AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas men’s swimming and diving coach Eddie Reese is retiring after capping his 43rd season with the Longhorns by winning his 15th national championship.
The 79-year-old Reese made the announcement Monday, two days after winning the NCAA title. A three-time coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic swimming team in 1992, 2004 and 2008, Reese said he would retire after the Tokyo Games this summer.
Reese finishes his career with 49 seasons as an NCAA head coach. The first six were with Auburn starting in 1972. Texas hired him in 1979. He will serve in an emeritus role with the Longhorns. Assistant Wyatt Collins is the interim head coach.
Reese’s Texas teams won 42 consecutive conference titles in the Southwest Conference and the Big 12, and the Longhorns were NCAA runners-up 12 times.
Including his time at Auburn, Reese spent 49 seasons as an NCAA head coach. After helping Florida win three SEC titles as a swimmer in the early 1960s, Reese spent two years as a high school teacher and coach in Roswell, New Mexico, before six seasons as an assistant at his alma mater.
“To coach swimming well, it cannot be a job. It’s got to be a lifestyle,” said Reese, the only swimming coach to win NCAA titles in five different decades, starting in the 1980s. “In reality, I haven’t had a job for the 55 years that I’ve coached.”
An eight-time NCAA coach of the year, Reese produced 73 individual national champions and 29 Olympians who earned 63 medals, including 39 gold. Texas won the NCAA title in five of his last six years.
“Nobody has or ever will do it better,” athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “There certainly is some a level of sadness seeing our legend retire, but what a wonderful time it is to celebrate his amazing legacy.”