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Getting to know you U SPORTS athletics staff: Lou Pero, Lakehead Thunderwolves

U SPORTS Staff

Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”

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  • Name: Lou Pero
  • School: Lakehead University
  • Sport: Women’s basketball
  • Position: Manager of Student-Athlete Development & women’s basketball Assistant Coach
  • Seniority: 15 years
  • Previous job/position: Lakehead men’s basketball coach (14 years)
  • Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ont.

1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about your job?

The job was created for me when I stepped down from coaching men's basketball in 2003. What I enjoy most about my job is the interaction with the student-athletes and trying to solve issues for them.

2. Who has had the most influence on your career?

I would say the most important influence in my career has been the support of my family as I pursued various career options. At Lakehead University, it has been Stu Julius, former women's basketball coach and athletic coordinator and Tom Warden, current athletics director.

3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?

I think representing Canada Basketball as an assistant xoach in the 1995 FISU games in Japan and earning a bronze medal.

4. How would you define a Lakehead University student-athlete?

A Student-Athlete at Lakehead University can be defined as "exceptional and unconventional" in a sense because of the distances they travel to compete in the OUA. They are on the road every other weekend, usually from Thursday through Sunday, and are expected to be on the top of their game with their teams and maintain a good academic standing in the classroom. This year approximately 30 per cent of our student-athletes will achieve Academic All-Canadian status.

5. What does success look like for the Lakehead University athletics program?

Success at Lakehead University will be defined as striving to achieve national status with each athletic program with a good chance to win a national championship.

6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?

There are two:

  1. The competition for top-level athletes in each sport.
  2. The funding of the various athletic programs if you consider the cost of our travel.

7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?

I would like to see university sport expand its television and media exposure and improve the funding ceiling for student-athletic scholarships.

8. If you could sit down for dinner with one person in the sports industry (athlete, coach or manager), who would it be? Why? What would you talk about?

Jay Triano. I think he is one of the most outstanding basketball minds in the game. I would like to discuss the state of the game in Canada and where he sees it going. Also, what it takes to be an effective head coach and assistant coach at the highest level.

9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?

You wouldn't believe the talent and the quality of the play in U SPORTS

10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?

Golfing and reading.