Indiana Daily Student

Olympic experience helps coach Ray Looze push Indiana women’s swimming forward

<p>IU swimming head coach Ray Looze raises his arms during the Big Ten Tournament meet Feb. 20, 2019, at Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington. Looze and IU head diving coach Drew Johansen joined Team USA’s coaching staff for the 2020 Olympic Games.</p>

IU swimming head coach Ray Looze raises his arms during the Big Ten Tournament meet Feb. 20, 2019, at Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington. Looze and IU head diving coach Drew Johansen joined Team USA’s coaching staff for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Since being hired in 2002, Indiana women’s swimming head coach Ray Looze has had one goal in mind: bringing the program back to prominence. Now entering his 16th season at the head of the program, he has done just that. 

Looze coached the United States Olympic swimming team in Tokyo, Japan, this summer, and he has big hopes for Indiana this season.

He said he believes his experience with the U.S. swim and dive team will help him push himself and Indiana even further toward the top of college swimming.

“It gives you just a really elite platform, a really great reputation to use,” Looze said.  “The experience is just unbelievable. It’s hard to describe, I learn from my best swimmers, and just getting to interact with those levels of coaches is amazing.”

This year, the Indiana women’s swim team is lacking in upperclassmen representation. Consisting of just five seniors and 19 underclassmen, Looze said the younger swimmers will grow up fast with the help of the veteran leaders on the team. 

Looze doesn’t lack confidence when it comes to the upcoming campaign. He said the roster is stronger than it was at this time last year.

“On paper we are better, and we are certainly deeper, so I think that’s the biggest factor,” Looze said.

During the shortened season last year, Looze led the women’s team to a third-place finish at the Big Ten Swimming Championships. Looze will look to lead Indiana up the standings and add a sixth Big Ten Championship to his resume this year.

Looze is already a renowned swim coach, and he believes that even though the talent is going to be different every year, he takes responsibility for team success. 

“The talent that we have right now is what we have, and good coaching elevates talent, so that’s hopefully what I can bring to the table” Looze said.

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