VIDEO INTERVIEW: Texas’ First Championship Team Watches the 12th

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Members of Texas’ 1981 national championship team – the first for the school and also Eddie Reese’s first – gathered in Atlanta, Ga., this weekend to watch Reese, Kris Kubik and the Longhorns go for a 12th. As expected, Texas did earn that win, which tied them with Michigan for the most men’s NCAA titles. Reese broke a tie with Ohio State’s Mike Peppe for the most men’s team titles in a career and also tied Richard Quick for the most overall team titles by a coach. (Quick won 11 women’s titles and one men’s.)

Swimming World’s David Rieder got a chance to catch up with the seven swimmers: John HenryScott SpannJoe LajoieJohn KennyNick NevidWilliam Paulus and John SmithSam Kendricks, now the PA announcer for the NCAA championships, was a freshman team manager for that team, and he joined his seven former teammates for a reunion during the final night of the meet. The alumni discussed what had changed with the team, school and coaches in the previous 35 years, explained the significance of Reese and Texas winning their 12th championship and also recounted how the tradition of lighting the tower for national championships began.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Becky

    Nice to see the alumni!??do I recall correctly bill tried to do the same for the women the week before? We were the first UT women’s team to light the tower

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is the host of Swimming World TV and a staff writer. A contributor to Swimming World since 2009, he has covered NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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