UNLV Names Ben Loorz as 5th Head Coach in Program History

The UNLV Rebels have named Ben Loorz as the 5th head coach in program history on Wednesday. He takes over the program as men’s and women’s head swimming and diving coach after Bobby Folan spent one year as the interim head coach. Folan followed 35-year veteran Jim Reitz at the helm of the Rebels.

Loorz is a familiar face to the Las Vegas era, as he was an assistant for UNLV from 2007-2010, including as a part of three conference championship teams. After leaving UNLV, he became the head coach of Cal State East Bay women’s-only program. He led that team to runner-up finishes at the Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference championships three times and a high-water mark of 15th-place at the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships.

“I am truly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead the UNLV Swimming and Diving program,” said Loorz. “My wife, Jennie, and I are excited to once again be a part of the Rebel family.

“I want to thank Tina Kunzer-Murphy. Her belief in the future of the program, and her expectations of high-level success, are motivating. My previous tenure at UNLV has given me a strong vision for what the program is capable of, and we are going to immediately and systematically begin doing the work necessary. I look forward to providing leadership and mentoring as we pursue conference championships and elite-level finishes at the NCAA Championships.”

Prior to his first time at UNLV, Loorz spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Utah (2005-07), where he helped coach the women’s squad to the MW championship meet title in 2006, and a regular-season crown in 2007. Loorz was a volunteer assistant for the women’s team at California for the 2004-05 season, and also an assistant coach for American River Community College in spring of 2004.

Other coaching experience for Loorz includes having spent the past five years as head coach of the EBAT Masters, a masters swimming program he founded at the CSU East Bay, while also serving as a coach for East Bay Aquatics for the post-grad and college level swimmers.

Loorz swam collegiately at American River College in Sacramento after graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor of music from University of Southern California in 1999. He also earned a Master of Science in Communication from Utah in 2008.

The UNLV men finished 35th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, thanks entirely to a 9th-place finish from senior Dillon Virva in the 50 free. The women’s team didn’t score any points at NCAAs, but will return their one qualifier, breaststroker Lina Rathsack, from last year’s team.

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Emma

This is just another example of a string of poor hiring decisions made by the UNLV Athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy.

Laurel

As a Cal State East Bay Women’s team member coached under Ben Loorz, I can personally say that I’ve never had a better coach in my life. I wake up every morning motivated to give my best in and out of the water. As an athlete, student, and a person. The UNLV rebels are lucky to be led by a person as outstanding as coach Ben. He deeply cares about each of his athletes’ well being. He has contributed to the success of this program and every person he leads. I am proud to have swam for him. UNLV has made a GREAT hire. He is intelligent and innovative, and I look forward to see what positivity and success he… Read more »

Gregg

This is a great hire for the Rebels. Ben Lorrz is a very well respected coach and has proven experience at recruiting to UNLV. When he was the assistant for the Rebels he was instrumental in recruiting one of the best women’s teams in their history. Ben knows what it takes to produce winning conference teams and building individuals in and out of the water. He will carry on the legacy and culture that Jim Reitz built and maintained for decades. Tina Kunzer-Murphy is to be congratulated for making an excellent choice to carry on an outstanding swimming/diving tradition. Well done Tina. The Rebels are in good hands.

dude

What a weird hire.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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