43 years after being hired by Darrell Royal to lead the swimming program, legendary head coach Eddie Reese announced his retirement on Monday, bringing an end to an era in Austin.
“Eddie Reese is truly the greatest coach ever,” Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte. said “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.
Reese ends his Longhorns career after bringing 15 national championships to Austin, the most recent of which came just two days ago. Reese also won eight NCAA Coach of the Year awards and helped to lead his players to 73 NCAA individual championships and 52 relay titles during his tenure.
Under Reese, the Longhorns have won 25 straight Big 12 conference championships, giving the program every single conference championship since the Big 12's inception in 1997.
The 79-year-old had also won 17-straight Southwest Conference championships before the schools move to the Big 12 from 1980-1996, giving Reese 42-straight conference titles before his retirement.
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“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 55 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.
However, despite announcing his retirement, Reese insists he will stay involved with the program going forward.
“I am going to be a coach emeritus," Reese said. "That means I can still help and I want to do that. It’s important for all of us. Working with swimmers has been one of the true joys of my life, and I definitely want to keep doing that. In my long 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. Coaching allows me to do that.”
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