Texas head swimming coach Eddie Reese retires after 15th national championship

Ethan Ferguson

Eddie Reese, Texas men’s swimming and diving head coach, announced his retirement Monday afternoon, two days after winning his 15th national championship with the Longhorns.

Reese spent 43 seasons at the University and built the program into a household name. In addition to his 15 national titles, Reese secured 27 top-two finishes, 34 top-three showings and 41 straight top-ten finishes. He holds the unique record of winning an NCAA title in five different decades.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest collegiate coaches of all time, Reese finishes with more NCAA team titles than any other coach in the sport’s history.

“Forty years ago he won his first Championship, today he ends walking out with his 15th national title,” athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “How do you define a guy that’s won a championship under six presidents? He is a true treasure.”

After years of speculation on his retirement with no real indications provided, Reese said he decided his time had come before the Longhorns won on Saturday.

“Going into this swim meet, I had already made my decision. I was going to retire regardless of the outcome of the meet,” Reese said. “I’ve always said I would know when to retire, and it would always be before anyone said they wanted me to.”

Del Conte announced that Reese will still be Texas’ coach emeritus, meaning he will continue to work with future teams in practice but not be required to show up to meets. Del Conte also added that Reese will be the head coach through the Olympic games this summer.

“I love the idea and I look forward to doing that,” Reese said about his newfound role. “As long as my mind is good and my jokes are good, I’m going to keep doing it.”

An advocate for winning with class and dignity, Reese leaves behind an enormous legacy at The University of Texas.

“The thing I got most out of coaching swimming has nothing to do with winning or trophies. It all has to do with interpersonal relationships,” Reese said. “I’m a firm believer that the purpose of our life is to help. … I have been able to do that, and they help me.”