STEVE GOMEZ | HEAD COACH
In 10 seasons at the helm while an NAIA institution, the Lady Chaps made 10 consecutive trips to the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship tournament. Coach Gomez’s arrival to the LCU women’s basketball program has certainly changed the foundation of the program. In those 10 seasons at the helm, LCU posted a 234-96 record under Gomez in the NAIA.
LCU is now a member of NCAA Div. II and the results have not changed since transitioning. LCU went a remarkable 25-1 overall in 2013-2014 and they completed the Heartland Conference with a perfect 20-0 mark for their first perfect conference record in program history. They followed in 2014-2015 claiming Co-Heartland Conference Regular Season title honors after a 15-3 stretch in conference and a 21-7 overall season. That led to a remarkable 2015-2016 season. A season that started off with an exhibition game loss at NCAA Div. I No.1 Connecticut and ended with a perfect 35-0 season in LCU’s first season eligible for NCAA postseason. They went 18-0 in Heartland Conference play to capture a regular season title and then a Heartland Conference Tournament title (first season eligible for the tournament). The Lady Chaps went on to capture a South Central Regional Tournament title and eventually a NCAA Div. II National Title. Gomez claimed WBCA NCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year honors and also spent a portion of the offseason as a court coach at the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo.
2015-16 served as a rebuilding year for the Lady Chaps, who returned one starter off the championship squad. Despite the rebuilding, LCU still went 19-11 overall and 12-4 in conference, en route to the Heartland Conference Tournament championship game, which they lost to St. Edward’s. They bounced back in 2017-18, claiming another Heartland Conference regular season and tournament title, leading to Gomez receiving Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors. The Lady Chaps hosted the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament for a second time and won the tournament to stamp their second berth towards an NCAA Division II Elite Eight Tournament loss. They lost to eventual national champion Central Missouri at the tournament held in Sioux Falls, S.D, ending their season with a 31-2 record. In 15 seasons at LCU (the 2018-19 season marks his 16th), Gomez enters the 2018-2019 season with a 365-117 collegiate coaching record. He also enters the season with an 105-16 (.868) overall record while competing in Heartland Conference play.
In their final two seasons in the NAIA (2011-2012, 2012-2013), LCU set program single-season win records in each of the seasons. The Lady Chaps went 31-4 in 2013-2014, setting a program single-season wins mark (31). The Lady Chaps won their first ever Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament title en route to their final trip to the NAIA National Championship tournament. In 2011-2012, LCU went 28-6 and made their second ever appearance in the Semifinals of the NAIA National Championship Tournament. They lost out to eventual national champions Oklahoma City to mark the second consecutive season in which they lost out to the team who would claim the title. LCU claimed their second Sooner Athletic Conference crown in program history, as they joined Oklahoma City as conference co-champions with a 21-1 record. They handed OCU their only loss of the season.
LCU went 25-10 in 2010-2011 and marched into the Elite Eight for a third time in program history. The Lady Chaps, who finished third in the Sooner Athletic Conference, lost in the NAIA National Championship to eventual national champion Azusa Pacific.
LCU went 19-12 in the 2009-2010 season, which included a 13-9 finish in the Sooner Athletic Conference, and had their season come to an end in the National Tournament. The highlight of the season was an exhibition victory inside the United Spirit Arena against Texas Tech University.
In 2009-2010, the Lady Chaps finished with a solid 27-7 record and made a trip to the Sweet Sixteen of the National Tournament following a second-place Sooner Athletic Conference season. Gomez chalked up a milestone during the season, becoming the all-time women’s basketball wins leader at LCU.
LCU had a memorable 2007-2008 campaign, as the Lady Chaps made another voyage to the NAIA National Tournament. The Lady Chaps completed a 25-10 season, which included a trip to the Elite Eight in the tournament for their second best finish in program history.
In 2006-2007, Gomez led the Lady Chaps to a myriad of firsts in their near thirty year history. Lubbock Christian never left the top-10 in the NAIA National Poll, and set a school mark for wins in a season with 26, eclipsing the school mark of 23 they set the prior season. In addition, LCU made its fourth consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament, finishing in the Sweet Sixteen and most impressively, the Lady Chaps captured a share of the Sooner Athletic Conference regular season championship, becoming the first school from outside of the State of Oklahoma to do so in the thirty-one years since the conference was founded.
In 2005-2006, Gomez’s Lady Chaps enjoyed what was arguably at the time the best season in school history, as they finished with an overall record of 23-12, and made an unparalleled run at the NAIA National Tournament. Seeded sixth in their eight team bracket in the tournament, Gomez’s girls proceeded to oust four of the top six teams in the nation and become the lowest seed ever to reach either the Fab Four or National Championship; appropriately enough, he was named the SAC’s Coach of the Year.
In his first season, Gomez’s Lady Chaps went 16-14 and finished fifth in the Sooner Athletic Conference. While this might appear to be an average year, big wins for the Lady Chaps and entry into the NAIA National Poll for the first time proved good enough for an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament: LCU women’s first trip to the big dance. In his second season, the Lady Chaps were able to maintain that level of success. After getting off to the best conference start since joining the Sooner Athletic Conference at 6-2, LCU finished SAC play at 10-8, good enough for another fifth place finish, and for the second season in a row, Coach Gomez guided the Lady Chaps to the NAIA National Tournament.
An LCU graduate, Gomez was a standout perimeter player for Coach John Copeland in the late 1980s, and to this day, he still holds the school record for career free throw percentage at .855. He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mathematics and consistently used his degree to teach in the classroom while pursuing coaching on the sidelines. Gomez’s career began at Lubbock Monterey High School where he served as an assistant coach in the men’s basketball program from 1988 to 1995. In 1996, Gomez accepted the men’s basketball head coaching position at Lubbock Cooper High School, where he remained until returning to Lubbock Christian University to take over the reigns of the Lady Chaps in 2003. During his seven seasons at Cooper, the basketball program broke new ground making the playoffs four times, managing the school’s first state ranking, and capturing the Pirates only district championship in Gomez’s final season. One of the main reasons Coach Gomez is so successful on the court is the support he receives off of it. Steve has been married to his wife Shawna for 28 years, and the couple has two children: Hayden and Landon.
My Philosophy of Coaching
My philosophy of coaching is a direct reflection of the things that are most important to me – my faith, my family and a passion for competition. As a result of my faith in a God who embodies the perfect balance of justice and love, my main desire as a person and coach is to live as an example of those characteristics. Secondly, because of my love and enjoyment of family, and realizing how similar a team is to a family, I want to help in building lasting relationships – coach to player and player to player – while providing an environment for individuals to improve athletically, academically and spiritually. I want all involved in our basketball program to have a full understanding of success, which will ultimately be measured by the quality and influence of our lives and not only by the result of a single performance or season. I hope to instill self-discipline and a healthy competitive spirit in each of our players as I strive to encourage and bring out the best character traits and physical abilities that each one possesses.