Competitor Coach of the Month: Ray Looze, Indiana

Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

Of the 6 programs to earn top 10 finishes at both women’s and men’s NCAAs, only three are a combined program with a shared staff. Ray Looze and his Indiana Hoosiers were the standouts of that bunch.

Looze’s Hoosiers not only had the highest single-team finish of those dual-top-10 programs (a 3rd place for the IU men), they also had the best average finish between the two programs at 5.5. (For those curious, the other programs with top-10 finishes were separate coaching staff programs Texas, Cal and Stanford along with combined programs Michigan – 4th for women, 8th for men, average 6th – and Louisville – 5th for women, 9th for men, average 7th).

The men were wildly impressive, vastly outperforming predictions to lead the meet for much of the way and ultimately finish in the bronze position behind perennial powerhouses Texas and Cal. IU also won the 400 medley relay, saw senior Blake Pieroni become the first man ever under 1:30 in the 200 free and got dual NCAA titles from Ian Finnerty, who became the first sub-50 breaststroker in history.

On the women’s side, Indiana finished 8th, taking 2nd in the 400 medley relay, 3rd in the 200 medley and sweeping the breaststrokes with Lilly Kingwho shattered her own American records in both the 100 and 200 breasts, becoming the first-ever sub-2:03 in the women’s 200 breast. Between King and Finnerty, Looze’s swimmers swept all four NCAA breaststroke titles.

Here’s a listing of all of Indiana’s NCAA titles and records this month:

  • W 100 breast: Lilly King56.25 AR
  • W 200 breast: Lilly King2:02.60 AR
  • M 200 free (leadoff leg): Blake Pieroni1:29.63 AR
  • M 100 breast: Ian Finnerty, 49.69 AR
  • M 200 breast: Ian Finnerty, 1:50.17
  • M 400 medley relay: Fantoni, Finnerty, Lanza, Pieroni, 3:01.07

About Competitor Swim

Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.

Competitor Swim is a SwimSwam partner. 

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Well done Coach Ray!

NM Coach

Great things are happening in Bloomington! Great Job Ray! IU has a fantastic staff of coaches!!!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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