Legendary Texas Coach Eddie Reese to Retire After 2024 Olympic Trials

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Legendary Texas Coach Eddie Reese to Retire After 2024 Olympic Trials

Long-time Texas coach Eddie Reese announced on Friday his intent to retire following the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He will serve his 46th and final season at Texas in 2023-24, at which point a national search for his successor will commence. Reese will stay on with Longhorn Aquatics through late June, one the U.S. team for the 2024 Olympics is set.

“Where we are today and where I am today is made possible by everyone who has swum here before and is swimming here now,” Reese said in a university release. “They are the reasons behind the success of this program. When people get together with the mindset of accomplishing something, even though it is tough during that year in time, it adds up to something truly amazing. I want to thank those guys who trusted me, did all the hard workouts and made the sacrifices in and out of the water.

“Working with swimmers has been one of the true joys of my life. In my life, I’ve discovered that the most important thing for us to do in this world is help others, whether it be for something simple or complex. It has been an honor for me to be a part of this program.”

This isn’t the first time Reese has announced this intention: Reese announced at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season that he would retire but had a change of heart and announced his intention to stay on that July.

Reese has led Texas to 15 national championships and 28 top-two results and 36 top-three finishes at NCAAs. The school has won 44 consecutive conference titles (Texas will join the SEC in 2024-25) and has finished no worse than 10th at NCAAs for the last 43 years running. Reese is the only NCAA swimming coach to win titles in five separate decades, his first coming in 1981, three years after he was hired.

His swimmers have won 75 individual NCAA titles and 55 relay titles through the 2022-23 season.

Reese is an eight-time NCAA coach of the Year, and a four-time recipient of both the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Coach of the Year Awards. He is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021, as well as the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor and Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

“Eddie Reese is truly the greatest coach ever,” said UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “His records speak for themselves, but the way he led his program, trained and prepared his student-athletes to perform at their best in the pool and all facets of their lives, is just exemplary and extraordinary. Nobody has or will ever do it better.”

Outside the college pool, Reese was the head coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic team in 1992, 2004 and 2008. He has coached 29 Olympians who have collected 39 gold and 63 total Olympic medals.

“To coach swimming well, it cannot be a job. It’s got to be a lifestyle,” Reese said. “In reality, I haven’t had a job for the 58 years that I’ve coached. It has been an incredible part of my life. And the incredible part has had nothing to do with winning and losing. It has to do with the people that I’ve been lucky enough to be around. They have kept me young, and they showed great acceptance by continuing to laugh at my bad jokes. For those who add to the program, from the parents of the swimmers to compliance to academics to nutrition to the training room, and to The University of Texas, this could not have been accomplished without your contributions.”

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Dana Abbott
Dana Abbott
8 months ago

Bill Sweetenham may have said it best: “No person a better coach and no coach a better person.” I could not agree more. The GOAT. He has shared and given more to the sport than anyone in history. WE have been gifted. Thank you, Eddie. <3

Raymond Woods
Raymond Woods
8 months ago

Rest in retirement Eddie, enjoy the outdoors, you’ve earned it.

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