Bulldogs sign Pressler to contract extension

Photo by Gretchen McMahon Photography (gretchenmcmahonphotography.com)
Photo by Gretchen McMahon Photography (gretchenmcmahonphotography.com)

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University and Director of Athletics Bill Smith are pleased to announce the signing of head men's lacrosse coach Mike Pressler to a contract extension that will keep him on the Bulldog sidelines through August 2018.

Over the last seven seasons, Pressler has elevated the Bulldog lacrosse program into an elite Division I contender. The extension – which has performance options that extend through August of 2020 – reflects Bryant's commitment to excellence and achievement at the highest level of competition both regionally and nationally.

The announcement comes on the back of the Bulldogs' first-ever Division I NCAA tournament appearance in any sport, a first-round bout against top-ranked Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in May 2013. Bryant earned the league's automatic qualifier after clinching its second-straight Northeast Conference Tournament Championship and the 2013 regular-season crown.

"Coach Pressler has taken our men's lacrosse program and the Bryant name to new heights throughout his time in Smithfield," said Smith. "He is a proven leader and motivator, and there is no better example of that than his success last season. Coach Pressler recruits not only top athletes from across the nation, but also top-quality students who are successful both in the classroom and on the field and represent Bryant University with class and pride."

In five seasons playing in the Division I model, Pressler has led the Bulldogs to a 77-42 overall record (.647) and has seen five of his players drafted into the professional ranks, including three in the last two seasons. He has developed numerous All-Americans, including the nation's top faceoff specialist in current junior Kevin Massa, who set three NCAA records as a sophomore in 2013.

In four years of NEC postseason honors, Pressler has seen 40 all-conference selections, including 20 first-team picks, as well as six major award winners – more than any other institution. Pressler's Bulldogs have been a constant presence in the regional rankings and have graced the nation's top list, as well.

"I can't thank our leadership enough for their endorsement and their confidence in us to continue what we've been building here over the last seven seasons," said Pressler. "Working for and with President Machtley and Bill Smith has been a great joy both personally and professionally, and I'm excited to see where we will take this program in the years to come."

Pressler first came to Bryant in August 2006 after 16 years at Duke University, where he was named the 2005 National Coach of the Year. During his tenure in Smithfield, he has served as head coach of the U.S National Team, leading Team USA to victory at the 2010 ILF World Championships in Manchester, England, and currently ranks among the nation's top 10 active coaches in both career victories and overall winning percentage. Pressler also stands among the most winningest coaches of all time by both percentage and win count.

A native of Wilton, Conn., and 1982 Washington & Lee graduate, Pressler resides in Smithfield with his wife, Susan, and two daughters, Janet and Maggie.

The Bulldogs open the 2014 season at Colgate University on Saturday, Feb. 8 and open at home against Bucknell on Saturday, Feb. 15.