AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas head coach Eddie Reese is among five finalists for the United States Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year honors, the USOC announced on March 14. The award will be presented on May 1 during the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Banquet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Finalists for the USOC National Coach of the Year included Mike Candrea (Casa Grande, Ariz./USA Softball), April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va./U.S. Soccer), Yevgeny Marchenko (Plano, Texas/ USA Gymnastics), Reese (Austin, Texas/USA Swimming) and Dane Selznick (El Segundo, Calif./USA Volleyball).
"It was a surprise to me," Reese said. "But it is a tribute to all the hard work that the swimmer's put in to prepare for the Olympics and all that they gave to make the swimming part of the Olympics a success."
Reese, who served his fifth stint on the Olympic coaching staff and second tenure as head coach, guided Team USA to a record 18 Olympic medals at the 2004 Athens Games, the most by any men's team since 1976. Reese boasted five of his own athletes - Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, Neil Walker and Nate Dusing - on the team, with Peirsol, Hansen and Crocker earning a combined five gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Reese was also the 2004 Big 12 Coach of the Year and the USA Swimming Coach of the Year.
In addition to the National Coach of the Year, the USOC will also recognize the Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year and the "Doc" Counsilman Science Award.
Reese and the Longhorns are back in action next week at the 2005 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships held Thursday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26, in Minneapolis, Minn.