- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 3, 2024
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Joe Bressi began his coaching career, like so many other “future greats” at a small catholic school not even coaching the sport that would make him famous. He started out as an assistant football coach at Marion Catholic High School in 1971, later assuming head coach duties and winning a football championship in 1972. He was also the Head Track and Field coach while at Marian. He then moved on to Central York High School and as the head wrestling coach set a record for wins with 11 during the 1975-76 seasons.
Joe’s first try at basketball was at Bishop McDevitt High School where from 1976 through 1986 his teams won 238 games while losing 40. His girl’s teams won 8 Conference Titles, 5 District III Titles, 4 consecutive appearances in Eastern State Finals, and won 2 Eastern State Titles.
Joe’s next stop was at Bloomsburg University where his woman’s teams compiled a 175-47 record in 8 seasons. During that time, his teams won 6 PSAC Eastern Division Titles, one Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Title, one NCAA Regional Championship in 1988-89, 4 straight NCAA appearances and was named PSAC Eastern Conference Coach of the Year 3 times and was named Converse District II Coach of the Year in 1989. Bressi coached the first team to finish a regular season undefeated since the NCAA began sponsoring women’s basketball in 1982 by going 26-0 during the 1989 campaign.
Bressi took on a new challenge in 1994 when he took over the men’s basketball program at Lycoming College. During his first 6 seasons as Warrior head coach, Bressi has compiled a 97-53 record for a .647 winning percentage – the best in school history. His 1996 team won 21 game, the most in Lycoming history, and made it the the second round of NCAA playoffs. He has led the Warriors to MAC Freedom League playoffs during 4 seasons and was named Freedom League Coach of the Year in 1998.
Even more impressive than the 510 wins in his career, is the fact that he has only 139 losses – a 78.6 winning percentage. It was during the 2000 season when Bressi won his 500th game as a head basketball coach and joined Chuck Daly, P.J. Carlisemo and George Karl as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.