LCU alumnus Steve Gomez has been the head coach of the Lady Chaps basketball team for 17 years. In that time, while on his way to winning two NCAA Division II National Championships, he has posted a win-loss record of 425-125.
And he has achievements beyond LCU, As an assistant coach, Gomez helped lead the 2018 USA Basketball’s Women’s U17 team to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup in Belarus.
Even further back, Gomez holds the LCU men’s basketball free-throw record, shooting a cool 85.5 percent in his playing days.
There is no doubt Coach Gomez has led an impressive career. Exactly how has he created a women’s basketball dynasty here at Lubbock Christian University?
Why Women’s Basketball?
Though it was never in the plan for Coach Gomez, he couldn’t be happier where he is.
To hear the full interview with Coach Gomez, listen to The Presidential Suite podcast at https://open.spotify.com/episode/6dBaGbCk1f1ph2fN4xzedF?si=gNEt-G74QW-UTaJiUWo2mA.
After coaching high school boys’ basketball for 15 years, he got a call from former Lubbock Christian University coach and athletic director Jimmy Moore, asking if he would coach women’s basketball.
“The girls, they are tremendous — after I came and watched them play a few times I thought, ‘Man, that is a high level,’” he said. “Although it wasn’t in the plan, to get the chance to coach at my alma mater, and really to come home, was just a tremendous opportunity.”
Making the Jump from NAIA to Division II
Transitioning from NAIA to Division II was a moment for the Lady Chaps basketball program. There were questions about how well the team would do, and if it would still be able to compete at a higher level.
“NAIA was supposed to be a low level, but actually the top teams at the NAIA level were just as good as anybody,” said Coach Gomez.
The team ended up doing well in its first season, posting a record of 25-1.
“We were able to make the jump pretty well,” Coach Gomez said. “It was just a matter of there are more good teams in Division II, as opposed to a few.”
Helping Players Grow Athletically, Academically, and Spiritually
Preaching a counter-culture message of “you’re not really a big deal, and neither am I” has been a key message when it comes to team building for Coach Gomez.
“I want these girls to realize that, yeah, you’re a basketball team and all, but there is more, much more, than the game.” he said. “To put that in an athletic context, it means that our seniors need to be the ones carrying the water bottles to the trainers, or last in line to eat, or as a team we need to be helping the other team up instead of walking the other way.”
The little things on and off the court are important for the Lady Chaps basketball program.
A Little More About Coach Gomez
A lightning round of questions revealed other interesting tidbits about Coach Gomez:
Favorite basketball player: Julius Erving.
Favorite athlete: Roger Staubach
Favorite food: “Anything chicken.”
Go-to pump-up song: “The Final Count Down” by Europe.
And to the question, “Who would be the best basketball player from the Bible?” Coach Gomez said, “Excluding Jesus, Joshua would have been one of those players who just gutted it out, one of those fearless players.”
To read Coach Gomez’s official bio, check out https://lcuchaps.com/staff.aspx?staff=17.