UT officials indicate Eddie Reese will return as men’s swimming coach

A little over three months after he retired, legendary UT men's swimming coach Eddie Reese appears poised to return to the program, which he has led to national titles in five decades (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN, Texas — Eddie Reese retired at the end of the 2020-21 men's swimming and diving season, after Texas won the NCAA team title at the 2021 NCAA National Championships.

But after a completely unexpected announcement, through a Twitter conversation Thursday between Texas Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte and University President Jay Hartnell, it seems that Reese's time on the Forty Acres will continue, at least for another season.

"Good morning, [Chris]" Hartzell said in a tweet. "I've considered this & thought through what's best for Coach Reese, [Texas men's swimming and diving] & [The University of Texas]. I'm rejecting this application for retirement. I think Coach Reese has a 16th national title left in the tank — at the very least!"

Del Conte later tweeted that Reese was "on deck with [Texas swimming and diving] as we speak," confirming the famed head coach's rehire.

Reese's return has not been confirmed in any kind of formal announcement from the UT athletic department, but Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman also confirmed the rehire.

"We’ve accepted Eddie’s unretirement," Del Conte said according to Bohls. "We're pleased he's coming back."

The famed head coach led the Longhorns to 15 national titles, 25 Big 12 crowns and has turned out 73 NCAA individual national champions during his time at Texas, making him one of the greatest Texas coaches , regardless of sport.

He was set to remain involved with the men's swimming and diving program at Texas as a coach emeritus, but turn the head coaching job over. However, it seems that there is simply no one who has the resume, talent and success rate that Reese does. After all, he is the only swimming coach to lead a team to titles in five separate decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s).

"Eddie Reese is truly the greatest coach ever," Del Conte said upon Reese's retirement March 29. "His records speak for themselves, but the way he led his program, trained and prepared his student-athletes to perform at their best in the pool and all facets of their lives, is just exemplary and extraordinary. Nobody has or ever will do it better."

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore 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, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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