Mike Pressler

Mike Pressler (born February 27, 1960) is an American lacrosse coach. He has been the head coach of the Bryant Bulldogs since 2007.[5] He served as the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils for 16 seasons until he was forced to resign during the Duke lacrosse case in 2006. He received the F. Morris Touchstone Award for the men's college lacrosse coach of the year in 2005. In 2010, he coached the United States men's national lacrosse team to a gold medal.[4][6]

Mike Pressler
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1960-02-27) February 27, 1960
Wilton, Connecticut, United States
Playing career
1979–1982Washington and Lee
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1983Virginia Military Institute[1]
1984–1985Army (assistant)[2]
1986–1990Ohio Wesleyan[3]
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
2005 F. Morris Touchstone Award


Pressler attended Wilton High School, then Washington & Lee University, graduating in 1982. He was an outstanding lacrosse and football player, a four-year starter in both sports.

Pressler was the head coach at Virginia Military Institute for one year before leaving to serve as an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy under the tutelage of his former coach, Jack Emmer.

After West Point, Pressler was the head coach at Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU). In October 2007, he was inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan University Hall of Fame. During his 5-year tenure at OWU from 1986 through 1990, Pressler amassed a 69-16 record, four NCAC championships, five visits to the NCAA Division III semi-finals, three NCAA Division III Championship game appearances, 29 All-American selections, and five NCAA Division III players of the year. His contributions to the OWU lacrosse program made him the winningest coach (.812) in OWU's over 50-year lacrosse history.


Pressler became coach of the Duke Blue Devils in 1991. Over 16 seasons he compiled a 153-82 record at Duke, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship three times and leading his team to 10 NCAA Division I tournament appearances as well as the men's national championship game in 2005. Pressler was voted ACC Coach of the Year three times and also was honored as the USILA National Coach of the Year in 2005.[5][7]

He was fired in 2006 in the wake of allegations of rape against three athletes in the program that proved to be baseless. Pressler's firing was publicly portrayed by Duke as a resignation, which gave rise to the implication that the coach resigned due to the students' presumed guilt. Pressler believed the players were innocent and had argued that the lacrosse season should not be canceled until the DNA test results were returned.[8] Pressler has written (with co-author Don Yaeger) a book giving his view of the incident, It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case and the Lives It Shattered.

Pressler demanded compensation from Duke for wrongful termination. In early June 2007, Pressler and Duke agreed upon a financial settlement for an undisclosed amount. [9]

Then in October 2007, Pressler filed suit against Duke, alleging the university broke the terms of the confidential settlement. Pressler asserted that Duke broke the terms of the settlement when he was slandered by Duke senior vice president John Burness, who made disparaging comments about him, saying the difference between Pressler and the current lacrosse coach was "night and day." The suit sought to void the settlement and to pursue damages in a trial rather than by arbitration, as specified in his contract. [10]

The trial judge ruled for Pressler's claims, and was upheld by the Court of Appeals on September 1, 2009. Pressler's obligation to submit his claims to arbitration was voided by the June settlement. Pressler was free to proceed with his suit, including discovery.[11] On March 31, 2010, the final day before discovery would start, Duke settled with Pressler. Although terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Duke issued an apology.[12]

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
VMI Keydets (Independent) (1983–1983)
1983 VMI 7–4
VMI: 7–4 (.636)
Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops (NCAC) (1986–1990)
1986 Ohio Wesleyan 12–43–12ndNCAA D3 Semifinals
1987 Ohio Wesleyan 14–34–01stNCAA D3 Runner-up
1988 Ohio Wesleyan 15–24–01stNCAA D3 Runner-up
1989 Ohio Wesleyan 13–44–01stNCAA D3 Runner-up
1990 Ohio Wesleyan 15–35–01stNCAA D3 Semifinals
Ohio Wesleyan: 69–16 (.812)20–1 (.952)
Duke Blue Devils (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1991–2006)
1991 Duke 7–50–34th
1992 Duke 7–71–23rdNCAA First Round
1993 Duke 9–51–23rd
1994 Duke 10–61–2T-3rdNCAA Quarterfinals
1995 Duke 12–40–34thNCAA First Round
1996 Duke 6–61–2T-3rd
1997 Duke 12–42–12ndNCAA Semifinals
1998 Duke 11–41–23rdNCAA Quarterfinals
1999 Duke 13–32–1T-1stNCAA First Round
2000 Duke 11–52–12ndNCAA Quarterfinals
2001 Duke 11–62–1T-1stNCAA First Round
2002 Duke 8–71–2T-3rdNCAA Quarterfinals
2003 Duke 8–70–34th
2004 Duke 5–80–34th
2005 Duke 17–33–01stNCAA Runner-up
2006 Duke 6–21–13rdSeason canceled after 8 games.
The two losses were forfeits imposed by the administration.
Duke: 153–82 (.651)18–29 (.383)
Bryant Bulldogs (Northeast-10) (2007–2008)
2007 Bryant 11–49–01st
2008 Bryant 14–49–12ndNCAA D2 Semifinals
Bryant Bulldogs (Independent) (2009–2010)
2009 Bryant 10–5
2010 Bryant 12–5
Bryant Bulldogs (Northeast) (2011–present)
2011 Bryant 8–93–2T-3rd
2012 Bryant 14–44–12nd
2013 Bryant 8–114–11stNCAA First Round
2014 Bryant 16–55–12ndNCAA Quarterfinals
2015 Bryant 8–104–2T-2ndNCAA Play-in
2016 Bryant 10-55-1T-1st
2017 Bryant 11-84-2T-2ndNCAA First Round
Bryant: 122–70 (.635)47–11 (.810)
Total:351–172 (.671)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. "Perma | www.vmikeydets.com". Perma.cc. 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  2. "Perma | Mike Pressler Biography - Duke University Blue Devils | Official Athletics Site - GoDuke.com". Perma.cc. 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  3. "Perma | www.battlingbishops.com". Perma.cc. 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  4. "Mike Pressler". Bryant University. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  5. "Mike Pressler Named Men's Lacrosse Coach at Bryant University". Bulldogs News. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
  6. "Pressler Named Head Coach of 2010 U.S. Men's Lacrosse Team". US Lacrosse. Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
  7. "2005 USILA Awards". InsideLacrosse.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  8. Bill Stump (March 2008), "Convicted without trial", Men's Health, p. 118,120
  9. "Duke, ex-coach settle up". Raleigh News and Observer. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  10. "Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Sues School - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News". FOXNews.com. 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  11. O'Connor, Ian (2009-09-01). "Ex-Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler wins argument in North Carolina Court of Appeals". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  12. "Duke settles lawsuit by former lacrosse coach Pressler". Triangle.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
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