UNLV claims WAC Championship, ninth overall conference title in the last 10 years.
UNLV wins its eighth conference title in the last nine years after claiming the MPSF title on Saturday night.
UNLV to host eight meets during the season.
Joe Spahn and Lisa Childers have been added as assistant coaches to the UNLV program.
Long-time member of Rebel coaching staff takes over as head coach of New Mexico's women's program.
As Jim Reitz enters his 35th season as head coach of the UNLV swimming program, he shows no signs of slowing down in his goal to keep the Rebels recognized as one of the most prominent programs in the nation. The past 10 years in fact have seen the most successful stretch in the history of the Rebel swimming and diving program. That includes 27 All-America performances as well as a record-run of conference championships.
Reitz led the UNLV men's squad to a conference-record seven straight MW championships, which were also the first seven in school history for the men's program. Reitz also guided the UNLV women to the 2005 MW crown to give the Rebels a sweep of the league titles that season. It was the fourth all-time conference championship for the women, as they won the Big West in 1984, 1991 and 1992. The Rebels were also runners-up on the women's side in the MW championship in 2008 and 2009. The men's conference championship streak was just narrowly snapped in 2011-12, when they placed second in the MPSF Championship meet in their first year in the league. They bounced back to win the league title in 2012-13 in a meet that wasn't decided until the final race. They followed that up with a another conference title in 2014, this time in the WAC. That gave the team championship titles in three leagues over a four-year span.
UNLV posted one of its two best-ever performances at the NCAA Championships in the 2013-14 season after scoring in a record three events on the first day. The Rebels finished the meet in 19th place, tied for the best finish in team history, while four relays earned top-16 honors, including a sixth-place showing by the 200 free relay. Dillon Virva would earn individual All-America honors (honorable mention) in the 50 free as well. The 19th-place finish was the sixth top-30 finish in that decade stretch, and Reitz was named WAC Men's Coach of the Year as well.
After a one-year absence, the 2013-14 season saw UNLV make a return to the NCAA championships in the scoring column. Balint Batka (14th, 200 fly) and David Szele (15th, 100 breast) both earned honorable mention All-America status, and the Rebels' 400 medley relay also scored with a 12th-place finish. Reitz was named the MPSF Men's Coach of the Year as well.
2011-12 saw both teams post success during the season, as the men's squad was ranked in the top 25 for the entire season. UNLV's women, meanwhile, scored at the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2009, with Rachel Dixon (50 free) and Katelyne Herrington (100 fly) both recording 15th-place swims to earn honorable mention All-America.
The 2010-11 season was by far the best year ever for the Rebel men, as the team finished the regular season ranked 16th in the nation and claimed the first-ever top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships, placing 19th with a school-record 57 points. Eight Rebels would score in the championships, highlighted by the team's eighth-place swim in the 400 medley relay, which earned them All-America honors. Cody Roberts (14th, 100 fly) and Kier Maitland (12th, 1650 free) both scored in their events to earn honorable mention All-America. Roberts was also the star of the MW Championships, setting two new league marks on the way to earning MW Swimmer of the Year honors and leading UNLV to a seventh championship, 97.5 points ahead of second-place BYU.
In the 2009-10 campaign, the team ranked in the top 25 for the entire season for the first time in school history and finished the season with the highest finish (at that time) at the NCAA Championships, a tie for 21st place. That was in big part due to the Rebels' 200 medley relay, which became the first in school history with a top-eight finish (eighth), earning relay All-American honors. And for just the second time in school history, UNLV saw two of its swimmers score individual points, with Maitland (10th in the 1650 free) and Cody Roberts (15th in the 100 fly) both earning honorable mention All-America honors. The Rebels also cruised at the 2010 MW Championships with a 186.50-point win over the rest of the field. Maitland received his second-straight MWC Swimmer of the Year honor as well.
At the 2009 championships, the UNLV men quickly took control from the start and never looked back on the way to a 273.5-point lead over Air Force for the largest win-margin in the 10-year history of the conference. Meanwhile, UNLV's women came in a strong second, less than 60 points behind BYU. The Rebels set a total of 15 conference records en route to 20 total first-place finishes. UNLV would also score at the NCAA women's championships for the first time since 2001, placing 37th thanks to an All-America performance from Zsuzanna Jakabos, while the Rebel men earned a national ranking for the first time at the end of the season, and were a false start away from having their 200 free relay earn All-America status.
UNLV would send a total of six men to the 2009 NCAA championships, and two on the women's side. And for the second straight year, UNLV swept the Swimmer of the Year awards, with Maitland claiming the men's while Jakabos was honored on the women's side.
2007-08 was just as impressive a season for the Rebels, as the UNLV men entered the league meet expecting to face a big fight in the quest to defend their title, but instead cruised to the championship with a 157.5-point margin over second place BYU. The UNLV women meanwhile earned a runner-up finish. Even more impressive, the teams combined to win 24 events, and set eight new conference records while posting 16 new UNLV marks. UNLV also swept the Swimmer of the Year and Senior Recognition awards. Following the meet, Kim Bonney represented the women's team at the NCAA Championships, while UNLV sent five swimmers to the NCAA Men's Championships. Reitz also saw two of his seniors from the 2007-08 squad swim for their respective country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jonas Andersson (Sweden) and Richard Hortness (Canada), while Rebel alum Joe Bartoch also competed for Canada.
The 15-time conference Coach Of The Year (Big West, Mountain West, MPSF, WAC) has taken programs that were figuratively non-existent and built them into consistent winners.
Surrounded by talented assistant coaches, Reitz and his staff are devoted to the goal of becoming a program that battles for a place in the top 25 on a yearly basis. He emphasizes consistency and intensity during training.
Both the men's and women's programs have produced numerous All-Americans while rising to national prominence and consistently scoring at the NCAA Championships. In his 35 years at UNLV, Reitz has taken swimmers to the NCAA Men's Championships 18 times. UNLV has sent swimmers to the women's championships nine times, with its best finish coming in 1986 when Sally Fleisher earned All-America honors in the 50 free and scored in two more events to help UNLV place 24th with 34 points.
In addition, Reitz has sent several swimmers to represent the U.S. National Team, as well as numerous Rebels that have gone on to swim for their native countries in the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan Pacific Games and the World University Games.
Reitz expects the same consistency and intensity from his students-athletes in the classroom as he does in the pool. Year-in and year-out, the Rebels have had the majority of their swimmers named to the academic all-conference teams. The Rebels have also earned national recognition for their academic standards, as Kim Bonney was a second team Academic All-American in 2007-08 while several more swimmers have earned CSCAA Academic All-Scholar Honors.
A native of Seattle, Wash., Reitz coached 15 years before coming to UNLV. He coached at both Cascade and Seattle Swim clubs and was head of the physical education departments at Shorewood High School in Seattle.
Reitz moved to Las Vegas in 1976 and began coaching the Sandpiper Swim Team before taking over the reigns of the Rebel programs in 1980.
Reitz earned bachelor's degrees in physical education and psychology from the University of Washington in 1975. He and his wife, Nina, have two children, Emily (33) and Ben (30).