COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 10. EDDIE Reese and Mark Schubert were named today to be the head men's and women's coaches, respectively, of the 2004 U.S. Olympic swim team.
Reese is the men's coach of the University of Texas and Texas Aquatics in Austin. Schubert is head men's and women's coach at the University of Southern California and the Trojan Swim Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
"These are two of our premier coaches in the country," said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming Executive Director.
"They have a wealth of experience and are perfectly suited to lead our athletes at the 2004 Olympic Games."
Both coaches have Olympic experience. Schubert was the men's head coach with Reese serving as an assistant at the 2000 Games, where the men's team won 17 medals, including seven gold. Schubert has been a part of the coaching staff for the last six Olympics, including serving as head women's coach in 1992. In 32 years of coaching, he has placed 28 swimmers on U.S. Olympic teams, who have won 18 gold and eight silver medals.
In 1999, USA Swimming, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the American Swimming Coaches Association named
Schubert Coach of the Year. He has been head coach at the University of Southern California and for Trojan Aquatics since 1992.
"I was really shocked (to be offered the position), but very happy," said Schubert. "This women's team is going to be spectacular and I'm excited to be a part of it. Even if I was just there to carry the Gatorade buckets, I'd be happy to be there. Going back to Athens, the original Olympic city, is going to be a great experience."
Reese was the men's head coach at the 1992 Olympics, where the men's team won 13 medals including six gold. He was an Olympic assistant coach at the 1988, 1996 and 2000 Games. Reese, who has been coaching since 1965, has coached 18 Olympians who have combined for 19 gold medals in four Olympics. He is in his 24th season as head men's coach at the University of Texas,
where his team has won the last two NCAA titles and eight national titles overall in his tenure. The Longhorns have won seven of the last 14 NCAA
Championships and 22-straight conference titles. The American Swimming Coaches Association named Reese the 1991 Coach of the Year.
"I felt honored (to be offered this position)," said Reese. "Then my next thought was how are we are going to get by this tremendous competition we're going to face in 2004? My goal is to get the team to perform at their best when it matters most. I thought Sydney would show a caught-up world, and in some ways, it did. I expect that to be even more so in Athens."
The 2000 U.S. Olympic team enjoyed astounding success in Sydney, dominating the competition with 33 medals, 14 of those gold. That has resulted in big expectations for 2004, but with several veterans expected to make the team going to Athens, the coaches are ready to face the challenge.
"More and more, we're seeing repeat performances out of people," said Reese. "They're showing the physical abilities and getting the resources to continue in the sport and that kind of experience on a team is invaluable."
"The success in Sydney is going to help us because of the experience I think we'll have on the team," added Schubert. "Usually about 30% of the team has Olympic experience and that leadership helps a great deal. But even beyond that, the talent explosion that we saw after the Olympics at the 2001 Worlds and 2002 Pan Pacifics makes the situation better and better. Some of those who make the team in 2004, who weren't on the 2000 team, will still have a lot of experience from the other international meets, including this
summer's Worlds. Then you always get a few rookies and I'm looking forward to seeing that develop, too."
The Olympic head coaches are selected by the USA Swimming National Team Selection Committee, which is made up of coach and athlete representatives. Reese and Schubert will select their assistant coaches at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, July 7-14, 2004 in Long Beach, California.