Eddie Reese By the Numbers: Texas, Olympic Coach Had Career Like No Other

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Eddie Reese has ended his career after 15 NCAA titles at Texas. He is widely regarded as the top college swimming coach of all time, if not the top swimming coach of all time.

Reese Announced his retirement on Monday.

Eddie Reese by the numbers

  • Completed his 43rd season at Texas
  • Has led Texas to an NCAA-leading 15 national team titles, 12 NCAA runner-up finishes and 34 top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships
  • 40 consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships
  • 41 consecutive conference titles
  • Only coach to win NCAA title in five decades
  • Three-time head coach, U.S. Olympic men’s swimming team (1992, 2004 & 2008)
  • 73 NCAA individual champions and 50 NCAA champion relays (through 2020 season)
  • 29 Olympians who have collected 39 gold medals, 16 silver medals and eight bronze medals
  • Three-time CSCAA National Coach of the Year (2015, ’16, ’17), 8-time NCAA Coach of the Year (1981, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’92, ’96, 2000, ’01) and 4-time ASCA Coach of the Year (1991, 2005, ’06 & ’09)
  • After placing 21st at the NCAA Championships in his first season (1979) at Texas, Reese’s teams have never finished lower than seventh at the national meet.
  • Reese has developed 53 NCAA individual champions, 50 national champion relays, 263 All-Americans and 29 Olympians who have won 39 gold medals, 16 silver medals and eight bronze medals.
  • Inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco on Feb. 12, 2002. Just the third member of the Hall of Fame to be voted in based on swimming credentials
  • In 2002, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Reese was inducted along with eight other honorees in the Class of 2002.

Reese at the Olympics

Three swimmers from UT traveled to London in 2012 with Reese, who served as an assistant coach for the U.S. men. Making the Olympics team in 2012 were Ricky Berens (200 freestyle, 400 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay), Jimmy Feigen (400 freestyle relay) and Brendan Hansen (100 breaststroke). Also, Christian Schurr qualified in the 200 breaststroke for Mexico. Individually, Hansen won the bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke and added gold in the 400m medley relay. Berens won gold in the 800m freestyle relay at a second consecutive Olympic Games, and Feigen joined Berens to win silver in the 400m freestyle relay.

Due to his wealth of international experience and the respect the swimming community has for him Reese was named head men’s swimming coach for the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s swimming team in September of 2006, marking his third selection as the head coach. He served in the same capacity during the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 2004 Athens Games. In addition to his head coaching duties, Reese worked as an assistant coach for the U.S. in four other Olympiads: 1988 (Seoul), 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney) and 2012 (London).

Seven of Eddie Reese’s current and former swimmers – including first-time Olympians Ricky Berens, Scott Spann, Dave Walters and Garrett Weber-Gale – joined Reese in Beijing in 2008 and accounted for about one-third of the 22-member USA team while capturing eight gold medals and one silver medal. Weber-Gale joined Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak to win his first gold medal and set a new world record in a thrilling 400m freestyle relay in Beijing, and Berens teamed up with Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay to win Olympic gold and become the first 800m freestyle relay quartet to eclipse the seven-minute barrier in the event. Walters joined Berens in the 800m freestyle relay preliminary and also earned his first Olympic gold medal.

Weber-Gale added his second relay gold when he anchored Team USA’s 400m medley relay in the preliminary round, where he was joined by Ian Crocker, who swam the butterfly leg in the preliminary round to earn a gold medal. Aaron Peirsol and Brendan Hansen swam the event’s backstroke and breaststroke legs in the finals, where Team USA won gold and set a new world record.

Peirsol, a three-time Olympian, collected his third career individual Olympic gold medal by setting a new world mark in the 100m backstroke, and he added a silver medal in the 200m backstroke. Hansen reached the 100m breaststroke finals, where he placed fourth, and Crocker took fourth in the 100m butterfly finals.

At the 2004 Athens Games, senior Nathan O’Brien qualified for Team Canada while a total of seven former Longhorns (Crocker, Nate Dusing, Scott Goldblatt, Gary Hall Jr., Hansen, Peirsol and Neil Walker) – equivalent to one-third of the entire men’s squad – earned a spot on the United States’ Olympic Team. Leading the Texas swimmers at the 2004 Athens Games was Peirsol, who duplicated American teammate Lenny Krayzelburg‘s sweep of the backstroke in Sydney, Australia, and became only the fifth swimmer in Olympic history and second Texas swimmer to win both backstroke events (Rick Carey, 1984); Crocker, who won gold in the 400 medley relay, silver in the 100 butterfly and bronze in the 400 freestyle relay, and Hansen, who captured gold in the 400 medley relay, silver in the 100 breaststroke and bronze in the 200 breaststroke.

Gary Hall, Jr., who was competing in his third-straight Olympiad, won the 50-meter freestyle for the second year in succession. Hall, Jr., Dusing and Walker each earned bronze medals swimming the 400 freestyle relay, while Walker also captured his second-straight gold medal in the 400 medley relay. Meanwhile, Goldblatt captured his first career gold medal as a member of the 800 freestyle relay team. All said, Texas swimmers had medaled in six individual events and swam at least one leg on all three medal-winning relay squads.

At the 2000 Olympics, Crocker and Peirsol joined with seven former Longhorns (Josh Davis, Dusing, Scott Goldblatt, Gary Hall Jr., Tommy Hannan, Jamie Rauch and Neil Walker – on the United States team. Overall, Longhorn swimmers accounted for one-third of the entire U.S. men’s team in Sydney. UT made up three-fourths of the 400-meter medley relay team that captured a gold medal with Walker, Hannan and Crocker. The 800-meter freestyle relay team, which was made up entirely of former Longhorns, won the silver medal with Davis, Dusing, Goldblatt and Rauch. Walker and Davis won silver medals with the 400-meter freestyle relay team, while Peirsol earned a silver medal in the 200-meter backstroke before even stepping foot on the UT campus.

As head coach of the 1992 U.S. team in Barcelona, Eddie Reese’s swimmers captured 13 medals, including six gold. Former Longhorns Hans Dersch earned a gold in the 400-meter medley relay (prelims). Doug Gjertsen captured gold in the 400-meter free relay (prelims) and a bronze as a member of the American 800-meter free relay, and Shaun Jordan won gold swimming a prelim leg on USA’s 400-meter relay team.

Alltotaled, Reese has coached a total of 26 Olympians who have gone on to win a combined 29 gold medals. His list of individual event gold medalists include: Brad Bridgewater, Rick Carey, Josh Davis, Hans Dersch, Gary Hall Jr., Chris Jacobs, Shaun Jordan and Aaron Peirsol.

Rick Carey- won three gold medals, in the 100 and 200 backstroke, as well as the 400 medley relay – at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Josh Davis matched this feat at the 1996 Atlanta Games capturing gold in the 400 medley relay, the 400 free relay and 800 free relay.

— Some Eddie Reese information was provided by the University of Texas Athletics.