Meet IU Junior Matt Leach
February 3, 2003
How did you end up at Indiana from Beaverton, Oregon, and why did you select IU?
School and Swimming are the two main reasons why I came to IU. Beaverton is a medium-sized suburb of Portland, Oregon, and it also is the location of Nike world headquarters. Nike originated I believe in Eugene, Oregon, at the University of Oregon where an athlete named Steve Prefontaine helped jump start that company to what it is today.
In Oregon, there are no schools that have swimming at the NCAA level I wanted to compete at so I started looking out of state. Washington didn't really have any promissing areas for me to go to so I decided to start looking out East, or the Midwest. My grandfather went to a well known school in South Bend, Ind., so I decided to start looking at schools in Indiana and I was able to take a recruiting trip to IU. The rest is history.
How has the transition been to the new coaching staff?
The transition to the new coaching staff has been outstanding. I think both Coach Looze and Coach Barnes have a goal for this team and I feel that it is heading in the right direction. I feel that every day there is a new challege for the team and for each individual.
Do you have any brothers and sisters? If so, what are their ages and what do they do?
I have one older brother with the strangest name out there, his name is Jadam. He is 24 and he works for PGE (Portland General Electric). He is a swim coach at my alma mater, Westview High School.
What are your plans after graduation and how does your academic major play into those plans?
I am leaving my future open. I see myself graduating in Environmental Management with minors in Business and History. I am leaving my future open because I really don't know if I want to continue swimming after the 2004 trials or go into coaching, which my father has done for 25+ years. Or, I could get into management work.
What is your greatest personal accomplishment in the swimming pool?
I think the sport that I am in has many accomplishment that people on the outside don't see. Aside from all the morning practices and late night studying sessions, I find that when it is time my to rest and shave for the big meet, there is no other feeling like it. I would say my greatest accomplishment is when I won Junior Nationals and qualified for Olympic Trials with my father/coach watching.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Free time, what is that!? Swimmers in general don't have a lot of free time but swimmers that swim for Coach Looze don't have any at all. My free time normally comes on sunday between 8-11 in the morning when I get to sleep in.
Do you have any unique pre-race or pre-meet rituals?
I think I might be the only guy on the team that doesn't have a pre-meet/pre-race ritual. I know (Rob) Dabrowski and Claes (Andersson) listen to techno and that the Burgess's listen to Pearl Jam. My pre-race/pre-meet is to try not to think it. The less I think about it the calmer I am, so I try not to think about the meet that much at all.
What is your favorite movie and why?
My favorite movie? Good question.....I am going to have to stay true with the one movie that I still have in it original case----Dumb and Dumber.
What is your favorite television show and why? Favorite book?
Favorite TV show, ER and Scrubs. Book? Where the Wild Things Are.
How do you deal with the monotony of early morning practices?
Practice can get very repetitive. Most coaches write the workout on a board but Coach Looze makes us remember each set that we are doing so we can't just turn off our brains. If we do, he talks to us.
Do you ever wish you didn't swim backstroke so you could see where you are going more of the time?
I like working on my back. I do my best work there. My top two things I love to do on my back...#2 swim backstroke.........#1 Sleep. There is an on going joke on the swim team and it goes like this, "My friend sleep called and he really misses me."
What are your primary goals for the remainder of the season?
My goals for the remainder of the season are to finish out our dual meet season with a win against a strong Kentucky team at home on February 7. Then, the next day we go to Purdue for our season-ending meet, which will be very close. Big Tens is our biggest meet and that is going to be my focus leading into NCAAs.
What is your favorite event?
The 100 backstroke. I have really grown in this event this year and it is starting to be my best event overall.
Describe Coach Looze in three words?
Devoted, persistent, and intense
What is your favorite vacation destination?
I have been to Hawaii twice, but I am going to go with Alaska. I've been there three times.
Have you participated in any other sports?
Soccer and basketball.
How would you describe your personality?
Not too bad. Some people dont like it but I think I set a good example in and out of the swimiming pool for my teammates to hopefully follow.
Check back soon