Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
College swimming purists will know that while the NCAA trophy is handed out in March, championships are won and lost in recruiting season.
As high school swimming talent continues to get more and more absurdly fast (shameless plug for our college recruit rankings, which dropped today after hours of research and internal debate), it’s on college coaches to draw enough of that talent to their universities to rise to the top of an NCAA that just keeps getting faster. With that in mind, this month’s Coach of the Month goes to a college coach whose buzz and reputation have gotten his program off to an impossibly good start in recruiting for the high school class of 2018.
Eddie Reese has built the Texas Longhorns into an absolute powerhouse, so tough and talented that they’ve barely been challenged for the NCAA title over the past three seasons. And while some other programs spent the past few recruiting seasons stockpiling talent to make a run (namely, Cal, NC State and Florida, among a few others), Texas has already cornered the recruiting market for the class of rising high school seniors.
That class doesn’t even officially hit the recruiting market for another month. But Reese’s reputation and career production alone have already netted Texas five key verbal commitments, including three who will be ranked in our top 20 recruits of the class. (Stay tuned for that ranking tomorrow).
Texas got Drew Kibler, who is arguably the best recruit in the class in a true 1A/1B situation with a breaststroker from Pennsylvania. He’s a 1:33.3 in the 200 and 42.9 in the 100 free, surely drawn by Reese’s track record with 200 free types after Texas put three men on the American 4×200 free relay at the Olympics. They nabbed 19.8/43.3/1:35.5 freestyler Daniel Krueger. Most recently, they pulled Austin, Texas product Matthew Willenbring, another 1:35 who also has a 1:47.00 200 IM in his back pocket. The Longhorns also have verbals from Texas state record-holder Alex Zettle and Illinois breaststroking state champ Charlie Scheinfeld, a member of the best breaststroke class we’ve ever ranked.
While it’d be difficult for Texas to maintain its current level of dominance for the forseeable future, the early successes of this recruiting class suggest Reese’s Longhorns will remain a force to be reckoned with well into the future.
About Competitor Swim
Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.
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