A native of Renton, Washington, Jim Reitz attended the University of Washington, earning degrees in psychology and physical education. He began coaching a summer league club at age sixteen. He was an assistant coach with Cascade Swim Club in Seattle until taking the head coach position at the newly formed Seattle Swim Club in 1970. He moved to Las Vegas to take the head coach position of the Las Vegas Sandpipers Swim Team in 1976. Reitz took over as head coach of the UNLV Women’s Swimming program in the fall of 1980, and the Men’s Swim Team was added the next season. Reitz coached the Rebels for the next 35 years, becoming the longest-tenured coach in Rebel Athletics history.
The final tally after his 35 years included: 14 conference championships (highlighted by a run of 10 titles in his last 11 years by the men’s program), 29 conference Most Valuable Swimmers, 16 conference Coach of the Year honors, 40+ All-American awards, 14 Olympians from 7 different countries, and a near perfect graduation rate, while consistently being awarded Academic All American Team honors. The pool at UNLV was named the Jim Reitz Pool in 2017. Reitz was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 and in 2022 into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in his first year eligible to appear on the ballot.
Jim and his wife, Nina, founded and operated the Aquatic Institute Swim schools beginning in 1979. They have two children and four grandchildren, all living in Henderson. The Las Vegas Gold Swim Team was turned over to Jim and Nina in July 1998, for the price of $1.00, and renamed Team Rebel Aquatics, for which Jim still holds the position of CEO. He also coaches a group of young swimmers at TRA in the evenings. After retiring from UNLV, Jim obtained his real estate license on the advice of Las Vegas Masters founder and now retired Head Coach Vic Hecker and is affiliated with Coldwell Banker Premier Realty.