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Desiree Reed-Francois introduces her first head coaching hire

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 20, 2024

TUCSON, Arizona — With a Wildcat swim cap, University of Arizona athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois introduced new swimming and diving head coach Ben Loorz.

It's not the first time they've worked together. Reed-Francois inherited Loorz when she was athletic director at UNLV.

"We wanted someone who could see our student-athletes as more than a time," said Reed-Francois.

"That's swimming," said Loorz. "You can measure that pretty readily. It's also about their growth as humans."

The times of the student-athletes at UNLV were quite good. This past season, men's swimming won its fourth straight Western Athletic Conference title. The women, who compete in the Mountain West, tied a school record with fifteen all-conference performers.

Loorz will lead Arizona into the Big 12 with a team of approximately 60 student-athletes.

"A diverse staff where everyone can find someone to connect with is really critical," said Loorz.

He replaces Augie Busch who was let go after seven seasons. Busch was cleared of NCAA violations, but there was a revolving door of assistant coaches, and this year the women's team failed to record a point at the NCAA championships.

"U of A swim and dive, as I was going through the coaching ranks, was the brand."

Now, it's Loorz's turn to rebuild that brand.