Creating Success Together: Lin Loring and Ramiro Azcui
Dec. 20, 2006
In sports, teams are constantly working to build a successful coaching staff. They want a coach that works well with the athletes, that knows the game. And the right chemistry on a coaching staff can lead to success. The byproduct of that success is that a good assistant coach can get hired away by another program at any time. For this reason, many coaching staffs aren't together for more than a couple of years.
Loring, who is the winningest coach in NCAA history with 677 wins, is in his 30th year at Indiana. He hired Azcui in 1992 from Truman State University, where he was the head coach for both the men's and women's tennis teams. At Truman, Azcui was the 1991 and 1992 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Men's and Women's Coach of the Year.
The duo has led Indiana to a 231-142 (.619) overall record during its time at Indiana, with a 118-52 (.694) record in Big Ten competition.
Azcui says that their coaching styles are a little different, but they complement each other, which has helped the players.
"We both concentrate a lot on skill instruction," Azcui said. "We teach similarly, but we may say different things. The girls know that we aren't going to contradict each other in terms of what we are telling them and what changes we are making."
Loring says that Azcui sometimes helps him see a situation in a different light.
"I think that it is always good to have two sets of eyes when you are looking at someone," Loring said. "We don't always agree on things, so I think it is good to get a different perspective."
The longevity of their coaching careers has also helped with recruiting. In addition to a strong program on the court, they have created a welcoming environment for players.
"I think it is easier when we can show the recruits that we treat our program like a family," Azcui said. "They enjoy seeing that there is not going to be much change. Coach (Loring) has been here for 30 years. Our players know that once they are here they are going to get continuity. They know exactly what they are getting."
Loring also notes that the family atmosphere has been created over the years because of the life events that each coach has gone through while at Indiana.
"When we started working together, neither of us had kids and I wasn't married," Loring said. "Now we each have two kids. We have seen each others' families grow up. We have been there for most of the big events in each others' lives the past 15 years."
According to Loring and Azcui, working together for so long has helped both of them become more efficient coaches.
"It has helped me because I am not always training an assistant coach," Loring said. "Ramiro has a great working relationship with everyone in the athletic department, so I really let him do a lot of things that a new assistant coach wouldn't know how to do. We each have things that we do. It saves a lot of people time and effort, which has been extremely helpful."
Azcui agrees that they each have their roles.
Despite the fact that his success with Loring has made him a commodity, Azcui has no plans to leave Bloomington anytime soon.
"Bloomington has been such a great place to live and raise a family," Azcui said. "I have been offered a couple of jobs, but I turned them down. I don't have that desperate need to say that I am moving on just to be a head coach, because I have already been a head coach. I enjoy it here; it is a great place to live. Indiana University is an incredible institution. I have never felt the need to move on that quickly.
"Coach (Loring) is the winningest coach in NCAA history. I feel like I am becoming a better coach every day at Indiana, learning from him and from all the things that he does for the players. It's all a great learning experience."
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