Eddie Reese honored by USA Swimming as Coach of the Year
NEW YORK -- Long-time Texas and 2004 Olympic head coach Eddie Reese was honored by USA Swimming as Coach of the Year at the Inaugural Golden Goggles in Manhattan on Monday, Nov. 15. The Golden Goggles Coach of the Year Award is named after the late James Edward 'Doc' Counsilman, who coached Indiana University to six NCAA Championships (1968-73), coached two U.S. men's Olympic teams (1964 and '76) and is considered one of the greatest innovators in the sport of swimming.
The Golden Goggle Awards celebrate swimming's 2004 accomplishments while raising money for the newly formed USA Swimming Foundation, the organization's fundraising arm. The Coach of the Year Award was one of ten total honors presented at the sold-out gala at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Monday night.
"It was totally unexpected, but it is a great honor to receive the award and I feel truly blessed to be given any award that has Doc Counsilman's name on it," said Reese.
Serving his second stint as U.S. Olympic men's head coach at the 2004 Athens Games, Reese guided his men's team to 18 medals - the most by any men's team since countries were restricted to only two swimmers per event (1984) - including nine gold medals, which also tied them with the 1984 squad for the most in two decades. The U.S. men captured at least one medal in every event and and were highlighted by a number of performances, none more historic than Michael Phelps and his six-gold, two-bronze performance. In Athens, Phelps became the first person to win eight medals in a non-boycotted Olympic Games, and the first swimmer ever to medal in eight events. Phelps also joined Olympic legend Mark Spitz - one of Doc Counsilman's Indiana pupils - as the only swimmers to win four individual titles at an Olympiad.
Reese, who had previously worked as an assistant coach for the U.S. men three times (1988 - Seoul, 1996 - Atlanta, and 2000 - Sydney) boasted seven former Longhorns - equivalent to one-third of the entire team - who earned spots on the 2004 U.S. men's roster. Ian Crocker, Nate Dusing, Scott Goldblatt, Gary Hall, Jr., Brendan Hansen, Aaron Peirsol and Neil Walker all competed and each earned one Olympic gold medal in Athens.
The 2004 Golden Goggle Coach of the Year Award is the latest in a long and distinguished list of individual accolades for Reese. In 2002, Reese was elected as an honor coach and inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He is a 1996 inductee into the Longhorn Hall of Honor, which recognizes former athletes, coaches and staff members "who have brought honor and renown to The University of Texas." Reese was voted directly into the Hall of Honor as a special exception to the rule, which stipulates that a coach or staff member must be retired five years before consideration. He is also a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, becoming just the third member of the Hall of Fame to be voted in based on swimming credentials. In 1991, Reese was the American Swim Coaches' Association (ASCA) Coach of the Year and earned the National Collegiate Scholar and Swimming Trophy from the College Swimming Coaches Association (CSCA). The trophy, which is the highest honor bestowed by the CSCA, recognizes a coach's overall contribution to the sport over an extended period of time and is reserved for an individual who has represented both collegiate athletics and swimming with honor and pride throughout his career.
At the NCAA level, Reese has been honored as NCAA Coach of the Year eight times and has guided his Texas teams to nine NCAA titles, including three in the last five years.
Monday's black-tie event featured the entire 2004 U.S. Olympic swim team and was the first major project of the new USA Swimming Foundation. Eddie Reese and his Longhorns return to the pool on Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 2-4, to host the Texas Invitational.
Below is a list of awards presented and this year's recipients:
Breakout Performer of the Year: Larsen Jensen