BLOOMSBURG — Kulpmont native Joe Bressi is one of seven individuals who will be inducted into the Bloomsburg University Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, October 19. This will be the 37th Athletic Hall of Fame class and, with the addition of seven individuals, brings the number of members in the Bloomsburg University Athletic Hall of Fame to 182.
Also being inducted are Susan (Brophy) O’Donnell ‘81 (women’s swimming), Adam Clay ‘05 (men’s soccer), Jahri Evans ‘07 (football), Megan LaBuda ‘02 (women’s basketball), Jennifer Lefever ‘96 (softball), and Tom Vargo ‘66 (wrestling).
The induction dinner and ceremony will take place on Friday, October 19, at Nelson Field House. Festivities will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail hour followed by the dinner and induction ceremony starting at 7:00 p.m.
Bressi served as the Bloomsburg University women’s basketball coach from the 1986-87 to the 1993-94 seasons and is the all-time winningest coach in the program’s history. Bressi guided the Huskies to a 175-47 overall record over his eight seasons which includes an 84-11 mark against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opponents. His .788 winning percentage remains tops in the school’s record books as does his .884 winning percentage against conference opponents.
Overall, Bressi was a three-time PSAC Eastern Division Coach of the Year and, after the 1988-89 season, was named the Converse Division II Coach of the Year.
Bressi led the Huskies to the program’s first-ever conference championship in 1992 after Bloomsburg knocked off Edinboro, 70-40, in the title game. He also led the team to six PSAC Eastern Division titles, four NCAA tournament appearances, and an NCAA Eastern Regional title in 1989.
The 1988-89 squad finished the regular season with a perfect 26-0 record and became the first NCAA Division II women’s basketball team to record an undefeated regular season since the NCAA began sponsoring the sport in 1982. The team went on the finish the year with a 28-2 overall record with victories over Pace and Lock Haven in the NCAA regional tournament before bowing to Bentley in the Elite Eight. The 1990-91 team also finished the regular season with an unblemished record of 25-0.
Bressi started his basketball coaching career at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg and went 238-40 from 1976-86. After leaving Bloomsburg, he coached the men’s basketball team at Lycoming College and won another 97 games in five seasons there. After a hiatus from coaching, he returned to the bench in 2014 at Bishop McDevitt and won 56 additional games. All told, Bressi has compiled an overall record of 566-183 in his four stops.
He is a member of the both the Pennsylvania Basketball Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame while also being a member of the Ed Romance Hall of Fame (2004) and the Capital Area Hall of Fame in the Harrisburg area (2006). Bressi also received the Jim Barniak Award as part of the East Stroudsburg University Hall of Fame for non-athletes.
Bressi and his wife of 40 years, Carol, have two children – Mike (38) and Nikki (36). They also have four grandchildren – Kali (18), Gavin (6), Mason (4), and Kennedy (2).