2016 Swammy Awards: NCAA Men’s Coach Of The Year

To see all of our 2016 Swammy Awards presented by TYR, click here


Head coach of the University of Texas, Eddie Reese, led his team to another outstanding season, going into the NCAA Championships undefeated before claiming the win over Georgia. The Longhorns won another national championship by a 190.5 point margin, giving Reese his 12th NCAA victory. That victory for Reese puts him into unchartered territory as the winningest coach in NCAA swimming history.

Following the NCAA Championships, Reese had the task of preparing his athletes for the 2016 U.S Olympic Trials where he managed to put Townley Haas, Jack Conger, and Clark Smith on the Olympic team for the first time. All three were named to the 4x200m freestyle relay with Haas leading the charge, winning the event at trials to take down an impressive field.

Outside of the United States, Reese also prepared Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling to compete at the Olympic Games. Prior to the Games, Reese accepted a position with the Singaporean Olympic coaching staff in order to better prepare Schooling for the meet.

At the Rio Olympics, all four of his Olympic swimmers came back with an Olympic gold medal. The three Americans earned it in the 4x200m freestyle relay where both Conger and Smith were prelims swimmers and Haas competed in the final. Haas also finished fifth in the individual 200m freestyle.

Schooling had the best individual performance at the Games, taking home the gold medal in the 100m butterfly in a stunning victory. Defeating Chad le Clos, Laszlo Cseh, and three-time defending Olympic champion Michael Phelps, Schooling put up a time of 50.39 to better Ian Crocker’s textile best time of 50.40 from 2005.

For Reese’s ability to push good athletes into the elite realm of competition, he’s the recipient of the 2016 Swammy Award for the men’s NCAA coach of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

Braden Holloway – NC STATE: Braden Holloway led the NC State Wolfpack men to an ACC Championship title and a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships. Holloway’s men won the 400 free relay, and finished second in both the 800 and 200 freestyle relays. Ryan Held managed to qualify for the 2016 U.S Olympic team, representing the stars ‘n’ stripes on the 4x100m freestyle relay. Held secured a spot in the final, earning a gold medal. 

Dave Durden – CAL: Durden led the Cal men to a very successful season, finishing second at the NCAA Championships. Durden trained NCAA swimmers Ryan Murphy, Josh Prenot, and Jacob Pebley to a berth on the Olympic team where Murphy picked up three golds and a world record, Prenot a silver.

Gregg Troy – FLORIDA: Troy trained Caeleb Dressel to qualify for his first Olympic team. Dressel was an incredible addition to the American relays. Dressel also finished sixth in the 100 free at the Olympics. Prior to qualifying for the Games, Dressel broke both the 50 and 100 freestyle American records at the NCAA Championships. 

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Dana Abbott
5 years ago

Anyone who has had the privilege of swimming for Eddie or coaching with him is not surprised. Great honor and so deserving. Thanks for sharing!

(PS: “accepted”, not “excepted”. Hope you won’t take exception to that. 🙂 )

5 years ago

Ok chief.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Legend of coaching and so funny to hear in interview.

5 years ago

He’s doing the best coaching of his life at 75. A n example for all of us.

Wolf Pack
5 years ago

Seriously?? Every year Texas is gifted the most talented swimmers recruits in the world. NC State on the hand developes swimmers in to much better swimmer. I would have to disagree with this.

Konner Scott
Reply to  Wolf Pack
5 years ago

All of Texas’ best swimmers truly develop their talent once they get to Texas. Look at Townley, for example. 1:35 out of high school and 1:30 after a single season with Eddie. He’s notorious for recruiting by body type and long-term potential, so even though NC State develops their talent in an impressive way, I think it’s unfair to say that Texas doesn’t.

Reply to  Konner Scott
5 years ago

Excellent comment and so true. I have heard Eddie several times comment on body type. “Tall, angular, with long arms.” He absolutely develops talent and he’s simply an amazing presence to be around. As long as he stays in coaching… His success will continue.

Reply to  Wolf Pack
5 years ago

Texas has two foreigners on their team, they are known to recruit American

Reply to  Swimn
5 years ago

The state of Texas is larger than most foreign countries.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Wolf Pack
5 years ago

Well, “Wolf Pack” – NC State hasn’t really been that great until very recently. So their caliber of recruits should start improving, one would assume.

I assume you will disavow any of their achievements once that happens.

Reply to  Wolf Pack
5 years ago

Take a look at SwimSwam top 20 recruits and look to see where they end up-Texas, Cal, Stanford. Texas has 3 of the top 20, the most of any school. Yes Eddie is a great coach but lets be serious, he gets great recruits. The rich keep getting richer. Congrats to NC State, Indiana, Missouri for finding swimmers and developing them and putting together competitive teams. Texas also has the absolute best set up. With no conference to swim for they do not have to worry about the double taper before NCAAs. Most schools try to win conference and do well at NCAAs. The intramural/recreation swimmers at Texas could win Big 12s.

Reply to  Wolf Pack
5 years ago

Recruiting is a big part of being a college coach and Eddie’s real good at recruiting. And forget the argument about Texas not having a conference. Back when Texas did have competition at the conference level, Eddie didn’t rest for it. His focus has always been on one meet. If a coach tries to do both and fails that’s on him.

Reply to  enchantedrock
5 years ago

Before the Big 12, Texas was in the Big 8 -even less competition.

NM Coach
5 years ago

It shocks me how he is still producing the results he is! Think about the fact that he was producing fast swimmers in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and now into the 0-teens! Just think about how much our society has changed in that timeframe…think about how much PARENTS have changed (from hands off to hovering!)…and he still is getting phenomenal results.

Peter Daland, Doc, George Haines were fantastic coaches…but none of them had the production longevity of Eddie.

Eddie has NO EQUAL. Well deserved award!

Reply to  NM Coach
5 years ago

The secrets of Eddie’s success over decades, in my opinion, are:

1. Eddie teaches fundamentals of swimming better then anyone else; swimming gimmicks come and go, Eddie sticks to what he thinks works for every stroke.
2. Nobody works parents like Eddie. You could always see Kris roaming sidelines, but look around and you see Eddie is schmoozing parents in the stands.
3. Eddie commands utmost respect and admiration from his swimmers.
4. And, off course, hard training and best taper in business.

5 years ago

Does Jimmy still count as one of Eddie’s swimmers?

HOOK EM HORNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
5 years ago

Texas. LMAO.

Paul Murphy
5 years ago

Congrats to Eddie!!!!!

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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