2016 MEN’S NCAA COACH OF THE YEAR: EDDIE REESE, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
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.
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.