As reported by Swimming World Magazine:
Less than 48 hours after the University of Texas men’s team secured its 15th national championship, coach Eddie Reese announced his retirement after 43 years. The news came as a surprise to the swimming community, and even those in Reese’s near orbit did not know until days before. Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said Monday that Reese called him from Greensboro, a few hours before the Longhorns secured their national championship, and it was during that meet that Reese told his assistant coach, Wyatt Collins.
“Eddie told me at NCAAs. He pulled me aside during the meet, and we had a conversation,” Collins said. “Despite my best attempts to throw some Eddie-isms at him or get him to reconsider or to postpone, at least, for a couple days or a couple weeks and think about it some more, he was pretty adamant about it. He told me that he and (his wife) Elinor had spoken on and off for a few weeks. He felt like it was time.
“At that point, I broke down crying, as I think a lot of people in that situation would have done. He has meant a heck of a lot to me. I wouldn’t be where I am in life without him.”
The Texas swimmers learned of Reese’s decision in a 3 p.m. meeting on Monday that also included postgraduate swimmers training in Austin, support staff and former Texas assistant coach Kris Kubik. “It was emotional,” Collins said. “It was extremely emotional. A lot of tears were shed. Kris Kubik was there, and he opened things up and talked about their time together. It was a powerful meeting. Eddie said a lot of great things in a way that only Eddie can. I don’t know if there was a dry eye in the room. It was a lot to comprehend.”
Collins swam one year for Texas after transferring from Boston University, and he became the volunteer assistant coach for the team in 2013. After three seasons in that role, he was promoted to assistant coach when Kris Kubik retired after the 2016 Olympic Trials. Texas’ press release on Monday announced that Collins would become interim head coach following this year’s Olympic Trials, but until then, nothing about the day-to-day operation of the program will change. In particular, Collins has led the Longhorns’ recruiting efforts for the last five years, and he will continue to direct that area.