Q & A with baseball’s new head coach Geoff Loomis

By Sal Aversa | February 16, 2016 12:03pm
Geoff Loomis is the new head baseball coach at the University of Portland | Photo by Sal Avera

Sal Aversa |

Pilot Hall of Famer, Geoff Loomis, was introduced as the University of Portland’s new head coach for the baseball team. He played for the Pilots from 1990-1992 and still holds the school’s career record for batting average (.372). Loomis was the head coach for Pacific Lutheran University for 13 seasons before being hired by UP. He compiled an impressive 327-197-2 (.624) record at PLU and says he is excited to begin his coaching career at UP.

B: You coached at Pacific Lutheran University for the last 13 seasons and had an impressive record there. What was your time like there and how has that helped you as a head coach? GL: It was my first college head coaching position and I got the job when I was pretty young in the business; I was 31 at the time. (Pacific Lutheran) was definitely a place that I thought I could have a competitive chance to win at and it seemed like a good first step for me. When you do something for 13 years it prepares you in a lot of different ways for your next job. That experience was important for me and as a coach, the more seasoned you are the less surprised you are by things.

B: This is your first season at UP. What do you bring to this team? GL: We (as a coaching staff) want to bring consistent hard work. We want our players to be consistent and hard working. The strength of our coaching staff is that we know it takes a lot of time and energy to get this program pointed in the right direction, and we want our players to do the same thing. We need to be good examples of that.

B: Have you always had a passion for coaching? GL: I played ball here and no, I didn’t. I used my business degree to become an accountant for a little while up in Seattle. It wasn’t long after that that I realized I wanted to start thinking about coaching. I had a friend who had a position open and he needed an assistant coach, so it was a natural transition for me.

B: Did you know you wanted to come back to UP and be apart of the baseball program here? GL: Yeah, I think that it’s unique. I don’t think you can predict that something like that can happen, but this is where I spent some very quality years of my life. It’s really special that I’m able to come back here and be part of the program and be the leader of the program.

B: What were your playing days like here at UP? GL: I tell our guys all the time that it is a privilege to play at the division 1 level, but also that they get to extend their careers past high school. I never took that for granted when I was a player here. When I played here, we didn’t have the same facilities that the team has today. We didn’t have the same field with the turf and the lights, so times have changed since I was a student athlete here. It’s good to be able to relate to the guys because it’s really difficult to be able to juggle academics and division 1 athletics. It’s a grind for these guys, and I can relate to them.

B: What are you most excited about this upcoming season and this team? GL: I’m really excited to see what our competition looks like and see where we’re at. We’ve had a lot of great practices and the guys have been really focused this year. We have a lot to be proud of in our preseason training. But now when the season starts, you kind of wonder what you’re team is like. We’ll find out in a week how we stack up against these other teams.

B: You received 13 points in the 2016 preseason Coaches poll.  What does that poll mean to you and the team? GL: The poll had us ranked last in the West Coast Conference with 13 points. The poll is just a preseason poll, so the poll itself wasn’t that surprising. However, it’s great motivation for our guys to try and prove people wrong, especially when you put in this much time and effort. They want to see some success and I’m hoping that they get to experience that success, especially the 12 seniors on the team.

B: What is your favorite restaurant in Portland? GL: My favorite restaurant to eat here is Philadelphia’s Steaks and Hoagies. My favorite sub there is there Philly cheese steak.

B: If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be and why? GL: Superman, mainly for the ability to fly.

B: Is there anything else you want readers to know? GL: For the students, we’re going to be playing games at 6 o’clock on Friday nights, so it will no longer be where students get out of class and we’re already in the 5th inning. We’re excited for the student-fan experience. We’re playing Friday and Saturday nights, so it would be better for the students to come out and enjoy our games.

Sal Aversa is a sports writer for The Beacon. He can be reached at aversa17@up.edu or on Twitter @Sal_Aversa.