Eddie Reese Not Retiring After All, Will Remain Head Coach at Texas and Chase 16th Championship

Texas men's coaches Wyatt Collins and Eddie Reese at Olympic Trials -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Eddie Reese Not Retiring After All, Will Remain Head Coach at Texas and Chase 16th Championship

Legendary Texas men’s swimming coach Eddie Reese announced his retirement in March after capturing his record-setting 15th NCAA team championship, and he said he would step down following the Olympic Trials in June. But tweets posted Thursday from Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte suggested that Reese has reconsidered his decision and will remain as Texas’ head coach, and sources have confirmed to Swimming World that Reese will indeed remain head coach.

At the time of his announcement, Reese said he would step down in June but remain at Texas head coach emeritus. Assistant coach Wyatt Collins was to be the interim head coach before a new full-time head coach was confirmed. But Thursday morning, Del Conte tweeted at Texas president Jay Hartzell that he received Reese’s retirement paperwork, and Hartzell replied that he had rejected that paperwork. Del Conte then said that Reese had agreed to return as head coach after all and was currently on deck coaching. Read the full exchange below.

The tweets begin as if the two men were joking in a hopeful manner, but Del Conte insisted multiple times on Twitter that Reese is, in fact, returning. As of Thursday evening, the University of Texas has not made an official announcement on the news or provided an update on Reese’s status, but Swimming World is working to receive more information from Texas.

Reese and Texas won national championships in 1981, for four years straight from 1988 through 1991, in 1996, three years straight from 2000 to 2002, in 2010 and then four years straight from 2015 through 2018. Following his win this spring, he is the only swimming coach to win national titles in five different decades. Also in his illustrious career, Reese has coached 22 Olympic gold medalists and been the head coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic team in 1992, 2004 and 2008. He was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic team in 1996, 2000 and 2012.

At this year’s Trials, three Texas-trained swimmers (Townley HaasDrew Kibler and Gunnar Bentz) qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, while three others missed the team by one spot after finishing third (Carson FosterWill Licon and Austin Katz).