This week in Longhorn history: Kris Kubik retires

17 Jul By

By Riley Zayas

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AUSTIN, Texas — Kris Kubik is a name that will forever have a place in Texas swimming and diving history. For 34 seasons, Kubik teamed up with famed head men's swimming and diving head coach Eddie Reese to build up the Longhorn program and lead the team to 12 NCAA titles.

Kris Kubik concludes his speech at the 2011 UT Athletics Men's Hall of Honor induction ceremony (image courtesy of texassports.com)

Four years ago this week, Kubik decided to hang up the clipboard and retire from his position as assistant coach, leaving behind a legacy of hard work and excellence in everything he did.

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"Every once in a while, we come across someone in our sport who is just a prodigy at anything and everything he does," Reese told Texassports.com. "Kris is one of those guys. He's a genius from knowing how to fix anything that goes wrong at the pool or with one of the swimmers or if something goes wrong with me! He has made it his primary tenet to take care of the guys on the team and take care of me. Kris has never worried about himself this whole time.  There is no chance of ever replacing Kris, and we will miss him dearly."  

Kubik's list of accomplishments is pages long, and includes helping the Longhorns win 33 conference titles in 34 seasons and a total of 54 individual NCAA titles.

He began his extensive coaching career alongside Reese at Auburn, serving as a student assistant for one season during Reese's final year at the helm of Auburn's program.

He then became Reese's right-hand man at Texas starting in 1978, helping to transform the Longhorn program into one of the country's best.

The duo is up there with some of the great coaching tandems in college sports from Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw at Stanford (football) to Jim Schlossnagle and Kirk Saarloos at TCU (baseball).

"I think the best way some people might think to describe the experience I've had here would be to say, 'Yes, it was fun and nice and great to win 12 NCAA championships.' But, more importantly, hopefully we've touched some people's lives in a very positive way," said Kubik to Texassports.com upon announcing his retirement. "The record book will show that we won 12 NCAA titles, but the day-to-day interaction is something that can't be written about or adequately described unless you're a part of it."

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Riley Zayas is a high school freshman and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, his personal blog 360 Sports, and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website.