’s assistant (alongside Albiero)
- 2016 Olympic Games – women’s assistant
- 2015 World University Games women’s head coach
- 2014 Short Course World Championships – women’s head coach
- 2011 Duel in the Pool – men’s assistant coach
- 2009 World University Games – assistant men’s coach
The head coaching spots for both put them in contention for the 2020 U.S. Olympic team head coach positions – which are traditionally given to coaches who have previously led U.S. teams to major international competitions, especially ‘Operation Gold’ meets.
Including an all-male coaching staff for last summer’s World Championships, this makes the 4th-straight ‘Operation Gold’ (aka, primary long course international championship) meet where both of Team USA’s head coaches have been male, dating back to Teri McKeever leading the 2014 Pan Pacs women’s team.
Selection criteria for the 2018 Pan Pac Championships haven’t yet been announced, but selection will happen at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships from July 25th-29th in Irvine, California. Assistant coaches will be named after that meet. Athletes and coaches will then have a quick turn around to Pan Pacs from August 9th-13th in Tokyo.