Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas men’s swim and dive looks back on season before new chapter in SEC

Skyler Sharp
A Texas swimmer competes in the 200m butterfly on Feb. 2, 2024 at a meet against TCU.

With the retirement of head coach Eddie Reese and the transition into the SEC, it’s important for Texas swim and dive to leave their mark in the Big 12 conference. Their place at the top set itself in stone with the addition of their 28th consecutive conference championship.

Before the Big 12 championship, the Longhorns had a mixed regular season. With losses against Virginia, Texas A&M and NC State, the team’s ranking lowered throughout the season. However, wins against TCU, SMU and Georgia Tech helped to improve Texas’ national rankings, though it was the individual performances that solidified Texas’ position as a top contender. 

Upperclassmen and underclassmen alike shared success across multiple weeks, with several winning weekly conference titles to credit their performances. Senior Coby Carrozza found success this year, specifically in individual and relay freestyle races. He said he put all the credit on his training.

“You’ve got to trust that you’ve been working hard, you’ve been recovering well and you have a good game plan going into the race, and you’ve got to know that you’re gonna put your heart on the line,” Carrozza said.

International performances have also proven to be significant milestones for Texas swimmers. Getting experience on the world’s biggest stage was the most important factor for freshman swimmer Brayden Taivassalo.

“It’s experience, right? You gotta take it for what it is,” Taivassalo said. “It was a learning experience. … Anytime you get too caught up in the result, you’re always gonna be wondering what you could’ve and should’ve done when you’re supposed to be actually learning from the experience itself.”

Winning the Big 12 conference title ended the season on a high note and signaled the end of an era. As well as it being Texas’ 28th consecutive title, Reese celebrated his 45th straight conference title, dating back to his tenure of coaching at Auburn University. However, Reese said he is not focused on streaks or legacy arguments. 

“I’m a now guy. All I worry about is what we’re doing now this year. All that stuff’s in the history books,” Reese stated in a media availability before the championships. 

Reese announced his retirement during the fall semester, and his successor has yet to be named. Although he is retiring from the head coaching position, it’s hopeful that he will be able to stay on as an assistant coach to visit practices and meets from time to time.

“Eddie’s instilled a culture in this team that I think is going to stay,” Taivassalo said. “And it’s kind of our responsibility … to keep that culture alive.”

The biggest change that Texas will face lies in the switch to the SEC, where they will be competing against powerhouses such as Florida, Auburn, Georgia and Texas A&M, all ranked within the Top 10 in the nation. However, the Longhorns remain positive and focused on other events coming up, such as the NCAA Championships and the Olympic trials.

“All you have to do is do what you can do,” Reese said. “You don’t have to put on Superman’s cape and perform miracles. Just do what you can do.” 

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