Men's Swimming and Diving preview: Auburn, Georgia
WHAT: No. 1 Texas kicks off the New Year when it meets No. 8 Auburn and No. 9 Georgia.
WHERE: Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center - Austin, Texas
WHEN: Auburn on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 3 p.m. Central; Georgia on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. Central
LAST TIME OUT: Texas concluded the 2007 calendar year with a tremendous showing at its annual Texas Invitational, where the Longhorns took first with 704 points. Junior Michael Klueh topped UT's 13-year-old school record in the 1,650-yard freestyle, and freshman diver Matt Cooper swept the three diving events.
Klueh and Cooper were recognized as the Big 12 Swimmer and Diver of the Week, respectively, on Dec. 12 for their efforts at the Texas Invitational.
LAST MEETING WITH AUBURN: Texas halted Auburn's dual-meet win streak at 44 when it scored a 130-113 victory at the Tigers' James E. Martin Aquatic Center on Jan. 11, 2007.
LAST MEETING WITH GEORGIA: The Longhorns tallied a 161-135 victory at the Bulldogs' Gabrielsen Natatorium on Jan. 13, 2007.
OLYMPIC COACHING TRIO: The trio of head coaches in this weekend's Texas-Auburn and Texas-Georgia meets boasts seven head-coaching assignments in Olympic meets.
Reese will direct the USA men's swimming team at the Olympics this summer in Beijing, China, after serving in the same capacity at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
Georgia coach Jack Bauerle will head the USA women's swimming team in Beijing, and Quick led the USA women at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
TEXAS-AUBURN CONNECTIONS: Now in his 30th season at Texas, UT head coach Eddie Reese began his college coaching career at Auburn in the 1972-73 season. After serving six seasons at the helm of the Tigers' program, Reese left for Austin to assume control of the Longhorns' program in the fall of 1978.
Texas placed 21st at its first NCAA Championship meet under Reese in 1979 and has not finished outside of the top-seven since that meet. Reese has led Texas to 9 NCAA team championships and top-five finishes in 27 of the last 28 NCAA meets.
UT assistant coach Kris Kubik is a 1978 Auburn graduate and began his coaching career that same year as a student assistant under Reese.
Auburn head coach Richard Quick took the coaching reins from David Marsh last summer to begin his second stint with the Tigers. Quick served as the head women's swimming coach at Texas from 1984-88 and led the Longhorns to five consecutive NCAA team titles while mentoring 25 NCAA individual champions and 17 Olympians. He was inducted into the UT Women's Athletics Hall of Honor in 2004.
NATIONAL RANKS: Several Longhorns are featured prominently in USA Swimming's latest release of the top college swimming times in the country. Below is a listing of Longhorns ranked among the top 25 in their events.
ABOUT TEXAS: Texas returns 10 All-Americans from the 2007 squad that placed fifth at the NCAA Championship. Several Longhorns -- seniors Matt Lowe and Matt McGinnis, junior Michael Klueh and sophomores Dave Walters and Ricky Berens -- have medaled in various international meets since the conclusion of the 2006-07 college swimming season.
Walters helped Team USA to gold in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. He also captured the 100-meter freestyle at the 2007 USA Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.
Klueh helped Team USA to gold in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays and won silver in the 400-meter freestyle and bronze in the 1500-meter freestyle at the 2007 World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand. Berens helped Team USA to gold in the 400-meter medley relay and silver in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
McGinnis joined Klueh on the winning 400- and 800-meter free relays at the World University Games and also took silver in the 400-meter medley relay with Lowe.
Texas' diving corps includes sophomore Mike Wong, who earned honorable mention All-America honors on the platform at the 2007 NCAA Championship. Joining Wong will be junior transfer Jonathan Wilcox, a former All-American at the University of Florida, and talented freshmen Matt Cooper and Matt Cardell.