During the college basketball season, Coach Lorenzo Romar is the Washington Huskies Lead Dog. He’s put the bounce back into a once deflated basketball program, by building a new brand of success.
“Husky Basketball is something that’s relentless, that’s constantly coming at you. We’re trying to initiate Tempo. We’re trying to initiate the action. We’re attacking you, and then when we get the ball, we’re not slowing it down,” says Romar.
They can’t afford to! As one of 351 NCAA Division One teams with a frenzied fan base, there’s no relief from the demand to achieve.
“The more you win, the more people want you to win,” says Romar. “For me, the more I win, the more I want to win. It never stops. You can never be totally satisfied.”
Romar was hired by his alma mater in 2002 to turn around three straight losing seasons, falling attendance and insufficient academic standing. His Seattle arrival immediately raised the program’s expectations and visibility. The former Huskies point guard brought enthusiasm and unprecedented momentum.
:“Being able to do this where I was a student athlete when I attended college makes it extra special,” says Lorenzo.
It took him just two seasons to reach back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances, three over six seasons and one as a Top-Seed team. He drove the program forward while raising graduation rates. He begins this season as the reigning PAC-12 Conference Coach of the Year.
“Sustaining a program is tougher than getting it turned around,” says Romar. “Once you’re on a job for awhile in this position there isn’t a lot of mystery left. People know how you conduct things. And if things don’t go well for a day, a month, a year, well, you’ve become stale. So you have to continue to, at times, reinvent yourself.”
The intense pressures on a college basketball coach are constant, where success is measured by both wins and academics, all from the effort of young developing athletes. So how does Coach Lorenzo handle the strain to his job? He remains coachable, willing to learn and accept a much bigger purpose with every assignment.
“If I’m depending on God, and I’m doing everything in my power to be the best, if it doesn’t work out, there’s nothing else I can do about it,” says Romar. “I may not have done a good enough job, okay. But God is still in control of my life. How can I get better. And it didn’t work out here, what else does God have in store, because there is something.”
It was a lesson he learned after college, while playing five seasons in the NBA. As he did with basketball, Lorenzo lived life based on his performance.
“Getting closer to God was like a sporting event,” says Coach Romar. “The one with the most points wins. The more good deeds I could do, the more they could add up and I could score points with God. And that’s just kind of how I saw it. I believed the Bible was the Word of God so I read through it. It was great until I realized that, as I kept reading, points don’t get you to heaven. The points don’t give you a relationship with God, that there weren’t enough points that you could score, as a human down here, because God’s standard was above, it was out of reach.”
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SOURCE: The 700 Club