Sue Collins Pressler coached men’s and women’s swimming from 1983-91, earning four NCAC Coach of the Year honors in the nation’s toughest swimming conference.
Mike Pressler coached men’s lacrosse from 1986-90, compiling 69-16 mark over his five seasons. His winning percentage of .812 is the best of any men's lacrosse coach at Ohio Wesleyan. OWU
Michael Arace, sports reporter for The Dispatch, reported on the event .
He told the story Saturday night -- started his acceptance speech with it, as a matter of fact. He jammed a brown baseball cap on his head, grabbed both sides of the lectern, looked down at his notes and launched into the oratory. A full house in the Benes Room in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center was transfixed.
"It began as a small wave of untruth with the ingredients such as rape, class, sex and entitlement," Pressler said, glancing up at the audience. "Those ingredients, fueled by a former prosecutor and the media, became a wind that turned that small wave into an incredible tsunami that engulfed the entire country."
That is no exaggeration. Factions of the Duke faculty and administration were bent on ignoring due process. The lacrosse season was canceled. Pressler was forced to resign. He stayed in Durham, N.C., and stood by his players, who were later cleared by state prosecutors and granted financial settlements by the school. Durham County prosecutor Mike Nifong stepped down in disgrace and was disbarred.
Pressler couldn't even get an interview for another job until Bryant University hired him in August 2006. The Presslers can almost breathe now. Smithfield, R.I., isn't unlike Delaware, Ohio, and Delaware is where they began together. Saturday night, former Ohio Wesleyan lacrosse players and swimmers came to the campus center in force to cheer their former coaches. It was a good day. They're starting to have more good days.
"If you forget, it's like it never happened -- and it happened," Mike Pressler said as the party at Ohio Wesleyan broke up. "We've got to figure out a way -- all those boys, all those families, all of us -- to live with it. The best of times are days like today, in being recognized and seeing all the people who in a five-year period you may have had an impact on. As a teacher or a coach, that is one of the most rewarding days you can have...." Columbus Dispatch