Jim Reitz
Jim Reitz

Position:
Head Coach

Experience:
31st Season

Alma Mater:
Washington '75

As Jim Reitz enters his 31st 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 six years in fact has seen the most successful stretch in the history of the Rebel swimming and diving program, which includes several individual All-American performances as well as a record-run of conference championships.

Reitz has now led the UNLV men's squad to a conference record six straight MWC championships, which are also the first six in school history for the men's program after several close calls in its 30-year history. Reitz also guided the UNLV women to the 2005 MWC 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 runner-ups on the women's side in the MWC championship in 2008 and 2009.

In addition to last year's MWC championship title for the Rebel men, UNLV made a bigger splash on the national scene, as not only was the team ranked in the top 25 for the entire season for the first time in school history, the Rebels finished the season with the highest-ever finish 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 Kier Maitland (10th in the 1650 free) and Cody Roberts (15th in the 100 fly) both earning honorable mention All-American honors.

The past three years at the MWC championship meet have seen complete domination by the Rebels on the men's side. The 2010 championships saw UNLV post another league title, this time with a 186.50-point lead 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 on the way 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 five-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year (1984, 1991 and 1994 women's, 1987 and 1996 men's) and seven-time MWC Coach of the Year (2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 men's, 2005 women's) has taken programs that were 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 under Reitz. In his 29 years at UNLV, Reitz has taken swimmers to the NCAA Men's Championships 14 times, including seven as members of the Mountain West. The team's best-ever finish at the national meet was in 1990, when UNLV finished 22nd with 26 points, thanks to Bart Pippenger's top-10 swims in the 100 and 200 fly. UNLV has sent swimmers to the women's championships six 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-Mountain West Conference Team. The Rebels have also earned national recognition for their academic standards, as eight swimmers have won CoSIDA Academic All-District honors over the past four seasons, while Kim Bonney was a second team Academic All-American in 2007-08.

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 (29) and Ben (26).

 
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