Staff changes a chance for growth

Coaching changes could mean higher expectations for the IU men’s and women’s swimming teams.

IU swimming coach Ray Looze has appointed former in-house coaches Pam Swander and Mike Westphal to be assistant coaches of the women’s and men’s teams, respectively.

“The new changes are part of a three-year plan,” Looze said. “We want to win the Big Ten title and be a top-10 program. We don’t want to just get there – we want to sustain it.”

For both Swander and Westphal, when it comes down to business, it is a team effort.

“It’s nice to have the camaraderie and collaboration,” Swander said. “With three other great minds who all think differently, we can come up with some pretty darn good ideas.”

Westphal said the team works better together and that four brains are better than one.

“We work hand-in-hand, we train together, so we become more potent as a staff,” Westphal said.

Maintaining a track record of community service is also very important to Swander and the swim team, as IU ranked as No. 1 program last year in community service among all of the varsity teams at IU in what is called the CHAMPS challenge.

For Looze, the decision to promote Swander and Westphal meant a change in structure.

“They can help manage the teams with focus on swimming and academics, while I keep focused on the big picture,” Looze said. “The expectations absolutely increase.”
Teaching work ethic, loyalty and accountability outlined the new philosophies.

Swander previously helped lead the IU women’s team to its second Big Ten title in three years. She had worked the previous four years at IU with the middle-distance swimmers.

Westphal is entering his seventh year at IU. He had previously worked with the distance swimmers. He helped lead the IU men’s team to a Big Ten title in 2006 and top-10 finish in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships last year.

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