Local News

Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Hired By Bryant

Posted August 6, 2006

— Mike Pressler, who resigned as coach of the Duke University men's lacrosse team soon after a woman told police she was raped by three men at a March team party, has been hired by Bryant University to coach its men's team.

Bryant announced the hiring in a news release late Saturday.

"This is a great day for the Bulldog family. Mike Pressler is recognized nationally as an outstanding men's lacrosse head coach," athletics director Bill Smith said. "We have a great deal of respect for his commitment to the students and his emphasis on students excelling in the classroom and on the field."

Pressler spent 16 seasons at Duke and won three Atlantic Coast Conference championships. His team appeared in the national championship game in 2005 and was expected to vie for the title again this season.

Then a woman hired as an exotic dancer at an off-campus team party on March 13 said three players raped her.

Questions arose about whether the team members -- whether guilty of rape or not -- habitually behaved badly. Nearly a third of the team's 47 members have been charged in recent years with offenses such as disorderly conduct and public urination.

On April 5, Pressler resigned, the rest of the team's season was canceled and the university launched an internal probe into its response to alleged violence by athletes.

"I am very grateful to Bryant University for this tremendous opportunity," Pressler said in the news release, which made no mention of the rape case and surrounding controversy. "It is an honor to join their team."

Duke announced last month that it had hired longtime Hofstra coach John Danowski, father of Blue Devils senior attackman Matt Danowski, to replace Pressler.


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