EVERYONE should read this book: Parents, coaches, educators employers. Consider Coach Reese a guide to optimal performance not only in the pool but in life. He uses every good gift of intellect, intuition, intrepid hard work from himself and those who share his world and playful joie de vie.
What a privilege to learn about Coach Reese the person; he EMBODIES humble greatness by motivating others to do their very best. His focused humanity unleashes a willingness in every person to exceed personal limitations. His coaching successes are but a fraction of a life well spent/raced/swum. This book should be REQUIRED reading for everyone: all coaches, employers and teachers will realize that motivating an athlete, an employee or another person demands compassion, humor and very hard work while treating individuals with patient recognition of the time required to incrementally improve.
Coach Reese did not seek to be a legendary coach. He did not contemplate personal greatness. He simply asked his legions of swimmers to achieve a personal best with every effort either in practice or at a race and most often in daily life just as he showed them by his exemplary life via his winsome greatness.
Martha-Ann Alito, A swimmer parent of 14 years , former Y swimming official and lifelong enthusiast for personal excellence ~
I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. He's a master of his craft. He works his sport better than anybody I've ever seen. He understands it. He gets it. He understands how it all comes together — mind and body. And he understands competition, what second is, and what it takes to be first.
Rick Barnes, Head Coach U Tennessee Basketball (ranked #1 in NCAA)
When I open the pre-publication draft, I thought I would get a biography (and there is a bit) or an elite coaching manual (and there is a bit). What I got was a love story. Eddie’s love for Elinor and Elinor’s reciprocated love, multiplied exponentially.
The love affair of Eddie with his swimmers and his swimmers multiplying that into each other, Kris, Elinor and Eddie. There was the surprising love that the entire UT Athletic Department has for Eddie and how he reciprocated that love by coaching a football coach! Then we see the love Eddie has for our sport and how our sport loves him back.
Chuck Warner's great lesson to the readers of this book is that love isn’t a zero sum game. In every way that Eddie Reese approached his life with love, it went out into the world, multiplied many times over, came back to him much stronger than he sent it out, then spilled out again into the world.
Chuck Warner and Dana Abbott tell a master love story. Eddie Reese demonstrates to all of us that when you fill your life with love, you change forever those whom that love touches. In turn, you are forever enriched by the return of that love from the world.
George Block, President World Swim Coaches Association
I always had a great amount of respect and fondness for Eddie while coaching at different programs, and it has only grown since my time here at Texas. Working in close proximity to him these past seven years, I have come to appreciate his insight, his care for people, and how he’s remained at the pinnacle of our sport for decades while keeping things in perspective. I am humbled, inspired, and grateful to share the deck with him.
Carol Capitani, Head Coach U Texas Women’s Swimming & Diving
Coach Eddie Reese is a legend in the coaching world and an icon at the University of Texas. He became a great friend to me during our time together at UT and he represents the best of what it means to be a coach and mentor. The lessons recounted in this book are invaluable for anyone interested in become a better leader.
Coach Mack Brown, Head Coach U North Carolina Football – 2005 National Champions-Texas
Eddie Reese took a chance on me as a skinny kid that had been swimming less than a year and helped me become a champion in every sense of the word. Fortunately, we have this book that exemplifies what an amazing man Eddie is and how many lives he has impacted. I am so incredibly grateful for his mentorship and friendship.
Rowdy Gaines. Olympic Broadcaster NBC, 3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
There are few times in a life when one is humbled by an exhibition of life and of its depiction. This is one. This book is a must read, not simply for those in the aquatic world, but for every human being searching for a compass in life and a value system that breeds irrefutable respect and unparalleled success. This is the living example. While this story is powerful and inspiring, its presentation is equally so.
Chuck Warner is the preeminent author in the world of swimming and masterfully intertwines the extraordinary success of Coach Reese with the powerful virtues that laid the groundwork for that success. And for those outside of the aquatic world, the simple chapter on Eddie’s wife, Elinor, would be enough to redirect anyone to a true life of purpose, service, and selflessness. Thank you to Eddie Reese for the example of humanity and of coaching, and to Chuck Warner for bringing to life and light such profound life examples and lessons, which seem less and less common in today’s society.
