Eddie Reese Book Set For Release

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Finally, there is a book about coach Eddie Reese that chronicles his early start into swimming through his career at Texas where his team has captured a record 14 NCAA team titles, thus far. A pre-sale for the Legacy Edition of the book EDDIE REESE: Coaching Swimming, Teaching Life went on-line February 7. In ten days, all 200 copies were sold for $125 each. Chuck Warner, the author, and contributor Dana Abbott, are returning the generosity of the purchaser’s dollars back to the Texas Men’s Swimming endowment, known as the “Reese-Kubik Legacy Campaign” by donating 100 percent of those proceeds (approximately $20,000) to the fund.

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The book includes 190 pages with about 130 “Eddisms”, or Eddie Reese quotes, and more than fifty stories from past swimmers and coaches. There are three sections: “Who is Eddie Reese?”, “How does Eddie coach?” and “Why so much Winning?” Hardcover copies with 65 pictures (51 color) are available until April 30th ($125 each) with all proceeds dedicated to the endowment and softcovers can now be pre-ordered for April 1 shipping at 24.95. Read reviews and more at here.

Swimming World was a key contributor in photographs and as a source through its archives and on-line video interviews

There are many aspects of Eddie Reese’s coaching style that have helped him become one of the most successful coaches in the history of sports. Former Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, who wrote the forward for the book, described one of Eddie’s most essential qualities as “his ability to know when to work hard, and when not to.” Other qualities that Coach Reese possess are being a great judge of talent when recruiting, an eye for developing his swimmer’s stroke technique/starts/turns, his understanding of the value of strength, as well as how to most effectively train his swimmers.

One of the other keys to Coach Reese’s success is his ability to “protect the mind.” This excerpt from the book helps illustrate his sense in doing so:

At Auburn in the ’70s, the transition into pool practice included a Frisbee game. With multiple discs flying across the pool, bouncing off the walls of the small room that housed the old pool, scores were tallied when a disc hit the deck. The air was filled with laughter before the work in the pool had ever begun. At Texas a game of “six-square” (an expanded version of four-square) is a regular pre-pool event that includes laughter, camaraderie, and plenty of trash talk.

“We had a lot of lawyers come out of it because of all the arguments.” (Reese)

A recently developed tradition is to start practice by having all the swimmers throw their snorkels at the backstroke flags at the far end of the pool. For every snorkel that hooks and stays, practice might start one minute later.

Once his swimmers are in the pool Eddie is still able to infuse humor into a long practice.

Jeremy Harris ’08 shares this:

During a long course (50-meter) workout, Eddie was sitting on the block directly above my head, and before I pushed off to begin the main set he gleefully said,  “Your ass is grass and I am the lawnmower.” I almost choked on water I was laughing so hard.

It’s one thing to find time to laugh at practice, but even in the most intense competition Eddie has a sense of when the pressure gets to be too much. A story that came to us after we had finished the book was from Brian Jones. Back in the early 2000s, Brian recalls, the team was not performing up to their ability at NCAAs. “Eddie comes out to where we’re sitting getting ready for the final relay of the meet. He finds a trash can and some paper and gets us started in a modified game of ‘hoops.’ After some fun and laughter, we swam great on the last relay.”

A significant portion of each book sale is being donated to the “Reese-Kubik Legacy Fund” at The University of Texas. For more information about the book go here.