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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Ben Loorz named Arizona’s new swimming and diving head coach

Emma Diaz
The women’s swim team performs the 100 Freestyle on Nov. 4 at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center. The swim and dive meet was against UCLA.

The hiring of Ben Loorz is the beginning of athletic changes in a new era spearheaded by the University of Arizona’s new athletic director Desireé Reed-Francois. This is Reed-Francois’s first hiring since she arrived after the firing of former athletic director Dave Heeke.

Before Loorz was hired, the Wildcats had been coached by Augie Busch since 2017. The Wildcats saw subpar success under Busch, with the men’s team getting their highest finish of 12th in the 2020-2021 NCAA Championships and the women’s team getting their highest finish of 14th in the 2018-2019 NCAA Championships.

Loorz joins the Wildcats after coaching at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for the last eight seasons.

Background and connection to the program:

Loorz has the accolades to show his pedigree coming to the Wildcats program. For the men’s side, Loorz was named the Western Athletic Conference’s coach of the year from 2021-2024, earning four consecutive awards. With these accolades coming his way, the UNLV program also saw major success, winning four straight WAC titles from 2021-2024.

Also, on the women’s side, Loorz was key in creating a team with 15 all-conference swimmers and the Mountain West diving champion, as well as earning the Mountain West Championship and coach of the year in 2021.

Despite the massive resume of conference success and coaching Olympians during his time at UNLV, Loorz also draws a connection to the current faculty within Arizona Athletics. Loorz was coaching the swimming and diving teams at UNLV while Reed-Francois was serving as its athletic director. Her move to Arizona and the limited success of the UA’s past swimming and diving coaches paved the way for Loorz to join the Wildcats as they enter the Big 12 Conference later this year.

Looking ahead:

With the new advent of teams and opportunities coming this season with the move to the Big 12, Loorz and the Arizona women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams will be looking to excel and hopefully secure crucial Territorial Cup victories over ASU next season, an area in which they fell just short this year. The future is also bright for Reed-Francois as she enters her first major sports season in a new post-Pac-12 Arizona.

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