Don Heidary, Board President, The American Swimming Coaches Association, Co-Head Coach/Founder, Orinda Aquatics
I have read hundreds of books on coaching swimming. One, in particular, taught me the importance of laminar flow (I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand it now. Nor did it didn’t change my coaching career or my life). This book, however, has challenged me to achieve excellence in my coaching both in the pool and with my swimmer relationships. And, although it is not a “self-help book”, it provides a blueprint for living a life of impeccable character, being a leader and a role model, and for being a devoted and faithful companion.
We often give our swimmers a visual scale of where they are and where they could be. Where they are is at sea level; where they could be is the top of Mt. Everest. If I were to use that scale in terms of value for swimming books in general, this book sits at the top of Mt. Everest. I would make it required reading for every coach, in any sport. Young coaches would, at the minimum, have a clear sense of what it takes to achieve greatness and how do it with impeccable character.
Ron Heidary, Co-Head Coach/Founder, Orinda Aquatics, Head Coach Campolindo High School
Coach Eddie Reese is one of the giants in the history of our sport. His record of achievement in swimming while remarkable, pales in comparison with his impact on his athletes, their future lives, and the future lives of hundreds of coaches who he has influenced. That influence comes delivered with humor, warmth, insight and compassion. He is not only one of the “best” coaches ever, he is among the most beloved. Eddie is truly a Legend. America’s great coaches comment continuously how much the friendship of Eddie Reese has meant to them.
The author, Chuck Warner, himself an accomplished national coach, is also on the way to legend status in writing about swimming. Chuck has been a major force in the American Swimming Coaches Association for decades and a highly sought speaker and panel moderator for clinics for just as long. Chuck is at his best when writing, because he writes about what he loves. And he, like so many other coaches, loves Eddie Reese and loves Coach Reese’s impact on our sport.
This is a brilliant read…..insightful, warm, funny and filled with meaning…just like Coach Reese himself.
John Leonard. Executive Director, American Swimming Coaches Assn.
Chuck Warner takes time to convey the scope of the lives that Eddie has touched, and does it in a way that has me pleasantly reminiscent. But just as important are those around Eddie, near and dear to him, and there is plenty new [in this book] for even his swimmers to learn, that would light one of our most important mentors up even more.
Aaron Peirsol – 5-Time Olympic Champion, eight years trained under Coach Reese
“Hey governor, you’re what we call a bankwalker” was the first indelible conversation I recall with Eddie Reese. Looking down from the edge of the Jamail Swim Center pool, sporting an impish smile, the renowned coach went on to explain that my swimming form was so awful that I obviously grew up in a place you had to walk along the bank of a creek for some distance to find a pool deep enough to get over your head much less practice a swimming stroke. He was right. It started a relationship in which he graciously taught me to swim well enough to compete in a decades worth of triathlons but more importantly to foster a friendship that allowed me to observe and then postulate that he is the finest man and most effective coach in a universe populated with amazingly talented men and women. Not just in the highly competitive field of world class swimming.....I mean any coach, in any sport. There is a special place in heaven for Coach Reese!
Rick Perry – US Secretary of Energy/former Governor of Texas
“Culture eats talent for breakfast” is just one of many riveting revelations to be found in this book. If you are not already a devotee of Coach Reese’s work, then this book will turn you into one! An illuminating, fast-paced read, we come to understand how Eddie became an iconic winning figure for athletes and coaches alike. Touching on wide ranging topics from training methodology to coaching philosophy to the importance of family, the question “Who is Eddie Reese” is skillfully highlighted by experienced historian and author, Coach Chuck Warner. The reader gets a front row seat to observe how humility and humor have defined Eddie Reese’s winning career and made him a beloved figure in our sport. A highly recommended read for any swimming enthusiast!
Kathleen Prindle, Head Coach/Founder, PAQ Swimming, Board Vice-President, The American Swim Coaches Association
Eddie Reese, no person a better coach and no coach a better person. This book says it all. A master class from a true genius in our sporting world.
Bill Sweetenham, AM, Churchill Fellow. Five-Time Head Coach of National Teams at the Olympics
The book has wonderful stories that provide insight into the molding of a great coach, teacherand leader. Eddie created a culture of hard work within a highly competitive, and fun environment that has lasted for generations. Always open to sharing his wisdom (and a story) Eddie has influenced coaches and athletes all over the world.
Coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker, Longhorn Hall of Honor, NCAA Championship Swim Team coach, Head Coach University of New Mexico