This year marks 40 years of Eddie Reese as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns, and what a 40 years it’s been. Among 13 NCAA titles, numerous champions both at the NCAA and Olympic level, and accolades for being one of the greatest coaches in the nation, Eddie has an extensive resume. So what makes him stand out? What does he do differently?
What makes Eddie Reese great?
Eddie explained a few pieces of the puzzle to his success. The first were the things he tries to change. Eddie explains that even if the team wins a national title, there are still areas where he feels he fails every year, and at the end of each season he goes back and looks at where he can be better.
The next piece was things that he’s kept consistent over the years. In practice, he makes sure to be engaged, mostly by doing one thing: talking with his athletes. He measures his steps every practice, but not for the normal reason. If Eddie’s walking, that means Eddie’s talking. And that means he’s helping his athletes get better. Eddie also emphasized focusing on technique, something that he even admittedly didn’t enjoy, but something that has been key to the success of his swimmers.
The final piece Eddie discussed was maintaining the team culture, which meant making decisions that would benefit the team as a whole, even if they were hard to make. Eddie spoke of removing a group of swimmers from the team that weren’t positively contributing to the team environment, something that he doesn’t enjoy doing. But he goes on to recall that it was the right thing to do, both for those swimmers and for the rest of their teammates.