AUSTIN, Texas – Kevin Tyrrell, The Ulen-Brooks Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Swimming & Diving, has had great success in his first four years at the helm of the Crimson program. Holder of a 36-3 dual meet record and two Ivy League titles in his first four years as head coach, Tyrrell has been a beacon of success for Harvard. That success though has not bred complacency, as Tyrrell, assistant coach Sam Pitter, and All-America swimmer Dean Farris spent last week training with Olympic head coach Eddie Reese and his national championship Texas Longhorns.
The opportunity to travel to the Lonestar State and train with one of the best coaches and collegiate teams in the country was one Tyrrell jumped at to improve his own squad.
"Thanks very much to Eddie for inviting us to come down and to his team for making us feel welcome," said Tyrrell. "At Harvard we believe in learning from the best. Learning is the best way to ensure we are always improving. You can get the best combination of education and athletics in the world with our team including fantastic experiences like these."
Reese, the U.S. Olympic head coach for the 1992, 2004 and 2008 Games, just completed his 39th season as the leader of the Texas men's swimming program. The Longhorns won their third-straight national team title and have an NCAA-record 13 to their credit. He also has led Texas to 11 NCAA runner-up finishes and 31 top-three showings. He has coached 29 Olympians who have collected 39 gold medals, 16 silver medals and eight bronze medals.
Among those Olympians Reese has coached, four competed for the Longhorns this past season (Townley Haas, Joseph Schooling, Jack Conger and Clark Smith) and Dean Farris, a rising sophomore for the Crimson and three-time All-American (two individual, one relay) had the opportunity to train with them over the course of the week.
"Training at Texas was a great experience," stated Farris. "While Kevin and Eddie have very similar coaching philosophies, it was great to see some of the different things they do here. I think having a great relationship with Eddie and the guys will serve us well in the future if Kevin wants to bounce ideas off Eddie or if we decide to have a similar training week in the future."
Tyrrell had three main takeaways from his time with Reese: Focus on the quality kick work done each practice, increasing spin drill for all four strokes and emphasizing the pace work throughout practice.
As a team, Harvard has participated each of the last four years at the Texas Invitational in early December, and will return this upcoming season, giving the team the opportunity to compete against some of the best swimmers in the country. The Texas Swimming Center will also serve as the site of the 2019 NCAA Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.