WASHINGTON, D.C., September 8. TWO of the most respected coaches in the world will lead the United States into action at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Eddie Reese (men) and Jack Bauerle (women) have been selected as the head coaches for the next Olympics. The official announcement will be made this afternoon by Mark Schubert, USA Swimming’s National Team Head Coach and General Manager.
“Eddie Reese is without a doubt the best coach in America, if not the world,” Schubert said. “No coach in recent memory has had three world record holders and three Olympic gold medalists in the same program. His job at the 2004 Olympics in Athens as the men’s team head coach, and the success he’s had since, made him the hands-down choice to lead our men’s team in Beijing.”
In Beijing, Reese will be the head coach of a U.S. Olympic squad for a third time, including his second consecutive stint. The head coach of the U.S. men at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Reese also guided the men at the 2004 Games in Athens. He served as an assistant coach in 1988, 1996 and 2000. Reese was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2002.
"This will be my sixth Olympic games as a staff member and my third as a head coach," Reese said. "We just announced the World Championship Team and I think this team is very good. Swimming in the United States is rapidly improving, so by 2008 there could be easily be other swimmers making a run for the team."
The head coach at the University of Texas since 1978, Reese has been regarded as one of the world’s premier coaches for three decades. He has led the Longhorns to nine NCAA titles and has been named NCAA Coach of the Year on eight occasions. But, his coaching excellence ranges well beyond the collegiate ranks, evident in the success of his athletes on the international stage.
"The pressure will be ever-present since the expectations by the American people are so high," Reese said. "We have been in that position before. As coaches, we will be preparing the athletes for gold medal performances, but it is usually comes down to the team during the event to make it happen. I am not concerned about security issues surrounding the Olympics, especially in China. Our team will be prepared and our staff is the finest."
Reese currently boasts a trio of individual world-record holders in Brendan Hansen, Aaron Peirsol and Ian Crocker. While Hansen is the fastest man in history in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, Peirsol owns the fastest times in the history of the 100 and 200 backstrokes. As for Crocker, he holds the global standard in the 100 butterfly.
“Jack Bauerle is a consummate team coach. What he has done at the University of Georgia represents the pinnacle of team swimming, which is what the U.S. Olympic Team is all about,” Schubert said. “He brings a fun approach to the sport, and that will be key to producing Olympic success for our women’s team.”
As for Bauerle, he has enjoyed a successful stint as the men’s and women’s coach at the University of Georgia. Entering his 28th year in command, Bauerle has guided the Georgia women to a quartet of NCAA championships and four second-place finishes. He has been named National Coach of the Year five times and has led the Georgia women to six Southeastern Conference crowns.
Like Reese, Bauerle has a good feel for coaching at the international level as he was the head coach of the American women at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal. He was an assistant during the 2001 and 2003 World Champs and served as an Olympic assistant in 2000 in Sydney.
Currently, Bauerle’s top guns are sprinter Kara Lynn Joyce and Mary DeScenza, a four-time NCAA champion in the 200 butterfly. Both women will represent the United States at next year’s World Championships in Melbourne.
"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity and challenge," Bauerle said. "I am equally excited about working with Eddie. We have a great working relationship. We have a lot of work aread of us. It feels good to be recognized by your peers. There is no better place to be than the Olympics."