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Steady Eddie: Texas wins 15th NCAA national title under swimming icon Eddie Reese

Longhorns close it out in Greensboro with solid performances in final events

Texas men's swimming coach Eddie Reese, seen here earlier this season, won the school's 15th NCAA national championship on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C.

The true G.O.A.T. at Texas wears a Speedo under his khakis.

Texas men’s swimming coach Eddie Reese collected his 15th NCAA national championship Saturday, further solidifying his status as the greatest of all time in collegiate men’s swimming, as the Longhorns closed out the national meet in Greensboro, N.C.

Reese is now the only NCAA coach to win a national title in five different decades. This year is also the 40th anniversary of the first one in 1981. Assistant coach Matt Scoggin, UT’s diving coach, has been there for most of it, too. 

“Every one of them are different because of the makeup of your team, and everybody has to go through different things,” Reese said. “This crew, most of them have been through what I call the COVID year. And then we had that freeze in Austin.

“Everybody has something special they have to overcome every year,” Reese added. “And this group, if I had wood to knock on, they went the whole school year with no positive COVID tests.” 

Victories in the 800-yard freestyle relay (Drew Kibler, Austin Katz, Carson Foster and Jake Sannem), the 1-meter diving event (Jordan Windle) and the 400-yard medley relay (Chris Staka, Caspar Corbeau, Alvin Jiang, Daniel Krueger) before Saturday had the Longhorns in great position.

The Horns went into the final day in first place with 414 points. California and Florida followed in second and third, respectively. It was a day where if the Horns simply kept scoring, they would likely come out on top.

Katz, a senior, finished fifth in the 200-yard backstroke in 1 minute, 38.92 seconds, and Foster, a freshman, was sixth in 1:39.23.

Corbeau, a sophomore, grabbed fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:51.43. Sophomore Jake Foster (1:52.59) and junior Brandon Vines (1:53.08) finished 10th and 12th respectively.

Windle, in his senior year, captured fourth place in the platform diving competition while sophomore Andrew Harness was 10th. 

Scoggin probably doesn’t get enough credit for his contributions to Texas’ success. UT’s divers have long added fuel and hardware to the Horns’ championship trophy cabinet.

“I think it’s just a big team effort,” Scoggin said. “You know, we have support from the whole swimming and diving team, in good times and in bad, almost even more support during bad. And when you’ve got that kind of support, you’re going to go to work. You’re going to go to battle for your team.”

As usual, it came down to the final event. California won the 400-yard freestyle relay, but Texas finished fourth in 2:48.28, more than good enough to seal the deal.

Like all other sports this year, attendance was limited at the NCAA meet. Parents and spectators were not allowed. But ESPN cameras captured the Horns taking the celebratory dive into the pool and singing “The Eyes of Texas” while treading water.

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.